Friday, December 21, 2007

Puppies for gifts

Please do not give a puppy for Christmas unless you are sure that the recipient loves dogs. Too many people treat a puppy like it's a cute toy. As soon as the pup grows into that stage where it's awkward and no longer cute, is too playful, and is destructive, they get rid of it. They either take it somewhere and abandon it or take it to a dog pound. They should realize that the dog will eventually grow up and become a loving, loyal member of the family--if allowed to do so.

Make sure that the recipient treats the dog humanely. Dogs are social animals and think of themselves as family members. They should never be kept chained up for long periods. Dogs can become neurotic from being chained too long. Some become overly shy, some become addle-brained, and some become vicious. It's not natural, for in the wild they roam free. A fenced area, even a small one, is better.

The recipient should also:

1. Allow the dog indoors during extreme weather--thunderstorms, freezes, heat, etc. Some people do not like giving dogs free run of the house, and keep it in a certain room or area. That's far better than letting him freeze to death or have a heat stroke.

2. Always keep water handy--in cold or hot weather.

3. If in an apartment, take him for frequent walks. He'll look forward to this treat. Or take him for a drive. Many dogs are nuts about riding in cars.

4. Keep the fleas and bugs off with Advantix, Frontline, or other effective repellents. This is good for both the dog and the owner.

5. Have it neutered or spayed. Always make sure that her shots are up to date. Have the vet examine her at least once a year.

6. Play with him. Dogs love to play, and this is a pleasant way for humans and dogs to bond. Show him love and affection, and he will give it back tenfold.

Keep in mind that dogs are like people. They have different temperaments and personalities. By and by most dogs are loyal, loving, playful, intelligent creatures, but you'll find the occasional dog that is shy, has a mean streak, or is a "clumsy nitwit." These traits can often be successfully treated with the right combination of discipline and TLC.

Be cautious about giving a pup to a family with a small child. Small children can be cruel to a dog without meaning to be. The dog may grow up resenting a child because of tail pulling and such. This can end up with another dog in the pound or on the streets. Note: Never leave a child, who is too small to realize that tail-pulling hurts, alone with a big dog.

Finally, dog ownership requires responsibilities and expenses. Make sure that the recipient understands that. We love to surprise friends and loved ones with Christmas gifts, but a pet is the one gift that shouldn't be a surprise.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Writers Universe

I'd like to share a website with you called Writer's Universe. It is the best site I've found on the internet for writers.
On this one site you can find Grammar: style, spelling, use of words, and more; Craft of Writing: POV, show and tell, character development, writer's block, revision, dialog, and plot; Manuscript Basics; Writer's Resources; Genre; Business of Writing: publishing, copyright, contracts, rights, and agents; New Writers: many many tips.
Much more.

Actually, Writer's Universe has been defunct for some time, but it's still available on the internet. The only drawback is that some of the links won't work now. WU was originally operated by Cyndi, and you can find several places on the site that advise you to contact Cyndi if you have a question. Of course, since the site is now defunct, Cyndi no longer responds.

But it's still a great site. I had a link to WU on my site, and after the site went defunct, the link stayed and still works. I recommend paying a visit and checking it out. to get there, go to my site at SSS and then click on Tips on Writing. Then scroll down to Writers Universe, click, and you're there.

Unfortunately Writers Universe has now disappeared completely from the internet.  A damn shame.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Looking for submissions

Hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving!

I'm almost finished with my novel (actually it will end up as a novella, a bit shorter than a novel.) When I got near the end, however, I got a good case of writer's block in trying to figure out how it will end. When that happens, I usually quit for a while and let my subconscious go to work and figure out a solution. That has always worked out fine for me.

Sullivan's Short Stories is again looking for submissions. We're multi-genre, including horror, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, humor, suspense, mystery, and western. Also looking for poetry, nonfiction, and commentaries.

Submission guidelines are on the site.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

H is not a vowel

An horse, an horse, my kingdom for an horse.

I can't imagine why, but some writers treat H as if it's a vowel. It's a consonant, folks, a consonant. But you'll still see some writers, who should know better, write "an hospital," "an handsome man," or "an hospitable lady." It is correct to use A before all words beginning with H with one exception: it is correct to use AN when the H is not pronounced, such as in "hour," "honor," or "heir."

Whether to use A or AN before a word depends not so much on the spelling of the word, but on the sound of the word. For example, European, eulogy, and uniform all begin with vowels, but it is correct to use A before those words because they start with a consonant sound. A European, a eulogy, and a uniform.

Sources of information: 1.) Prentice-Hall Handbook for Writers; and 2.) Purdue University Online Writing Lab, grammar, punctuation, and spelling

Monday, November 5, 2007

The PC Crowd

This entry isn't about writing. I'm going to go off topic here and talk about political correctness. I'm angry because I've discovered that the PC Crowd has added the Islamic Radicals to their list of groups that must not be offended.

What, exactly, is political correctness? From what I gather, it is supposed to promote anti-sexist and anti-racist speech and behavior codes, with the aim of righting past wrongs of racism and sexism. But PC goes far beyond that. It blames the white European male for all the evils of the past, and sets out to punish him. In essence, the PC crowd believes that two wrongs make a right.

In the beginning of the PC movement, most white males jumped on the bandwagon. Most white men are decent, fair-minded people, and they believed that righting the past wrongs of racism/sexism was a noble cause. But as it became more and more obvious that they were being targeted as the villains who were responsible for all things evil, more and more whites began to jump off the bandwagon, leaving only the ultra-liberal whites.

Many decent white men, especially in the media profession, have lost their jobs because of innocent remarks. True, some made stupid, unthinking remarks, but the vast majority did not intend to be hurtful or malicious. Probably the most well known personality to lose his job was sportscaster Howard Cosell. Cosell could be pompous at times, but it was obvious that he was a decent man. He was not a racist.

White women are not totally immune from the fascism of PC, either. One teacher lost her job merely from using the word "niggardly" in her classroom.

The PC crowd is using fascistic methods to further their cause. In doing so they raise the ire of white males. Some whites are beginning to rebel, and there are even a few fledgling anti-PC groups starting up.

Is PC an organized group? Does it have a leader? Who sets the rules? It seems that PC is a loosely organized group without an appointed leader. The group consists mainly of ultra-liberal politicians, some black leaders who see all whites as evil, feminist groups who see all men as evil, and editors in the media who set the rules of conduct for their broadcasters and reporters.

The rest of us aid the PC crowd because we don't dare to say anything or do anything that might offend them. Well, don't include me. I'm going to upset them because I don't believe in same sex marriage, ILLEGAL immigrants, or Islamic radicals (all of which is supported by the PC crowd.)

I'm neither republican nor democrat. I'm neither liberal nor conservative. I don't like George Bush, Dick Cheney, Hillary Rodham Clinton, nor Ted Kennedy. I'm an Independent. And I'm off to look for one of those anti PC groups.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Daylight saving time

I can never remember whether we're going on daylight saving time or going off it. Anyways, come Sunday we set our clocks BACK one hour (fall back). My stupid computer fell an hour behind LAST Sunday, so this coming Sunday it'll be right. I hope.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Starting a new novel

I'm a writer and webmaster/editor of Sullivan's Short Stories. I'm also the owner of a Yahoo writer's group called World Fiction Writers. I also have another blog with xanga, called Sully's Blog.

Up until recently, I've written nothing but short stories, of which I've had about fifty published. A few months ago, I started working on my first novel and have it about half finished now. It's science fiction, with the plot centered around an Earthman with psionic powers who battles invaders from space.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Starting new blog

Started my new blog on this date. Nothing of consequence to post to kick it off.