Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tomato or Tamato?

The English language is brutal. Of course, I don't know Japanese or Mongolian, so they may be bad too. It's just that I get tied in knots over words like immigration and emigration. As I read over my last blog I hollered, "Hey! is that the right word? Is that the right spelling?" I guess either one will do as they both mean a movement or migration of some sort, but does one more accurately describe people and the other a flock of birds?

Life is complicated enough without having to worry about every word that flies out of our mouths, or finds its way from our heads, to our pens, to the paper, and don't even get me started on punctuation. What's with semi colons, anyway? Sounds like a mini disease that would interest a gastro enterologist. On the other hand, I guess it would be really tough if I had to deal with that mystical picture writing the Japanese have to conquer, right? So, I should just cowboy up and count my blessings.

As an author, words are my stock in trade, so I suppose I should be praising the little lettered creatures, but, in all honesty, they often snarl and bite, and all I want to do is get after them with a rolled up newspaper.

I feel better now that I've vented. Ahhh, deep cleansing breath.

I'd love to hear about your word peeves. Share them with me, and we can grumble together.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Who Has the Marshmallows?

The first word on a blank page is a scary proposition. It means you’re going to start writing down thoughts, feelings, and opinions, and those very personal thoughts, feelings, and opinions might be considered by the reading public to be rubbish. It’s taking a chance to make an idea concrete by writing it down—yep, scary. But I’ve decided to do it anyway. Not that I think I have anything earth shattering or profound to impart, but I do have a quirky sense of humor and some great stories from my childhood. Actually, I have some pretty funny stuff that happened just yesterday. I also have some very weird and wonderful friends and family members I can talk about, though I promise to change their names to protect their anonymity. Then again, if I compliment them in some way, I will be forthcoming with accurate identities.

I call my blog, Stories Around the Kamp Fire, because, one, I love a good story; two, I love the out of doors; and three, I love campfires (safely contained in a fire pit, of course). I have to state that emphatically, because I have a nephew who is a commander with the US Forest Service.

The reason I spell, camp fire—Kamp fire, is not to be cutsie, but to pay homage to my maiden name which is, Kamp. My crazy Danish Great Grandpa emigrated over the pond from Denmark in the late 1800’s, and changed his last name at Ellis Island from Kampf to Kamp. So, there you have it.

If you opt to join me around the Kamp fire every once in awhile; I’ll be delighted. I will make one tiny request. Please don’t be overly critical of my grammar and punctuation. I’ll do the best I can with knowledge stored from Mrs. Panatoni’s 5th grade English lessons, and the few creative writing classes I managed in college, but I’m only human. I do promise to proofread, and to take advantage of the wonders of modern technology in using spell checker, thus saving the English wonder kids from too much teeth gnashing. If something is glaringly unEnglish, point it out, and I’ll put in my notebook of self-improvement.

The first word of my maiden blog is down and the last word is fast approaching. Thanks for joining me on this storytelling adventure.

“And they lived happily ever after.”