Mailvox: the grammar geek

Elena is up for some copyediting:

Would you need cross-referencing from Book 3 to the two previous? What style guide do you prefer: Chicago, Associated Press, or something else? (I notice you often don’t use the series comma.) Do you need fact checking (stats, scientific facts, dates, etc.) as well? How quickly do you need the work done?

Email me, Elena, and we can rectify your unseemly ignorance with regards to the literary crimes. In answer to your questions, No, AP is all I have, No, Not all that quickly since I’m going to add a scene first. However, her reference to the series comma reminds me of a conversation with the editor of WORLD.

VD: So, am I supposed to drop the comma before the and or not? What’s the deal.

ED: You’re grammatically okay either way, but I hate it. The proper term for it is the serial comma and I like to say it’s because whenever I see it, it makes me want to go on a serial killing spree. (loud chortles, mixed with one or two distinct snorts)

VD: (alarmed silence)

ED: I’m kind of a grammer geek, I guess.

VD: You didn’t get asked out a lot in high school, did you.

ED: Strangely, no.

She had to move in fast

Since Mary Kay LeTourneau was already making eyes at him:

A 37-year-old day care worker was arrested for allegedly raping and sexually abusing a four-year-old boy, police say.

Sources tell us in what amounts to a bizarre confession that the suspect is actually accusing the four-year-old boy of seducing her. But police are not buying that explanation as they investigate several instances of rape and sexual abuse inside the day care center over a six-week period.

Clever, clever police. Clearly, nothing gets past the men in blue. As BL, who brought this to my attention, pointed out, this has to be one of the most extreme possible examples of a woman attempting to avoid responsiblity for her actions.

Although perhaps she is innocent and we’re witnessing the second coming of Casanova. One wonders how a four-year old Don Juan goes about chatting up the ladies… hey, I don’t know if you realized this, but I’m using the big potty now. Care to see my crib?

The adventure begins

From the ex-publisher:

Per your request, we are cancelling our contract for Book #3 and will revert rights to Books #1 and #2 back to you

In cooperation with another writer, I’m planning to arrange for the publishing of the third Eternal Warriors novel, THE WRATH OF ANGELS, most likely through a small secular publisher of my acquaintance. However, the arrangement will allow for me to sell the books directly over the Internet to those who would like them four to six months in advance of their official release in the bookstores by the publisher.

This will also allow for me to test my theory that releasing free ebooks is beneficial to book sales. However, I have a few questions:

1. I’d like to find five volunteers to help with copy-editing the third book. If anyone is interested, please fire me an email. An interest in fantasy and a prediliction, if not an obsession, with detail is desirable. Familiarity with the first two books is also a plus.

2. I’m contemplating two options. One is a fat omnibus version of all three books, either in hardcover, which would probably run 850 pages at $29.95 or thereabouts. The other is a simple trade paperback which would be similar to the previous two books, 400 pages and $12.95. Which is of more interest? Would the former feel like a ripoff if you already own the first two books? If so, perhaps doing both would be best.

3. What’s the best way to handle pre-orders? Take credit card numbers but not run them through until the books are shipped? Take checks but not cash them? Trust people to place an order if they say they will?

And yes, if this works out well, I’ll consider doing a non-fiction book this way.

Mailvox: income, leadership and power

Morgan forgets she came late to the party:

The funny thing is, Nate, that you do get a pass here. If you weren’t a regular here and some liberal guy came in and said he stayed at home and was supported by his wife, every yahoo in this place would call him a panty-waist, pussy-whipped Nancy Boy.

The Pan-Gargler never got any such pass, as yahoos and non-yahoos alike certainly made all of the requisite dismissals before we eventually got bored with it. Hence the occasional “don’t you have some ironing to do”, etc. But the way in which he comported himself during that time made it clear that the label didn’t stick very well; the process was, of course, classic male group dynamics. By the way, if you’ve never read the old post about Nate and Bane surviving TEOTWAWKI together, you’ve truly missed out.

If Dr. Who went down to the bank tomorrow and took your name off the bank account and refused to give you a penny or allow you to make financial decisions, the only recourse you would have would be to divorce her. She is kind to you, though, and doesn’t do that. However, she has the power. You don’t. Ergo, she is the leader.

Morgan commits three errors here. First, she conflates leadership with earned income. This very sloppy thinking can be easily disproven in the broad sense either by comparing the dictionary definitions of the two concepts or by the various examples already provided. Indeed, in the case of the corporate CEO, he is hired to provide leadership by those who are in authority over him, the owners. They have the power, he is the leader and the question of income is irrelevant because it can flow to the advantage of one or the other, or even be negative for the owners, depending on the financial circumstances.

Her second error can be seen in the narrow sense of power, leadership and income within the married relationship. Morgan implicitly accepts core feminist ideology here, which states that an unemployed married woman is under the power of her husband due to his income-earning. This is why many women believe they must have careers, in order to maintain their independence even within the context of a married relationship. This is a poisonous and destructive belief; it is also false.

As Camille Paglia points out, when one party labors and the other party spends the greater part of the fruit of that labor, the power clearly rests with the latter party. Is it the employer or the employee who is considered to hold the power? Morgan and the feminists have the matter precisely backward,

Her third error is, in light of the other two, relatively minor, but it is a howler and reveals her fundamentally feminine outlook. If Dr. Who were to cease providing funds to the Pan-Galactic one, divorce is far from his only recourse. Being a man, and therefore oriented towards problem-solving, it would be the simplest of matters to get up, ignore the household chores and go out to work, thereby obtaining the means to buy the truck, motorcycle or whatever else Dr. Who might wish to deny him. In fact, I daresay that divorce would not even enter into his mind, because most men do not consider it their inherent right to be provided for, even those men who are sufficiently provided for. Even if we accepted the feminist notion of income=power, it would be clear that Dr. Who holds that unique power only as long as Nate is willing to sit in his hot tub playing X-Box.

Now, as to a proper practical definition of leadership. The leader, in any household, is the one with two votes in the event of disagreement. If a woman wishes to homeschool her children and her husband wants them in the public schools, the probable leader of that household is easily determined by how the children are schooled. In fact, women are the heads of many households; I believe this is a common reason for female marital dissatisfaction as the natural desire to be in control conflicts with the natural desire to not be responsible.

The good leader takes into account everyone’s wishes, makes the best decision he can and accepts responsibility for the consequences. While it is not impossible for women to be leaders, in general they are much happier to be influencers as a distaste for decision-making and an absolute hatred for being held accountable by others are very common traits among the female sex.

And no, there can never be two leaders, especially not in a relationship. One need only survey the ignominious history of matrix management or organizations with two heads to understand this. If there are two “leaders”, then there is not a leader, there is only the inevitable power struggle until a leader is settled upon.

What was that about no evidence?

WND has the latest on the mercury-autism link:

A new study shows a direct relationship between mercury in children’s vaccines and autism, contradicting government claims there is no proven relationship between the two.

Published in the March 10 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, the data show since mercury was removed from childhood vaccines, the increase in reported rates of autism and other neurological disorders in children not only stopped, but actually dropped sharply – by as much as 35 percent.

Using the government’s own databases, independent researchers analyzed reports of childhood neurological disorders, including autism, before and after removal of mercury-based preservatives.

According to a statement from the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, or AAPS, the numbers from California show that reported autism rates hit a high of 800 in May 2003. If that trend had continued, the reports would have risen to more than 1,000 by the beginning of 2006. But the number actually went down to 620, a real decrease of 22 percent, and a decrease from the projection of 35 percent.

Stated the AAPS: “This analysis directly contradicts 2004 recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, which examined vaccine safety data from the National Immunization Program of the CDC. While not willing to either rule out or to corroborate a relationship between mercury and autism, the IOM soft-pedaled its findings and decided no more studies were needed.”

Of course, the proper scientific thing to do would be to conduct a large-scale blind study and shoot 10,000 kids full of mercury-laden vaccines, shoot another 10,000 full of non-mercury vaccines and leave a third group of 10,000 alone. Why would this be unethical, considering that all three options either have been done or are being done now without anything being considered except doctors’ opinions based on the information they are provided by the vaccine makers?

Occam’s Razor suggests that both the vaccine makers and the doctors know that vaccines, especially the mercury-laden ones, have been causing harm, so they are desperate to keep the waters muddied and avoid any conclusive proof from being established once and for all. Otherwise, why object to allowing the proven methodology of science to settle the matter?

I suppose they will argue that there were too many false diagnoses of autism taking place, which coincidentally happened to stop at precisely the time that thimerosal was removed from many of the vaccines. It’s possible, of course, but color me, as always, skeptical.