About Me

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A 40-ish publisher (editor, project manager, etc.), husband, and father of an even number of offspring, I grew up, or failed to, reading fantasy and sci-fi. I still enjoy reading, and now am trying to write. My favorite books include YA fantasy, manga, biography, and advice to authors. I'm also a former history major/grad student/high school teacher and assessment writer. Now I work for a school supplement publisher, specializing in high-low chapter books. I spend a lot of my time controlling reading levels. At night, I cut loose and use long words. W00t!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I am an editor who likes translated cartoons.

This is a form of self-torture. It's not only the translations that irk, but the ad copy as well.

Today I read this sentence as part of a series review on SF-based Crunchyroll (online licensee and distributor of Japanese anime):

Throughout the series he has sudden flashes of inspiration that take over his psyche at impromptu moments causing him to behave erratically. 
About a decade ago (okay, and counting, sheesh!), when I spent many happy hours grading undergraduate history papers at UCLA, I recognized this style of writing as pretense. (I was prepared, having practiced it earlier in life.)

The pretense is twofold: first, that the writer has something important to say, and therefore must use important words; and second, that the writer knows what the words mean.

I considered writing to Crunchyroll's newsletter editors about this. Taking time at work to find their email address yielded nothing useful, so I'll take a moment here to suggest the following:

  1. It is unusual for a "flash of inspiration" to be anything contrary to sudden. 
  2. If "psyche" stands for "mind," then "mind" is a better word. (A corollary: "Psyche" means "mind.")
  3. "Impromptu" and "inopportune" share many letters but not a lot of meaning. 
  4. This is the sort of writing that makes university teaching assistants think longingly about careers in sewer maintenance, but take the short cut of shredding students' hopes for graduating within four years.

On another note, I devoured Hilari Bell's Flame last weekend, and I've been contentedly rubbing my psyche's belly ever since. I think I'll write about it soon, and look for the sequels.

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