“Every crowd has a silver lining.”
I was born and raised in the city of Toronto Canada. We moved around a significant amount, but the ‘Big Smoke’ was truly my hometown. One of the most memorable events of my childhood and adolescence was the CNE. The Canadian National Exhibition was the highlight of the summer for kids in the city. It meant holidays were at an end and it was a kid’s last bit of fun before the beginning of the school year. As I grew older, I blew even more money on the midway in games that were engineered to rob me blind. I didn’t care. I came for the atmosphere: Noise, lights, rides that didn’t last long enough and overpriced cotton candy that looked bigger than it was once it dissolved on the tongue. Essentially, the carnival, county fair, or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods is wonderful for dazzling your eyes, numbing your ears, shutting off your mind and picking your pockets. What does this have to do with a blog about writing? A great deal.
Recently I made a trip to Chapters. Later that week I scanned the book shelves in the local grocery store. Finally, while waiting to have a prescription filled I took the time to peruse the paperback section in the drug store. I was actually on a mission. I’m going to self publish my own work soon, and part of my endeavour will be the design of the cover; therefore I felt looking, really looking at the work lining the walls of a book seller would give me some insight into the mind of the reader and what catches their eye. Know what I discovered? Visual chaos, artistic conformity and illustration gone mad. The art was either torrid bodice ripping crap or some sort of distorted image that had nothing to do with the story it was supposed to be promoting. Ah, now that’s an interesting word isn’t it? Promoting. Promotion. Hmm…isn’t that what they do at the carnival? They excite and dazzle you with the noise, music and lights to get you to cross that threshold and once inside your money is their money and they haven’t given you a damn thing. The entire carnival industry is a sham. Well, looking at those shelves this past week, it would appear Mr. P.T. Barnum was decidedly correct. The reading public is being duped and ripped off and, and they don’t appear to mind one bit! Televsion, the internet, and sight reading have ravaged the english language and now, very few people could tell you the difference between a synonym and a homonym, let alone analyze a sentence. Many writers are unqualified and most editors are inept. They allow manuscripts riddled with unnaceptable spelling and grammatical errors to go to print and then expect YOU to pay $25.00 for a hardcover and $10.00 for a paperback. I’m not even going to discuss the content because we would be here all day. Think about it. Don’t you feel a tad insulted and gipped by incompetent writers and editors? I don’t want to end this on a negative note. I want to take this moment to praise the marketing departments in this industry. They could sell dirt to a farmer. Amazing. 😉 One last thing, if I hear one more person declare they are ‘speaking to the issue, I’m going to tear my hair clean out by the roots. You can only speak to a living thing, ie: person, animal. You cannot speak to an issue, idea, thought etc. Unless of course you need to seek help.