Monday, June 14, 2010

To answer a few MORE questions: A Rant

A lot of people ask what the J stands for in J. Travis Grundon.

The J has nothing to do Forrest J Ackerman, though I did consider dropping the period after my J in tribute to him. I’ve since decided to stay the way I’ve already been published. With my work straying away from horror and Sci Fi the nod to Uncle Forry would be lost on my target audience.

Some people thought the J was “uncanny syllabic coincidence” with J. Elvis Weinstein, but I hadn’t even heard of the man until the name thing was pointed out. If anyone gets credit for putting the idea in my head, it isn’t a writer; it would be artist J. Scott Campbell. I had been a fan of Campbell’s comics for a long time and when I decided not to write as just Travis, J. Travis Grundon just popped in there…like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man.*

So, what does the J stand for? It stands for John.

I have gone by Travis my whole life since my dad is named John it was less confusing. When I started writing I kept the J in my name, because many of my professors knew me as John. I knew my last name was not common, but I wanted everyone to know I was the same person. J. Travis Grundon also had, and still has, a good sound to it.

The next question I want to tackle is: Why is the 5 year old wearing a diaper in my Anthology of the Living Dead story Committed.

I have even been told that this is something that has pulled a reader completely out of the story.

I can understand how it would be had for some parents to wrap their head around, if their child mastered potty training, but not every kid gets it as fast as others. Some kids take to walking, talking, counting and other thing much easier. Many parenting books and magazine say it is natural and that most children who have problems potty training learn mental things faster than what is going on with their body.

The child that knows that they are wearing a diaper will keep playing and not feel the need to get up from playing to try to use the potty. It’s actually smart. Why get up to use the bathroom if you don’t have to. I know a lot of people who would love to just as soon mess their pants than have to find a bathroom and stop what they are doing.

I didn’t think the age of the child through very well. I just went with the age my daughter was when I wrote the story. I know she’ll love me sharing, but she was a late potty trainee, but she had it by five. She is also quick as a whip, with wicked smarts and talent to charm to beat the band!

Speaking of smart…I have a problem with people who continue to degenerate the English language with “text talk.” Allow me to rant about it.

It’s called “text talk” because it makes texting easier. It is not designed or even cool when used in a REAL conversation. We are grown ups, I hope. Let’s use our big boy and girl words. I mean, we didn’t spend all of the time in grammar/ grade school to stifle our words by turning them into cute little acronyms, which not everyone understands.

If you are one of the fortunate few people on Earth who has no idea what I’m talking about, lucky you!

What I’m referring to is crap like LOL, OMG, OMFG, BRB, WTF, BFF, ROTFLMAO, BF, GF, YMCA and M&Ms. OK, I just threw those last two in, and I don’t claim to be a master of language, but I think we are doing a major disservice to ourselves and our kids if we keep this valley girl, baby talk, bullshit up.

The same could be said for my potty mouth and the use of curse words. It has been said, and I agree, that people who use dirty words are not smart enough to express themselves in an intellectual way. The catch to that IS that there is no such thing as a “dirty word” or a “bad word.” The only thing that gives words any stigma is the intent of the person speaking them.

With all of that said, if I use a “bad word” the intent is very clear. If something makes me mad or excited enough to pull out the Book of DILLIGAF*, I’m not trying to sound intelligent. Sometime we need to forget ourselves and let it go, but it’s the every day, every word nonsense that makes us seem uneducated.

More “Text talk” slag. There is so much of this virus that it has its own dictionary. What is next?

End rant.

That’s all, for now.

- Travis

* Do I Look Like I Give A F@%#

*If you don’t get this, or find it funny, it’s time to watch Ghostbusters again.