• Mark Meier

I admit it. When I see something wrong I tend to shake my head, and have to fight with myself to NOT correct things on social media. “That’s not question.”

GAAAAH!

“I could care less.” In other words, this doesn’t reach the level of “COULDN’T” care less.

The thing is, social media is full of this kind of thing. I’m not so much of a grammar cop that I HAVE to correct this - it is social media. That’s not meant to be the epitome of correct. Anybody spending a few minutes there would notice that.

On the other hand, I’m an author. My goal is to get my writing as close to the ideal as possible. But the English language is fluid, and what’s correct tomorrow might simply be what the usage is today.

“There’s less dollars in my account” has become an accepted practice, when not that long ago that would have required “fewer” dollars, because the dollars could be counted. “Fewer gallons” in my tank, “less gasoline.”

Even though that kind of thing is “doesn’t matter” these days, I’ll still fight against it.

I even try to use correct grammar and spelling in text messages.

Cn U blame?


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  • Mark Meier

One of the things which grieved me when Linda and I were married is her reluctance to produce art. She was an accomplished at painting in oil, acrylic, and watercolor. She brought a number of her paintings to our marriage, but for some reason she didn’t do anything with it after we married.

I didn’t know why. It bothered me a bit. I was ready to put aside some space for her to paint, but she didn’t seem interested.

Fast forward about fifteen years.

She published her first book, Davy’s Days, a children’s book. She hired a local artist (noted for her paintings of cranes - the bird, not the heavy equipment) to illustrate it instead of doing her own artwork. Then her second book, Davy’s Adventures, also by that same artist. Linda is a good artist, so why didn’t she do her own illustrations?

When she started putting together Eleazar and Friends, her previous illustrator seemed reluctant to work on it - for various reasons I won’t go into. But Linda stepped up and did her own illustrations. I think they turned out nicely, but I may be biased.

She explained:

“I misused my ability and God removed it from me. When Del Lucka didn’t want to illustrate Eleazar and Friends, we both prayed for me to regain that talent. God was good.” (That’s a paraphrase, not a direct quote.)

So Eleazar and Friends is now available. It’s a children’s story and activity book with coloring pages, connect-the-dots, word searches, and more. Kids love to interact with the stories they read (or have read to them). Eleazar and Friends is perfect for that purpose.

I’m proud to call Linda my wife, and proud she calls me her husband.


There's an interview with her here, starting at about 15:40 into the video.

You can find the links below here at the Meier Writers hub by clicking Kids Stories in the upper right corner, or directly at the links provided.

Davy’s Days

Davy’s Adventures

Eleazar and Friends



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  • Mark Meier

Over recent months I’ve been watching a lot of videos on how to write. Most of them repeat things I’ve already heard, but occasionally I’ll hear a bit of advice that’s new - or at least said in a way that makes it new to me.

I’ve toyed with doing videos like that, but there seems to be a glut of Seven Things Agents Hate, Six Ways to Get Noticed, or Nine Tips on Effective Fiction Storytelling. The only things I could tell are simply a retelling of what’s already out there.

I just came across a FB post from an author on the verge of reaching a milestone for her FB Page. “When I get there, I’ll give you tips that might contradict what you know.”

Seriously? With all the videos giving advice about how to format a manuscript, you’re going to tell us what we’ve learned might be wrong? (BTW, simply follow the guidelines of the publisher or agent as specified on their website. You can’t go wrong with that.)

One of the things I’ve learned in the last few years is that technical perfection in writing isn’t (1) achievable, or (2) really that important. What’s important is to show you have a grasp of the language, can tell a gripping story, and find a publisher who thinks they can make money on it.

That’s pretty much it.

If there are rules, they’re something like this:

1 - Don’t tick off the folks who decide.

2 - Learn and love the language.

3 - Tell a good story.

That’s it. The rest is beyond your control. Write a rude query letter, you’ll get rejected. Write something difficult to read, you’ll get rejected. Tell a boring story, you’ll get rejected.

The guidelines listed on agent and publisher sites boil down to making the manuscript as easy on the eyes as possible. White space is important, but if you think an agent is going to get out a ruler to make sure your margins aren’t a tenth of an inch outside the mandate, you’re mistaken. If your line spacing is 1.9 instead of 2.0, they’ll never notice if your story is good.

When you have a boring story, or is too similar to the other thousand books in your genre, your 2.0 won’t save you from rejection.

I’m not telling you to ignore the guidelines. If you’re too far outside the limits, it’ll be noticed and will become a tick toward rejection. No sense committing an unforced error (see my rule #1 above).

Write what you like.

Rewrite the story (until you can’t make it better).

Edit the story (until you can’t make it better).

Submit the story.

Repeat.

Sooner or later you’ll submit something the gatekeepers think will earn them money.



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