Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What my grammar says

Well, since I made this point a few times in my old posts, I might as well restate it for when I delete those posts. My view on this subject hasn't changed, even if the kind of blog I'm running has.

Grammar is a tricky issue, to be sure. A lot of people take great pride in being able to correct other people's mistakes here, often in a sarcastic and borderline rude manner. I won't hide the fact that I've been occasionally guilty of that myself. It doesn't help there are people who really honestly don't even try to be the least bit comprehensible when they communicate via writing.

But that's the key factor, being comprehensible. And most of us can write well enough (side note: it's tempting to say good enough there and see who spots it) to get our point across. At that point, little details like "mixing" up lie and lay, or not putting proper spaces around certain types of punctuation don't really matter.

English is a complex and confusing language as it is, and most of the rules I ignore are the little one-off things that would make anyone trying to learn our language tear their hair out. In fact, there are times a few of the weirder parts make me want to tear mine out. It's what happens when a language that grew out of Germanic roots had a bunch of people impose Latin-based rules on it. (No joke, this is what actually happened.)

This isn't a license to go wild with bad spelling and weird sentences. I'm writing so people can enjoy my stories, which they couldn't do if they can't even figure out what's going on. Even when I deviate from the normal grammar rules, I make a point to be consistent when I do so. So if I'm not putting spaces after an ellipsis, you can bet I'll do that for every ellipsis.

If anyone still objects, fine. I can't stop them. But they can't stop me either; I'll still keep approaching grammar as a set of guidelines instead of rules set in stone. And my stories won't suffer for it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A fresh start

Hello, my name is Chris Mitchell, and I'm really bad at updating blogs. (Note the date of the last post before this one.)

With that said, 2016 is underway, and I've decided that it's time for a fresh start. With it comes a new approach to blogging, one I hope more people will appreciate.

Looking back at a lot of my old posts, it's almost embarrassing how I kept trying to shoehorn in bad jokes and the like, while tending to be too brief about topics. Part of it was trying to run this blog while avoiding being too controversial or revealing too much about myself, which is a really dumb idea when you're trying to run a blog. I feel like I could have done so much better, and put much more time into this whole thing.

So, here's what I am doing. I plan on effectively rebooting this blog, by going in there in a few weeks and deleting all my old, poorly done posts. This post will be the first step of a new approach, where I try to be much more thoughtful about what I say here.

But I decided that there was so much more I wanted to talk about; and that this blog wasn't quite enough to do it. So, as you can see in the sidebar, there is a link to a second blog, one devoted specifically towards video games. You can click on and read more there about what I plan to do with that blog.

I will be updating both blogs simultaneously, although this one may not get too much attention. I'm leaning towards a couple of posts a month here; just enough to keep you up to date on my writing and my views on the writing scene. It'll be more along the lines of when I feel up to it.

That said, I am now on Twitter (a link is in the sidebar), so it should be easy enough for you to follow me and see when I post, both here and on the other blog. This hopefully will allow more readers an easier time to keep track of me, and make it easier for me to keep track of things I'm interested in. It's a win-win all around.

So, anyway, here's to a new journey, a new start, and hopefully a lot better than I've done before. No more flip side jokes to finish off my posts; just enjoy yourselves, and I'll see you all around.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

When a titan falls

It makes a ton of noise.

I will be the first to admit a shocking truth; I have never read any of the books written by Terry Pratchett. I guess now would be a good time to start, seeing as he just passed away at the age of 66.

I doubt anything I ever write will compare to what he has done. This is a guy who has been compared to Shakespeare of all people in terms of just how good he is. Me? I'm just this indie guy who almost no one has ever heard of, and barely has any experience with Discworld or his other work.

Not that this stops me from extending my condolences, or feeling bad. This man stood for fantasy, for story-telling, and for so many things I can't help but support as well. If even one percent of the number of people who are mourning his death do the same when my time comes, I'll know I accomplished something worthwhile.

In the end, Death comes for us all. And today, he came for one of his dear friends.

Sir Terrence David John Pratchett, OBE
April 28, 1948 - March 12, 2015
R. I. P.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

One year later...

Well.

Where do I begin.

As should be obvious, it has been precisely one year since I made a blog post, so I suspect those of you that regularly read this blog (which by this point is likely very few, considering that my last post was not long after promising more regular posting) probably assumed I was gone. Another flash in the pan, a writer who didn't pan out.

In what is even more obvious, the fact that I'm typing this means I'm back. Trust me when I say it has been a rough year since I last posted. I'm not going to talk about parts of it, because it involves the privacy of certain family members. Let's just say it's been a trying time for all of us. When the time is right, I'll explain what was happening.

Luckily, for the foreseeable future, I will have quite a bit more free time to devote to things. This means actual blog posts, as well as a lot more writing content. I will also be looking into alternative way of getting out there, like maybe a Youtube channel or something. No promises there, though.

So, did I accomplish nothing in the meantime? Nope. If you look at the sidebar, you'll see a little ad for my newest book, In Harm's Way. It's the first in a new series, and I plan to juggle it and Thadrick Clant, depending on how I feel or what else is going on.

That's it, really, so I look forward to pushing forward in 2015. One way or another, I'm going to try to make this the best year yet!

Catch you...on some kind of flip side.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cold and colder

What a winter it's been so far.

I know it might shock a lot of people, but having two full-blown winter storms in the same year is unheard of here in Georgia. Combined with the temperatures...it's no wonder people are calling this a historical winter.

Of course, I've seen the pendulum swing the other way. Back when I was in college, I got to meet people from further south (Florida or the Caribbean) who had never seen snow in their lives. So when it dropped an inch of snow (much lighter than either of these), they were in awe.

I'm sure the people further north in the U.S. are not the least bit impressed, and snow continues to bury places like New York. That's fair. I can only write about what I know, be it in my books or on this blog. Getting anything longer than a power outage for about two hours (which is what the second storm did) is outside my realm of experience.

It's not something I'm in a hurry to correct for. I know the success of writing is dependent on the writer's knowledge, but there are some things that just aren't worth it. I'd list them, but I think most of them would be self-evident anyway.

Well, back to work on writing. Catch you on the flip side.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A (lightning) Rod of a topic

I'm not very good at resolutions, am I? I wouldn't expect three blog posts this month, but I'll try to do better.

Anyway, back on baseball news, I'm sure many of you heard about the season ban handed down to Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees for lying about using illegal drugs.

Since I took a potshot at the issue in Running Bet (if you haven't read it yet, I bet you'll want to in order to find out what I wrote), I figured I ought to explain my views a little.

Major league baseball, as a whole, is pretty schizophrenic about the whole affair. On one hand, punishing people who do not follow the current rules is a valid response. However, the retroactive nature of it - with refusing to consider past violators for the Hall of Fame - really isn't fair.

Outside the infamous Black Sox and Pete Rose, there hasn't been a single player knocked out for violating the rules. (In the case of the latter, he voluntarily accepted it.) This is hardly the impression that they need to make.

While I think a ban going forward is a fantastic concept (and in that regard, A-Rod is guilty as charged), I'd rather them not hold it against past players and abuses. I'd also prefer if they abided by their own rules and only suspended him for fifty days. It was a first offense, even if he lied about it. Whoop de doo.

Either way, I don't expect Bud Selig or the MLB Hall of Fame voters to listen to me, so I suspect that the general state of affairs will continue, and everyone will continue to make themselves look bad. (Just be glad I'm not taking you to task for a non-unanimous Greg Maddux vote.)

Catch you all on the flip side!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Another year gone

2013 is over. As I type this, less than an hour remains.

It's been a heck of a year. I learned a lot about what I should and shouldn't be doing. I figured out that I need to be more selective when it comes to side projects. I also learned that I'm not very good at posting on the blog, a detail I need to work on.

The world keeps turning, for better or for worse. Some people passed away, like Stan Musial, Roger Ebert, and Nelson Mandela. Other rose to prominence, including Pope Francis and Felix Kjellberg (Pewdiepie). And some found new ways to express themselves or utilize their fame, like Miley Cyrus and David Ortiz.

Oh, and I wrote a book too.

So what's next? Well, I intend (fingers crossed) to set a goal of updating this blog at least three times every month. I know, it's not guaranteed, but I've got to try. There will be more Thadrick Clant, that much I can guarantee.

Also, I plan on, as a side project, work on another book. Unlike Thadrick Clant, which I try to get out yearly, this book has no definitive timetable. So here's to getting some progress in on that, and potentially expanding my horizons.

2014 comes, and it looks like an exciting year. I'm looking forward to it, and I hope you all are too.

Catch you on the flip side!