Another thing that I find even more helpful than reading aloud is to put the writing to the side and to come back to it after some time -- fresh
Stan. Gone but not forgotten!
You may find that was the one and only Stan Miller.
Originally Posted by Lea Zalas
I don't wish to betray a confidence nor tell tales out of school but Stan has kinda disappeared from the writing scene, if any of you had or hadn't noticed.
His illness is Diabetes, and 10% of the population of the western world have this. Another 10% of the population of the western world have this and DON'T know it.
I believe Stan is specifically suffering from Retinitis from memory, and his eyesight is failing and quite rapidly at that. Retinitis is inflammation of the retina in the eye, according to Wiki!
He even asked me to 'not write him much' since to 'read it' he has to convert the font to 30+ and squint to struggle to read the words on the screen.
Maybe if you have Stan's email at hotmail, the occasional short email from old friends maybe appreciated. Don't flood him tho, he may kill me.
His version of this condition could see him blind by Christmas.
Stan put me onto Natural Reader too, to assist with hearing my work spoken. I suffer from the same insertion of words which aren't there. My reasoning or understanding is slightly different from others, me thinks. When I am writing, I get to the next scene and develop it as a video in my head, completely and fully. That then gives me temperature, ambiance, humidity, dust, smells, the whole nine yards or metres.
This also allows me to boast that i have already seen all my works up on the silver screen and man, don't they look very good!
So my reread can flip to the video and insert a lot of things I thort I put in there but didn't. The 'reader' is excellent for me picking up double words, missed words I thort were there, and as indicated above, pace, natural and unnatural pauses you think are different until someone/thing reads them to you as they are written.
I believe that Stan stumbled onto them and the great tool they can be when he was solving the problem of not seeing the screen, let alone the words, as he used to. I think we decided of the ones we tried that Natural Reader was the best option at the time. The danger, with technology, is that it marches forward, with or without you. The others we looked at many months ago and discarded could now be the market leaders, perhaps we all have a different taste in our mouths.
For those of you who know Stan a helluva better than I ever will, if you missed him, these few words may help to explain why he withdrew, probably without comment, from all his forum activities and duties.
Hopefully, with friends and readers he will still be able to 'write' after a fashion. I severely doubt he has lost his vision.
Thanks, Herman, for letting us know about Stan. I'm so sorry to hear about the destructiveness of his diabetes.
It's also good to see you again, Herman.
Thanks for the update, Herman (curious as to your REAL/other identity)
I'd wondered about Stan, as he was very informative when I first joined. His posts were rather sporadic then, (I'm thinking now that he was probably in the throws of battle) so I was not under the assumption that he was a frequent poster. Eventually, I realized that he had...moved on. Sorry to hear of his malady, but he certainly has a sharp mind...from what i've read in his posts.
Best of luck to him
Best of luck to you Stan Miller
Thanks again, Herman
The best excuse is always ... 'I have been writing'.
Originally Posted by Avonne Writer
That is not strictly true, of course, we all use that but it covers down time too when we prolly use the lie, 'thinking about the next bit' and 'it is not easy', things that family, friends and writing professionals understand is part of the process.
I also have rampant diabetes which is killing me slowly but surely. That is not my primary illness nor my primary medical problem. Pancreatitis is a very evil medical affliction. I happen to have the version that requires handfuls of narcs daily to manage my pain. I can go 'down' for a month or more at a time.
Thru advice, maybe Writers Digest, Stan used to forward to me, they said self promotion, blogs and social media should be used to self promote. This is generally in association with self publishing and/or POD. They are pushing those options very hard now. As well as eBook as you prolly know.
I made a website, to promote my work. It is not thort out, nor very professional and altho I can write thousands of words for it, I don't know which ones to use, that mainly holds me back.
But the real writing, that I continue and love with a passion.
I don't share as much these days since every crit is exactly as the very first one here, still in the archives. Poor to nil grammar skills. Now that I know that, I don't need to be beaten to death with it.
I will just get a pro editor, possibly from the publisher to knock it into shape. I haven't learnt grammar, I never will and I don't care.
I do respect others opinions, especially about grammar but I truly prefer to remain in the 'creative phase'. I will give away up to 50% of my cut to a good editor, I do consider it important, but I will stay in the creative phase and just keep writing quality stories others can polish to perfection.
There is my 'ever so humble' effort at starting a website to support my writing.
You will need to visit and read it to get the idea of what I did write, in character, to sort of explain what it is and why.
I have had a good response to its quirky nature. Perhaps you will endorse that or help me get it right in some manner.
Stan and I met on the forums, both in Covert Spec Ops and there don't seem to be a lot of us around. We write very differently and should never compete for readers, time will tell. It was Stan who has taken two of my books and edited them. What a helluva process.
We didn't half abuse each other liberally, prolly cementing our relationship. He gave up trying to educate me thru the middle of editing the first full book. That just came into being thru me posting the starting 1600 words. Apparently they did grab him and so the process simply grew from there.
The sad thing is that I can continue to write if I am fully blind, based on how I do my process. Stan can't, not easily. He relies on the latest gadgets and nick knacks and that requires a lot of reading, researching, and that is what is going to be the hardest for him. Still it is not impossible, with friends and support, NOTHING is a problem.
Stan did a lot of crits, here and at AW. He was sensitive, skilled, creative, patient and compassionate. He is also drawn to the most challenged, possibly why he latched onto me so quickly.
For those of you who do or did like Stan and his approach, I am sure he won't mind a brief email or two from you.
I just told him of my posting here, Font 32, BOLD. I just hope his eyes are not getting too bad, too quickly, but I am a realist, whatever it is, it is.
If only we all could show the compassion that Stan did to newbies, some posting those very first words they have ever written, potentially with no skill whatsoever. He had encouragement for all, no matter how bad they were.
From memory he lives in NC not far from an extensive National Park I think. Again, soon he won't be able to see the beauty he may have sort when buying that place. I guess none of know what is around the corner for any of us.
"Maybe if it were an audio message he could hear it, appreciarte it and then revisit it at some stage."
This just occurred to me.
Anyone, like me feeling a bit guilty about sending him words on a page that may accelerate his blindness, this may be a good and or better option. Of course, any of you who are putting a book down in voice for the blind may decide to send him a copy. It maybe hard to crit that way but don't be surprised if he does. He was just like that, if there was a way to improve your work, he would find a way.
Where there is a will, there is a way.
Some disabled people have done some incredible things.
A local man, losing both legs and ends of fingers to frost bit did then climb Everest. He had to be carried down, but a legless man has been to the top and back again.
Where there is a will, there is a way!
Stan, I recall your posts. They were outstanding! Truly.
We don't know each other. In spite of that, I wish you the very best of luck.
Damn, that wish is about as useless as anything could be.
Good to see you back. I'm sorry about your diabetes and pancreatic health issues.
You're in New Zealand, as I recall. I always wanted to visit there.
Post when you can, man.
Avonne and Lea,
You guys're lookin' good. (Lea, I still hold my notion from some time ago, your avatar doesn't equal your real photo.)
Naw, I ain't hitting on either of you. If I did that, I'd get red-faced, have to confess to Mrs. Cur that I had hit on a couple writers on WN.
She'd look a me over her glasses, you know, the way women do, then go back to her book.
She'd read a bit more. Look at me a second time. (If any young men are reading this, you DO NOT, EVER, want the love of your life to look at you over her glasses twice in one conversation.) You know, over her glasses, in that precise way men know they may be in deep shinola.
"Cur, don't worry. I doubt any woman on this planet would say so much as "hello" to you. Other than me, of course."
Mrs. Cur paused. "Here's the other thing. I still like your gravelly voice."
I felt good. Felt like a proper man.
Mrs. Cur stood. Kissed my cheek. "I'd leave you in a heartbeat for...
Herman, I plan on checking out your web page as soon as I quit outta WN. That was a very nice post, BTW.
Cur, now i'm blushing. Green, me thinks.