Thursday, March 28, 2019
Here's the thing...arrest the parents or whatever, fine the schools or whatever, but the kids are supposedly adults, so what are their consequences? They get a free ride in more ways than one? The way I see it is simple--the parents never treat their children as adults, the kids never grow up and learn to be adults. Never.
If the kid went along with the scam, then I believe there should be some sort of consequence. Maybe no admission to college for five years. Maybe not ever. Or maybe all the money paid should go into a special account that covers the college costs for students who would never have a chance otherwise to attend college. Or maybe require the ninnies to work a real job...like digging ditches or picking up trash along the beaches and highways or sorting recyclables, for the same time period they would have taken in school.
While mom and dad are having their careers trashed and their pics flashed all over the media, the kids are living the good life. Is this where we've arrived? It's fine to want better lives for your children, but teaching them the 'anyway to get ahead, legal or not' life plan isn't the way to go. It teaches the kid nothing except entitlement.
All of us learn by making mistakes. Some have the resources to escape the consequences. I'm pretty sure that isn't a good thing for them or our educational system or our country. We no longer know where the high ground is because we're so busy dancing on the low ground.
Monday, March 18, 2019
A couple nights ago we were watching a show on Netflix and he started muttering. I wasn't paying much attention as I was splitting my time between watching and reading. Suddenly, he says, "Plot hole! They never tell you how they know this!"
I had to laugh. If my non-reading husband can point out the plot issues...well, you know it's a truck size hole.
Readers might wonder how that can happen. And I have the answer. The writer carts the story around in their head for the duration. From beginning to end, they have an idea of the general layout. They sit at their computer pounding away on the keyboard, making sure the basic parameters of the story are present, but often they miss the holes simply because they know in their brain what the story is about. And what they know never makes it into the written story.
It's easy to notice the holes if you've never read/watched the story. They're obvious. But when you've worked and reworked and revised and edited a story over a period of months, the questions fade into the overall noise and background. Then you leave the reader or watcher wondering what in the world you were thinking about.
I set my books aside for a couple months so I can approach them with a fresh perspective. I'm not always successful, but I do try because I know exactly how frustrating it is to wonder...how do they know that?
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Recommendations vs Reviews
The way I see it is a recommendation is general. Maybe you're in a library or bookstore and meet someone looking for something to read. You get into a brief discussion about books and mention several authors/titles you've enjoyed. Recommendations are general and focused on genre. For instance I might recommend N.J. Walters if someone was interested in paranormal romance or Anne McCaffrey is they were looking for sci-fi fantasy. John Sandford or Jonathan Kellerman might be good recommendations for mysteries. I might even get into a discussion about the books an author writes under different pen-names (Nora Roberts/J.D.Robb or Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick). Regardless, the entire conversation would still remain general.
A review on the other hand is personal. A review is about how the book affected a particular reader. One of the problems an author--especially a new author faces is the difficulty in understanding the difference between the two. I have a book that received both a one star review and a five star review. Same book. The one star review was quite long which is unusual. The reader trashed the book from beginning to end, citing examples. The five star review mostly consisted of "Wow!!! Great book!!!"
Both reviews were the personal opinions of one person. They might as easily have been written for Shakespear's Romeo and Juliet. And their effect on the author should be the same. What the individual reader takes away from a book depends on so much of their personal background and baggage. This is true regardless of genre. It's pretty much why I ignore reviews while paying more attention to a friendly recommendation.
A recommendation asks nothing from me. If I read one of the recommended books, I have no pre-conceived expectations except the possible enjoyment of the story. But a reviewer expects me to agree with their assessment. For my own enjoyment, I decline.
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