Novella time

I’m working on the Novella today. Don’t have to go in to work. I am happy to hang with the fam today since it’s going to be super nice today. I’m always torn between getting some words in and hanging with the fam. I suppose there’s worse problems to have. Heh. 

Top Five Writer Things

I’ve decided to try more blogging. I enjoy it. It’s good practice. Plus it gives me a place to make a list of my current projects. This is just a status of what I’m currently working on and possibly what goals I have for each project. To start with there is…

1. The Novel: I finished this gem during NANOWRIMO if 2012, with the lofty goal of having it edited and ready to market in time to write the sequel during NANOWRIMO of 2013. Ha! Little did I know that editing a book is akin to staring into the deepest darkest pit of ones soul, reaching in and ripping out the bits that don’t seem to make sense. It’s like untangling spaghetti. But the good news is I’m about halfway through the editing process with a clear view of where to go with it. That brings us to….

2. The Novella: This one is a bit of a pulp piece. Though originally it was inspired by the events of a dream that I had, it has spiraled into something more like a quick story to get out on the market. This is the one I will probably pitch on Amazon, and maybe under a pseudonym… But in order to keep my story muscles working, I’ve also been writing…

3. The Short Stories: I’m compiling these and trying to get them organized for the purpose of shopping around to various publishers that are taking submissions for anthologies. Getting my name out, that sort of thing. Problem here is that the older stories from a long time ago seem to have been written by someone else… Someone with a marginal bit of talent that has not been honed quite as well as I would like. Hm. One of these stories is especially obvious in this respect, in that there is a chunk in the middle that I had added later. So the story is terrible, then becomes awesome, then returns to terrible. I need to go and rewrite some of it. But once they are all ready, then I will be attempting to submit them as I can, which brings me to…. 

4. The Spreadsheet: Have I mentioned that I like to build spreadsheets? They are like little organized magic charts. I love them SO MUCH!!! So I have built one in which I can keep track of various publishers, what their requirements are, and what the due dates are. Also, because of the magical nature of the spreadsheet, I can also make a column for what action I have take and whether or not I have heard back from that publisher. And so on. For the sake of having five things on this list, the next thing that deserves mentioning is…

5. The Blog: Hey, that’s this! What you are reading right now! How ’bout that. I recently read a great blog post about finishing things that made me continue to think on things as I have been in a certain direction. I have always approached the blog with a healthy amount of trepidation. That is I see so many other blogs that are so well written I find it a bit intimidating that my blog should be just regular stuff about my thoughts and ideas. Who wants to hear that stuff? Thing is, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I take the time and exercise the self discipline to utilize the BICHOK technique for the purpose of training myself to become a better writer. 

So that is what I shall do. I hope you enjoyed reading my top five writer things. Have a nice day!

Open Letter to a Colossal Asshat

Dear Sir,

 Your blog post (Found here, seriously go check it out. It’s a real treat!) regarding the practice of tipping a restaurant server has recently come to my attention and I have had the extreme honor to peruse your blog since that time. You have given a very concise and well researched list as to why tipping is something you choose not to practice when you dine at a restaurant. I would like, if I may, to respond to these reasons.

1. You act as if you’re my best friend

Your first concern is that in your estimation the wait staff seems to be too friendly towards you. There is a reason for this. When a person attends a restaurant, they are there not only for the food, but also for the ambiance. I know that is kind of a big word, so I will explain. Ambiance is the surroundings, decor and personality of the place which sets a certain mood and puts the patrons in a certain frame of mind. This includes the color of the walls, the type of wall hangings, the curtains, tablecloths, plates, glasses, and yes, even the personality of the wait staff. If the employer has a certain expectation of how the staff is to interact with the customers, then that is what they will do. If you do not wish for this interaction to occur, then you may get your food to go. Or better yet, keep your sorry self at home, learn to cook your own meals and leave us civilized folk alone.

2. You don’t get paid enough

Let me explain to you something about the restaurant industry. It is a Gratuity driven market. Big words again. I know. So let me break it down into smaller pieces so you can digest it more easily. The restaurant pays the servers for the side work and non-service elements of the job. When a customer chooses to sit down and purchase a meal from the establishment they immediately enter into a contract with the server, the person who brings them the food. That contract is an understanding that there is an exchange of services for the purpose of receiving compensation. YOU pay the server, because the server has done a job for you. Even if that job consists of nothing more than carrying a plate of food ten feet. (There is so much more involved, but I digress.) If you choose not to pay the server, then you have essentially become, not only an asshat, but also a thief. It is not fair to say that the server is not getting paid enough. No tip and the server is not getting paid. Period.

3. You’ll spit in my food if I don’t tip you?

I know it was a long time ago for your brain to remember, but if you really concentrate you may recall a few sentences ago when I alluded to what a server actually does besides carry a plate of food ten feet. The server takes the order from you, being certain to document all of the weird little “side of onions, no salsa” stuff that customers often like to specify. They bring you the beverage, then the rolls, in a timely fashion. Not too bad, so far. Then they must communicate to the kitchen what food you would like and how you want it prepared. This includes the “side of onions, no salsa” stuff that annoys the crap out of everyone who has ever worked in a restaurant ever. The kitchen then prepares the food and (pay attention because this is where it gets good) the server checks the food, makes sure it is what you ordered, makes sure there is extra onions and no salsa, (or whatever) and then gets it to your table while it is still hot. Now, this next step might require a little bit of concentration. Add about twenty more people doing the exact same thing as your server in a space only slightly larger than a phone booth all reaching for the plates, adding ramekins of dijon, and so on. Your server has brought you a hot plate of food from such an environment, free of any foreign debris. At least they did until you posted this article to which I am responding. You can rest assured that you have probably had your food spit upon plenty since the original publish date of your article.

4. Bringing me my food isn’t worthy of being paid extra

Please see number two. A server is not getting paid extra. A server is getting paid.

5. Money doesn’t grow on trees

Ah! Finally something that we can agree on! You are correct. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Therefore if a job has been performed then compensation must be given. It’s simple really. You try to say that leaving a tip for a server is akin to a favor, that is doing something that you don’t have to do. Okay, technically you don’t have to leave a tip, but neither do you have to go to a restaurant in the first place. Let’s expand on this idea for a moment. Say you have a busted pipe in your kitchen. You call a plumber. They come to your house and fix the pipe. You get charged for the replacement part and for the service rendered. I can see you perusing over the bill and casually saying “I’m not going to pay this silly old part because I don’t have to. I’d be doing that plumber a favor.” It doesn’t really work that way, does it. If you don’t want to pay for the service, then don’t call the plumber. Likewise, if you are not going to tip, then you should not set foot inside a restaurant. Period.

To sum up, I’d like to point out that the amount of karma that you have brought upon yourself by posting this article is worth far more than anything that I or anyone else could say to you. You are obviously a sad little man with who has drawn the short straw in life and feel the need to pick on those you perceive as less than you. I have no pretense of thinking that I can change your mind and heart into becoming a 20% tipper merely from reading my blog. But I take comfort in knowing that you have to wake up everyday and look in the mirror. You have to walk through your day with your own thoughts as your company. You have to go to sleep at night with the knowledge of your actions resting on your conscience. The anger and sadness that seeps through in your writing is more indicative of the kind of person that you are, and refusing to leave a tip is merely a symptom of your hubris. (I’ll let you look that one up all by yourself.) In closing, as you walk through life enjoying said karma, I have but one more question for you.

Would you like that for here or to go?