- Dear Amazon: I appreciate the barrage of e-mail suggesting that I, as a lover of fantasy novels, should immediately purchase a copy of the 2013 novel The Seeker by, well, me. I remain hopeful that you are sending this same e-mail to the readers of fantasy novels who did not write The Seeker. Since that group of people is larger than the group who wrote the novel, it’s likely you’ll get a better ROI on your time and efforts.
Dear Spam Clowns: I continue to be amused, but only fleetingly, at your attempts to sound sincere and personable in comments suggesting I buy sex, drugs, rock and roll and real estate from you because you just used my recent post to help you get an “A” on your homework assignment in Miss Smith’s remedial English class at PS97 in Peoria. Your efforts, however, are in vain because the WordPress spam catcher catches 99.9% of everything that doesn’t look right. By the way, I think you’re going to end up repeating remedial English.
- Dear Scotland: I know you lads and lassies have a vote for independence coming up next year, so I hope you won’t take offense (or, for you, “offence”) when I suggest that your road crew might want to enroll in Miss Smith’s remedial English class to help you get the words right. I mention this because you have, for a second time recently, misspelled the word “school” to the great embarrassment of everyone in your fine country. Have you been corrupted by the English more than we all thought? If you had written “sgoil,” from the Gàidhlig, we might understand.
- Dear Various Professional Writing Coaches: Please be advised that I won’t be using or recommending your services when I find references in your advertisements for a fiction novel. There is no such thing. Saying that you will help me write a fiction novel sounds about as professional as telling surgeons you’re going to teach them how to use a cutting scalpel. You may want to call Miss Smith in Peoria for further details.
- Dear Robert Benchley: I trust you will not turn over in your grave when you get a letter at this late date. I wanted you to know that you were quite right when you said: “The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.” By the way, I loved your work with Bob and Bing in Road to Utopia.