Nope, me neither. I am making a start on the usage but like everything going into my brain it has to go through the ratification process whereby everything is presented to the requisite committee, triplicated, annotated and verified, augmented if necessary, then assessed, checked and finally processed but…only if the requisite protocols have been followed in the correct order at the correct time and with a precise and preordained amount of gravity. The slightest digression from the agreed order and the whole process must start again.
Clearly this puts constraints on the amount of new information that can be taken on board at any one time.
Take mathematics: it appears that no matter how many times the numbers are presented there is inevitably something missed out in the process that say, a picture, or a scent, perhaps a birdsong, would skirt around or perhaps charm the assessment committee members. Obviously numbers are a very serious subject so entry into the filing system needs to be extremely precise, no room for mistakes with numbers. Regimented little pedantic fucktools that they are.
English has a little leeway I find. There are rules to be adhered to but like so many of the more artistic fields, rules can be manipulated and ordered to suit the user so long as the original is understood and not completely disregarded. Obviously possessive apostrophes do not belong to the more easily challenged rules so they have remained somewhere at the back of the queue for processing and consequently every time they step up to the committee their lack of proper composure sends them back out to the reassessment department.
After publishing two books in the last six months (KAYA and The Lily Pond) I’ve had the most recent (His Own Downfall) proofread by the rather wonderful Hache L Jones so at least I have it as a guide but now I’m on my own with my latest novel.
‘The Act’ will be my first properly, fully apostrophised novel to be published. There may be the odd fuck up, there always seems to be a word, a full stop or comma misplaced but the odd thing is forgiveable, we are human.
What is it ~ ‘to err is human’ ~ (pretentious twat!)
But there is a little truth in it. I can live with minor mistakes so long as the bulk is correct.
I’m in the middle of a learning process.
Apostrophes and tenses at the moment.
I seem to have my grammar pretty much sorted now. Any minute now I’m going to be like a proper grown up, a proper author. I’m a bit worried I might get bored but there’s always the vocabulary to add to and metaphors to play with. Who doesn’t love a good metaphor? Personally I reckon a metaphor is the key, the access point to the lock that secures the mystery of the storytelling process, without them it would be like trying to get ducks to swim in cement, sausages to fry in sand, coffee to dissolve in ice. What’s a metaphor? For metering stuff dumbo!