Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25

Here is a picture of one of the gladiolas I planted in my garden this year. Isn't it lovely? I thought in this heat wave we should have a picture of some good things about summer.
We got rain this weekend in the evenings and I think the plants will begin to perk up a bit. I have two tomatoes that are almost ripe. I jumped the gun and picked them early because I was afraid, the heat, bugs or rot would get them first.
Jumping the gun is when a racer takes off before the starting gun sounds. I am thinking since I have an international and NY readership, perhaps I should explain myself. My NY editors rarely understand what these "isms" mean. My latest battle was with a heroine whose friends "would give their eye teeth to have one of those designer coats." I thought this was a very common saying everyone knew meant that they are jealous and would do almost anything for the coat. But my editor and her assistant didn't "get it." It sounds yucky, they said. Do you mean they'd really pull their teeth?- eww. Sigh. No, I explained it's a common saying for "They would do anything." This was not good enough. I had to completely take the sentence out before they would move on. This is not the first time this has happened. Several of my books have had "isms" fixed. I can't remember exactly which ones at present, but I am always shocked by the editorial lack of understanding. I try hard to remove "isms" but I think at the same time they do add flavor to the story. What is your favorite "ism?"


  1. The flowers are beeeeuuuutiful!

    Hmmm...ism...hotter than the Fourth of July?

  2. Beautiful flower! And I totally understand on the edits thing. I'm working on editing a story right now and have to keep reminding myself, "This editor is from the New England area. Maybe they don't say it that way in NE." Sigh. It still makes you want to pull your hair out over each nit-picky phrase that needs changed. But it's all for the good the story, right?

    To conclude, there will be no more "surprising the snot out of" anyone in my future manuscripts!!

  3. Great picture,lovely gladiolas.

    In this case, I agree with your editor(s) that particular ism is yucky----that's probably more to the fact I have dental-phobia than any dislike of idioms.
    Idioms that always come to mind: "Drastic times call for drastic measures", "everything but the kitchen sink," and "head over heals".

  4. I too am surprised that your editors didn't understand the 'eye teeth' ism. I'm not a fan of isms and I know you asked us for the ones we liked but the one that I hate the most and certainly adds nothing to anything is 'At the end of the day' *shudder*

  5. LOL. I remember one author stating their book, set in the south, had the main character living in a double-wide, and his editor wanted to know "A double-wide what?"

  6. LOL~ These are great responses. Thanks everyone.

    I like all your "isms" - It does make sense not to get too regional in our writing as we want a world stage for our work. But some are so much fun.

    I'm going to make a list- starting with what my editors ask me to change and what you all suggested. Perhaps we can keep that list around like the over-use words list to check from time to time as we edit.