Monday, April 27, 2015

Newbie. Is It Offensive?

The question came up — Do you think the term 'newbie' is offensive?

I really had to get the word put into some sort of context to understand exactly what the question was intended to mean. To my chagrin, I was told:

You constantly state "a newbie writer will find…" In other words, isn't that a bit condescending?


When I first started writing, working my way toward being published, I had no issue with people calling me a newbie.  In fact, I even stated several times that I was a newbie writer.

But, it seems, in my weekly writing tips, and here, too, I will relegate a gem of wisdom to the so-called newbie writer. In other words, I appear to be talking down to the people who are relatively new to the writing process; sharing with them with my sage advice, or so it appears.

I do not consider myself a sage.  I've learned a lot of great writing tips and techniques over the years and I enjoy sharing those secrets with others — and not just those writers who have picked up pen and paper for the first time, but also with the extremely multi-published.

Even though I have several books, short stories and articles published to my credit, I still find I can learn from another writer.  Surprisingly, sometimes it is from a "newbie" who is seeking to be published.

Yes, knowledge comes from everywhere, but I digress.

Is the term offensive?  I never really considered it to be but now that it has been brought to my attention.  Yes, it is offensive.  By using the term, it indicates I think myself to be better qualified.

Consider this.  Do you call a medical college graduate, fresh from the diploma strut, and you are his or her first patient, a newbie?  No, you call that person "doctor" and don't have any qualms regarding the issue.  Sure, the student was an "intern" before graduation, but…

Maybe, instead of calling a writer who is fresh to the profession a 'newbie,' we should consider the term 'intern' for that awkward period.

Of course, that begs to be asked.  When does an intern writer graduate?

[sigh] You want all the answers!

Actually, let's take a different path, shall we?

Why do we even need the term 'newbie' or 'intern' to signify that we are new to writing?  What is wrong with just saying "I'm a writer" and move on?  Why must we seek to label everything.  If we want the other person to know more, then list your publishing credits or state you've just started.  I see no reason to open a line of discussion with "I'm a newbie writer" and insult yourself — unless you want to.  For me to say I am a newbie writer when I'm talking to a well-published writer, somehow that doesn't seem to offend me. I'm calling myself, it is not you judging.  Yes, you calling me a newbie writer is most definitely establishing a model of superiority and name-calling. It is sort of like ethnicity slurs. Those of the ethnic and/or minority groups (Italians, Blacks, gays, etc) will use derogatory slur terms among themselves and all is fine — most of the time, depending on how the sentence is conveyed. BUT, for an outsider to say the same thing — that is definitely a major no-no and derogatory.

 Therefore, let's not use any labels. We're all writers. We're all learning.

Of course, there are good writers and bad writers — and yes, those are labels. There isn't anything that can be done for that, it is a truth. Bad writers exist and they aren't necessarily new writers. In fact, they could have several books published.  Good writer vs. bad writers is another discussion.

Right now, I'm moving forward and leaving the "newbie" word behind me. I have no use for it, neither describing myself nor another writer.

Until next I ramble on...

Monday, April 20, 2015

Grandpa Again


You were warned last week this was coming.  My daughter-in-law was scheduled for a C-section on April 16th - if she made it that far. She didn't.  They arrived on April 14th, a little after 8pm.

Please welcome....

Jaxson Robert Nailor - 6 lbs, 10 oz (he's the one in blue with frog feet!)
Mikayla Page Nailor - 5 lbs, 6 oz (she's in pink with kitty feet!)

We were expecting preemies but Jaxson actually weighed more than his older sister when she was born and she wasn't considered a preemie.  A lot of the preenie clothes my daughter-in-law received will probably be barely used, if at all.

Anyway, they round out my collection of grandchildren as numbers 9 and 10, respectively, he is the older.

My grandchildren are:

David Michael - age 23
Steven Cody - age 21
Shylo Elizabeth - age 20
Kaitlyn Marie - age 19
Hailey Lynn - age 13
Corra Bree - age 10
Zora Rose - age 5
Keeley Isabella - age 5
and of course, the twins, Jaxson and Mikayla, newborns.

Since I had four (4) sons, all the grandchildren currently carry my last name,

My #2 grandson has decided to make me a great grandpa - as if being grandpa isn't great enough!! That event will be in late July and at the present time, supposedly a girl.  I know they're getting real good with all these picture-taking techniques, but I reserve judgment until birth on the final sex LOL

A quick note here: I'd like to say that my youngest grandson's middle name is a tribute to me, but unfortunately, it is not.  It is my son's first name and he decided to change things up.  What do I mean?  Simple.  My father's name was Robert, I'm Robert and I named my #4 son, Robert.  We each have different middle names so there is no "Sr," "Jr," or numbering - like III or IV. My youngest son really has an aversion to the issues of us all having what appears to be the same name and it has caused problems in far too many situations. But I digress...

Let's make this a short post this week - I got to hold my new grandchildren.  I leave you with a final picture my son took.  He takes some really nice pictures.

Until next I ramble on...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Proud Moment

Strange how that feeling sneaks up on you.  PROUD.  It just slides in and embraces you and that warm, fuzzy feeling overwhelms. It's like when your child is born.  Each book is like a child.

Why do I call it strange?  It isn't my first time.  No, I'm not a virgin to this fabulous, emotional moment.  I'll be honest.  I've had this feeling many times.  Okay, not THAT many times, but still, several and you'd think I'd be over it.

I'm not. Four books. Four sons. Eight grandchildren. Fifteen anthologies or co-authored.

I just released another book.  My fifth book and YES, book one of my hopefully three to get published this year has finally hit the presses and is now available at Amazon...



Above is the cover and I'm really excited about it.  I feel the photographer was able to catch the essence of my fictional character, Daniel, an Amish lad, perfectly. I'm hoping it will catch the reader's eye to make them pick the book up. A little tidbit about the photo - it was taken in Shipshewana, IN at the horse auction several years ago. The lad was deep in thought and the photographer snapped a perfect moment.

This is the back of the paper version.  Hopefully it will intrigue enough to get the reader to purchase the book.

I've released books of my own and been in several anthologies. I've had children and grandchildren. And yet, with each, the emotional embrace is unbelievable.  I love that moment.

Now, for a secret.  Later this week, I get to experience that feeling all over again.  How?  My youngest son's wife will be delivering twins on Thursday, if not before. Books and children!

So, go buy my latest book - you won't be sorry and await next week's blog when I brag about the new twins.

Until next I ramble on...

Monday, April 6, 2015

Life Uh-Oh

Received a phone call last week refreshing my memory that I had an annual checkup with my heart specialist.  To say I winced at the reminder would be understatement.  It one of those mechanical calls and I was given 3 choices: 1) accept appointment, 2) cancel appointment, and 3) change appointment.

I was about to press 3 when I realized it was on Friday, April 3rd.  I could made that without any problems.  So, I finally pressed 1 to accept the appointment.

My #4 son's wife is down to the final stretch of pregnancy with the twins.  As she calls it, if they don't come before 4/16, the eviction notice will be enforced and a C-section will be performed on that date.

Therefore, the next two weeks are pretty much a wait-and-see situation.

So I went to my appointment and the doctor is really good.  I mean, he puts the stethoscope to the body and checks very quickly the different areas.  When I say quickly, I mean it.  He places the end on you, 1count, moves to another point, 1 count, moves to another point, 1 count, and so it goes.  At least that is the way it has been in the past.  Friday... uh, not so.  I was point 1, listen for a couple of seconds, point 2, listen, move back to point 1, listen, move to point 3, listen, back to point 2, listen, back to point 3, listen, point 1, listen, point 4, listen, point 1, listen, onto the back, point 5 and so it went. The doctor probably took a good 5 minutes listening to my heart via the chest, back and neck.

He had me lay down and he felt different parts of my body and again listened.

I'm lying there and he says - I'd like to do an EKG.  Uh, he don't need my permission.  If he thinks it is necessary, bring it on.

Four tests later... supposedly I coughed on test 1, moved on test 2, talked on test 3 and although test 4 I did absolutely nothing, it was, from what I could tell, the same as the other 3.  Hmm?  Not good?

Doctor reads the tests... shuffling the tests, lining them up and then he says: I'd like to do a chemical stress test next week.  I'll schedule it.

Whoa!  Wait a minute.  One - I'm all alone here - my wife is staying up in Michigan with our #4 son and his wife to help around the house and help with their older daughters.  And be there, to watch the kids when she goes into labor.  Anyway, I'm alone and I'm not having some stress test without her at my side.

Why?  Back in 2005, I took a stress test and they scheduled me for a exploratory cath.  The next thing I knew, I was staying for open-heart surgery and had a quadruple bypass.  I mean, BAM BAM BAM.

I told the doctor that the stress test would have to be some time AFTER April 20th.  He was a bit confused and concerned.  I told him my DIL was expecting twins and was scheduled for a C-section on 4/16 and my wife wouldn't be free until after that date.

I'm scheduled for the chemical stress test on April 27th.  Between now then I'm to walk on the treadmill at least 20 minutes twice a day.  I will try but I'm not promising anything to anyone.

Am I nervous and concerned?  You bet your ass!

Maybe next blog I can tell you about my newest twin grandchildren.  If not then, most definitely the following blog.  You've been warned.

Until next I  ramble on...