Monday, January 28, 2013

What's in a Name?

I received this question from a reader. I'll share my response with you all.
If I have a main character in a story and he lies about his name to a supporting character before we as the reader know his real name, how do we refer to him in type. Would you use quotations or apostrophes around his fake name? I would think that it changes depending on how much we as the reader know. Here are some of the scenarios that come up in this story.
1st Q
Our main character lies about his real name and gives a fake( let's say Sam). Second character doesn't know any different and calls him by Sam. We know that his name is not Sam but don't yet know his real name. When referring to him out of dialogue do we say something to the effect of;
The rain was making everyone tired, "I'm going to sleep." Sam said.
The rain was making everyone tired, "I'm going to sleep." 'Sam' said.
I wouldn't use quotation marks around Sam's name. I might continue referring to him as "the man," or something along those lines until the reader knows his actual name.
 2nd Q
The Narrator gives us the main characters real name but the main character is still going by his fake name. Second character still doesn't know any different and so calls him by the fake. We know both names.
So how now do we refer to him. Such as;
Peter, for that was his true name, almost got hit with the mango thrown by the pauper.
"Hey, Sam! Over here" someone yelled
Peter turned around to see his friend Shilly beckoning him away from the crazy man and toward an alley hidden behind a wall of hanging carpets for sale.

If the reader already knows Peter's name, I wouldn't find it necessary to add your parenthetical statement. I would just call him Peter.

or would I have said
Peter, for that was his true name, almost got hit with the mango thrown by the pauper.

"Hey, Sam! Over here" someone yelled

'Peter' turned around to see his friend Shilly beckoning him away from the crazy man and toward an alley hidden behind a wall of hanging carpets for sale.

I'm pretty sure the first one would be right for this question.
I'm not sure why you would want to put Peter in quotation marks since that's the man's real name. You're correct; use the first version.

Getting to the heart of the matter, there is no real wrong or right answer here. It's more a matter of style than of convention. Thanks for your question.

Friday, January 18, 2013

You Might Be an Eighth Grade Teacher

You might be an eighth grade teacher if...
  • you've ever eaten a granola bar and Pepsi for lunch while grading 100 vocabulary tests.
  • someone has asked you, "How long is this school in feet?"

  • you've been told, "You're my favorite teacher," by someone whose very name makes you cringe...
  • you've spent time scraping chewing gum off your carpet, out of the drinking fountain, or off of your shoe.
  • you believe that chewing gum is an abomination.
  • you hang a sign on your door that says, "Don't come in here at lunch unless you plan on being quiet!"
  • you have shocked people by telling them that no one had a home computer when you were in junior high school.
  • you tell five people to pull their pants up and three other people to put on a jacket or get a more modest shirt from the nurses's office.
  • during a discussion on irregular verbs, someone raises her hand and asks you where you get your nails done.

  • you've been told, "You've got swag. You wear your clothes with confidence".
  • you find yourself staring blankly into a youngster's face trying to figure out what he's talking about only to realize that he has confused the words cyclone and clone.
  • some days seem like an endless stream of nonsequitors.

  • you give your last granola bar to a kid because she didn't have breakfast.
  • you are given daily reports on Justin Bieber's latest exploits. You didn't ask.
  • you have to tell a young lady that she can't use the restroom for that reason because she used that reason all last week.
  • in a thirty minute period, 15 people ask you, "Where are the scissors?" and your answer is always, "In the art supply cabinet."
  • in the next fifteen  minutes 10 people ask you, "Where do the scissors go?"
  • you have to tell people, "The art supply cabinet is that cabinet with the sign on it that says, 'art supplies'."
  • someone asks you, "You know when Bruce Lee was wearing that yellow and brown track suit? What movie was that in?" and honestly expects you to know.
  • you instruct people to write about a celebrity and one of them asks,"Is Sponge Bob a celebrity?"
  • you are sick and tired of hearing, "Someone stole my pencil!"        
  • the words "rally schedule" fill you with dread.
  • you feel the urge to tell total strangers in the grocery store to spit their gum out.

So that's my life. It's a good think I love the crazy, hormone-ridden little people. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What's the Deal with the Crystal?

Before I started making jewelry, I really didn't know a lot about the different components that make up a piece of jewelry. I've learned about things like jump rings and chandeliers. I've learned about tools such as the chain nose pliers, the round nose pliers, and the mandrel. No, that's not Barbara Mandrell for those of you old enough to remember the country singer.
She was country when country wasn't cool!

I've also learned about the various materials used in jewelry making. I know the difference between silver plated and silver filled. I know I can't afford to make much out of gold. And I've learned about the difference in crystals.

No not Crystal Gayle, another country singer from back in the day.

Now you know me; I can't have information without sharing it with the world, so let's talk about crystals. I always thought crystal was only important to new age gurus who needed crystals to channel their chakra...or something.
Or maybe they use them to direct their Chi....whatever.
Crystals occur in nature, but they can also be man made. When we're looking at crystal jewelry, we see both natural and man made crystals. Swarovski, headquartered in Austria, is widely recognized as the maker of the finest quality man made crystal.

Jewelry made with Swarovski crystal has a brilliance and sparkle unlike any other. Swarovski meticulously and precisely cuts each crystal, achieving the perfect shape, angle and placement of each facet. 
Blue Briolette Cut Swarovski Crystal Drops.
I wasn't sure when I started what the difference between crystal and glass was. Was crystal just a fancy word for glass? Was it a particular cut of glass? As it turns out, man made crystal is glass with lead oxide added to it. It's the lead oxide that gives crystal its sparkle by...well, it's some scientific technical jargon about "a higher index of refraction." Trust me. Crystal sparkles more than glass, and Swarovski is the sparkliest of them all.

So, what do you think? Did you learn anything, or was I the only one who didn't know any of this?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Don't be Crazy...or Ignorant!

Well, My Hillbilly has something on his mind, which is nothing new, so here he is:

I catch myself watching the news and becoming verbal about what is being said.  I say things such as:
"This guy is an idiot!  These guys have no idea what they are talking about!"  And I say other such intelligent thoughts that come to mind. Yes, hillbillies occasionally have intelligent thoughts.  And yes, in finding that out, you have also become more intelligent!

Growing up as a hillbilly and being made hillbilly tough, I am not afraid of a whole lot of things.  However, I am afraid of a few things.  One of those things is ignorance, and the other is crazy people!

Ignorance frightens me because it causes us to do stupid things.  For instance, I have seen people pick up a chain saw and begin using it with no knowledge that things can cause it to kick back into their face.  Trust me; it makes for a bad scar if you survive it.  Or you see them using the chain saw to cut a tree with their body positioned in such a way that the tree might kick back and kill them.  Again, trust me, most people who have this happen, don’t do it more than once!  And yes through ignorance about various things, this hillbilly has been injured and about killed.   Besides making us look stupid, or in my case, more stupid, ignorance can hurt us or cause us to be killed!

Crazy people frighten me too.  Like many people, I enjoy scary movies!  I have had a blast with vampire movies, zombie movies, Frankenstein movies, werewolf movies, ghost movies, witchcraft movies, etc.  However I have never enjoyed movies with crazy people.  Play Misty for Me with Clint Eastwood, scared me to death.  The thought of a screaming, crazy woman with a knife attacking me in the dark is a little too realistic.   I have known crazy people.  I have been around crazy people.  Intelligent people, even we hillbillies, know enough to not hang around them.

Now,back to the news people. Due to various shootings around the country, they were talking about guns and gun control.  In my younger days, gun control would have had to do with how steady I could hold the gun so I could hit that at which I was aiming.  Of course that wasn’t what these men were talking about.  These were news people who were debating both sides of the issue and they were equally ignorant.  These are people who sway our opinions one way or the other and they didn’t have enough knowledge about guns to fill up a thimble, much else a teacup!

As to guns, I grew up around them.  They were a tool we rarely used.  I was taught to respect them and to beware of their danger in the same way I was taught to use other tools that could be harmful.  We used guns to kill animals that were injurious to our live stock, were damaging our farm, or to put down an animal that was suffering and could not be saved.  As I grew older, wiser, and gained my parents trust, they began allowing me to use them to hunt.  We really didn’t think of them as being for protection.  That just wasn’t something we thought much about.  In fact, when I was growing up, we rarely locked a door while home or when we were gone.  Things have changed even in Missouri.

As for death, statistically, the number one accidental killer is from auto accidents, the number two killer is gun accidents.  In murders, a little less than 60% are by guns.  The big majority of the gun murders and accidents are from pistols.  Rifles are rarely used.  True assault weapons are almost not used at all.  What the news anchors have been calling assault weapons are not, but instead just semi auto weapons that have the same appearance.  An assault rifle is fully automatic.  In other words, you can hold the trigger down and it just keeps shooting like a machine gun.  Very few people have them and to have them, they have to obtain special permits from our government. Probably about two thirds of the hunting guns and pistols are semiautomatic.  In other words, you aim, and pull the trigger.  With a fully automatic weapon, you hold the trigger down and sweep the gun over multiple targets and put off a constant stream of bullets.  Hopefully those are mostly used by our military!

One of the things brought up as if it was a bad thing, was the fact that people had multiple guns.  Yes, most hunters do.  If they are much of a hunter at all, like using certain tools for certain jobs, they will have a shotgun for bird hunting, (quail, turkey, duck, pheasant, etc).  They will probably have a 22 for small game.  They will probably have a larger caliber, (bigger bullet), rifle for big game such as deer, and possibly even an elk, and even a larger caliber rifle for moose, bear, or dangerous game. They may have black powder rifles for special seasons where only they can be used.

If in the home, there are women or children that hunt, there may be lighter caliber rifles or rifles  made  with smaller stocks to fit their smaller statures.  Some may have a pistol for protection.

Many times they will have old guns that have been in the family, perhaps their father's, or grandfather's.   Many people love and collect guns.  Though I don’t use those particular ones, I have a rifle that both my uncle and my Father, (both now deceased), once owned. I still have my first 22 rifle given to me for my 10th birthday.  These old guns aren’t worth very much but they bring back memories and mean something to me.

Another thing that bothered a pro-second amendment news man, was the "large caliber bullets" that some of these crazy mass shooters used.  He made a statement that they shouldn’t be available for us (the regular guy) to purchase and no one needed them unless it was for military use.  The fact is, most all of these bullets used, have been very small, with bullets weighing about one third to one half of what most deer hunters use.  If you tried using them on a bear, you would just make him mad and you would become bear food and eventually bear scat.  Scat is bear poop for you who don’t know.

Almost all gun owners are law abiding!  Some use them for protection, but most are used for sport.  Like most of us who play and enjoy several sports, many gun owners enjoy hunting, competition, and target shooting.  And as with many things, there are also those who enjoy collecting rare and valuable guns.

Without hunting, animal populations would get completely out of control causing them to damage even more of our farmers' crops than they already do. This would lessen food supplies of grain for both livestock and human consumption.  It would also cut down the meat gained from the hunting of the wild animals.  Without control, auto-animal accidents would jump immensely, causing even more auto deaths (human and deer!) than we now have.  I could go on and on about unintended consequences.

Skittish Deer

Back to ignorance and craziness, craziness though not exactly the same thing, could be compared to being mentally impaired.  In the United States, approximately 11,000 people are killed each year by drunken drivers who are mentally impaired by drink.  That is almost 2,000 more than are murdered by guns.  Fifty-eight percent of firearm accidents are due to a combination of ignorance, (people who don’t know anything about guns), and or by those who are drunk, (mentally impaired).  All of these large shooting sprees seem to be by people who are crazy!

As I said in the beginning, crazy people and ignorance frighten me!  In my opinion, many of the news anchors are either ignorant, or dishonest. Either of these is frightening.  More frightening, is the question that comes to mind, how much other stuff do they put out to us that is the same way?  They owe it to us, to take the time to investigate and become knowledgeable enough to give us facts.  No news anchor or pundit should just start spouting preconceived notions or ignorance.   We depend on them!  A lot of our opinions and decisions come from what they tell us.  We in the real world would have a hard time holding down a job if we approached it with the same ignorance and in the same lackadaisical manner.

 And with their ignorance or ????? whatever, they are beginning to drive me ----- nuts!  Never crazy, insane, or mentally impaired because those are more refined words.  And hey, I am still a hillbilly!

From the Hillbilly’s corner!

Monday, January 7, 2013

ONE Word

I've seen it all over the Internet: what is your "One Word" for the new year? Instead of making a list of resolutions, choose one word that will be your guide through 2013, a word of inspiration or reminder. A reminder of what is important or what you want to be. A word of encouragement. One word to meditate on throughout the year.

In 2013 my focus will be on the word "Blessed." I have been blessed beyond all measure. I have been given, "a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over."

 I was born in a great country full of opportunity. My father never graduated from high school, but his children were able to attend college. I was born to parents who love God and taught their children to love and honor Him.

Most of my family are nearby, and we love each other and enjoy seeing each other often. There are no family quarrels or grudges being held. My husband is my very best friend and loves to spoil me rotten.

I don't just have food, clothing, and shelter; I have a very nice house in a nice neighborhood. I have more clothes than fit in my closet, and they come in several sizes because I have access to too much food.

All of my needs and most of my wants are met in abundance.

And still, I find things to complain about.

My job makes me tired, but I have a job when many people don't.
I get sick a lot, but I have access to  excellent medical care.
I don't like the way other people drive.
I don't like crowded stores.
I don't like dirty public restrooms.

And you KNOW I don't like bad spelling and grammar!

I know my blessings outweigh my minor complaints, but I indulge in whining anyway. So my One Word for 2013 is "Blessed" to remind myself to count my blessings and to not focus on my inconveniences.

To keep my One Word in front of me, I created the One Word bracelet and put it in my Etsy shop. Now you don't need a bracelet to focus on your One Word. You can tape the word to your mirror or your refrigerator. You can keep a One Word journal and write daily about how you exemplified your word that day. You could do many other things. Or, you could wear a bracelet. (Edit: I'm not longer in business on Etsy.)

I've seen many different "One Words" across the web: Believe, Bliss, Breathe, Create, Faith, Focus, Hope, Joy, Karma, Laugh, Live, Love, Pray, Relax, Shine, Sing, Thanks, Trust, Write.

It doesn't matter what the Word is as long as it means something to you. What is your One Word for 2013?

Linking up with

One Word 2013 Blog Hop