Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Breaking the Rules

One thing that anal-retentive people like me hate is when other people "break the rules."

It drives me crazy when I'm racing if some other sailor breaks one of the Racing Rules of Sailing and then smiles sweetly and offers some excuse as to why it's "really OK". I wrote about these evildoers at Top 10 Reasons For Not Doing a 720.

There are rules in blogging too. At least there are rules in my group writing projects like Less is More. Not terribly stringent rules. Just common-sense stuff like "write something new", "stick to the topic", and "submit it on time".

People try and break these rules all the time. It drives me nuts. Did I mention that I'm anal-retentive?

O Docker tried to break the rules for Less is More with some cock-and-bull story about how he had read my mind and thought of the topic before I did and so I should accept some random post he had written the day before I started the project even though it had nothing to do with Less is More. I put him in his place, I can tell you. At least he had the decency to submit a proper entry a few days later.

Then today I received this email. The writer (who asked me to review her book a few days ago) was even cheeky enough to admit her crime in the subject line of her email:

This is definitely against the rules

Hi Tillerman,

It's me again, the lady flogging the book. Well, I'm writing because, actually, I was wondering if I could enter your less is more writing project. I have an entry that is perfect for so many reasons:

1) It's a lone sailing story on a blog about relationships (less is more)
2) about how the only race my fanatical racer of a husband has ever won (less is more)
3) was in a non-flying-sails class (less is more)
4) with only one crew member aboard (less is more)
5) and that crew member was lil ole me (less is definitely more as it was my first race ever--except one Snipe race with my dad circa 1979).

Perfect, right? Well, the only problem is I wrote this perfect post back in July, long before less is more was even a glint in your eye. So I'm assuming I'm automatically disqualified since I'm not psychic like O docker--and you made him write a new one anyway.


I'm convinced that's my fate as well, but thought I'd try to play on your sympathies (two young children, very little childcare, we've all had the flu--no, not the flu, the plague!).

All in fun,

P.S. Here's the post:
Can you believe the bare-faced cheek of this person? Who does she think I am? Does she have no respect for rules? Doesn't she know I am anal-retentive?

It's clear she is just using this as another pretext to flog her book. She is seeking to ride the waves of my vast on-line readership to attract readers to her blog and hopefully to sell a few more copies of her book. Her article Love and Sailing: All About Time in the Boat is very charming, to be sure, but I don't see how it fits in with the theme Less is More (in spite of those feeble arguments in her email and her kids having the plague and all that crap) and it's certainly not new... so it's AGAINST THE RULES.

There is no way I'm going to fall for her ploy. I will not link to her article or her blog or her book, even though it does have a rather intriguing, if somewhat long, title The Motion of the Ocean: 1 Small Boat, 2 Average Lovers, and a Woman's Search for the Meaning of Wife and a cute YouTube trailer.

You can't fool me Ms Cawrse Esarey. Rules are rules. Did I mention that I'm anal-retentive?

In line with proposed new FTC rules I hereby disclose that Ms Cawrse Esarey has offered to send me a review copy of her book which of course I haven't read yet because it hasn't arrived yet and I may or may not keep it if it does arrive and this post should not be read as an endorsement of Ms Cawrse Esarey's book and even if it were the new FTC rules don't apply to December. Did I mention that I'm anal-retentive?


O Docker said...

Beware! This person is evil! She is an alien book promoter.

She flew down from Seattle last weekend in her spaceship. I was taken aboard, held hostage, and probed.

I was brainwashed and made to believe I had a thoroughly good time at her book reading. I was then forced to videotape the whole thing and, completely against my will, will be posting a video on my blog next week.

Run for your life!

Tillerman said...

I can't get past the name. I'm sure that JANNA CAWRSE ESAREY must be an anagram for something sinister.

Who can solve it first?

Greg and Kris said...

Such a principled man. It would be an inspiration!

EVK4 said...

anagrams for your reading pleasure.

Since I never wrote the review I promised her I would, the least I can do is point people to the useful wordsmith anagramming tool.

O Docker said...

Ignoring the 35,000 choices on Edward's anagramatron, I discovered this corroboration of my previous comment:


Janna Cawrse Esarey said...

ABOUT ANAGRAMS: Someone anagrammed an entire poem out of THE MOTION OF THE OCEAN and read it to introduce my book at a reading. I'd post it here for your reading pleasure except it's completely nonsensical.

ABOUT MY NAME ANAGRAMMED: That, on the other hand, makes complete sense, O Docker.

ABOUT MY REAL NAME: You might not get past it, T-man, but at least you can rhyme it with "banana, of course, yesiree."

ABOUT YOUR REAL NAMES ANAGRAMMED/RHYMED/SUBJECTED TO DERISION: Oh right. You guys don't even USE your real names. Talk about sinister.

AND, FINALLY, ABOUT ANAL-RETENTIVENESS: Nice job pasting all those finicky URLs, Tillerman, but you missed a comma and a period in that last sentence.


Carol Anne said...

Actually, I counted four missed commas, one of which, on a grammatical stretch, might have possibly been a period.

Tillerman said...

Geeze, you girls are so anal.

But you are wrong.

The last sentence in my post has only six words and is correctly ended with a question mark.

Tillerman said...

Janna rhymes with banana?

I hope you know that I'm English. I rhyme banana with garner.

Pat said...

In our own blogs, Desert Sea and Five O Clock Somewhere, we use invented names sometimes to refer to private individuals who might not want their real names used. It's a blog etiquette judgment call.

Even though I've sometimes made a living as a comma-chaser (tech writer), I generally avoid pointing out typos knowing that examples of my own careless goofs can be found in the blogsophere, and that too much comma chasing can be hazardous to blog friendships.

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