I tend to write like I talk, which is closer to my boots than my brain. As such (and despite the loving care of any number of despairing editors), I tend to run afoul of grammarians now and again (sometimes two or three weeks in a row). As I am on a lifelong quest for self-improvement (an area in which I have acres of room in which to work) and also truly do want to get things right (unless I’m feeling colloquial, at which point all bets are off), I appreciate anyone who takes the time to point out errors (including those in this post).
However: tone is everything. A thoughtful word is appreciated and taken to heart–although it is no guarantee against future returns (I play by ear, and am regularly afflicted with literary tinnitus). On the other hand, exultation, hectoring, neener-neenering or the sort of correspondence highlighted below will have exactly the opposite effect and may even trigger active recalcitrance:
[YOUR] article which started—-‘[BLANK] asked my wife and I’ for help “etc. Asked “I”? I read your column every week and couldn’t believe you wrote “asked my wife and I”. You surely know better than that being an ‘author”. If in doubt, take the sentence apart and ask did someone ask’ I’, or did someone ask ‘me’. Not too swift, buster…………….
The above quote also serves to remind us that anytime one fires off grammarial correctives, one does well to review one’s own prose for assorted typographical whoopsies. Neener-neener, as it were.
Oh, and beyond grammar, I’m also happy to hear about flat-out errors of fact or consistency: details here.
This interview took place in August. I subsequently ran off on book tour and forgot to post it.
Although I duck my head at the word famous (moderately well-known in certain circles, yes, but able to walk through Farm & Fleet with no security detail) I do admit I enjoyed this look back. I still remember picking up the phone to talk to Doug from the little bedroom overlooking Main Street in New Auburn, and that fire department Y2K party is one of my most cherished memories. Had no idea it would lead to Population 485 and all else to follow.
This happened a few years back, and I think I posted these on the old version of the site, but just came across them again. One of my more memorable signings. Country music stars get asked to sign the ladies’…well…but when you write a book about fire and EMS this is as good as it gets. I was pretty nervous.