Friday, June 16, 2006

New punctuation mark needed--the frisson ~

In my writers' critique group last night, they read where my heroine Maggie saw the murder and jumped into another cab. They liked the tension of the story and the funny second cab driver, but they also stressed that I use too many punctuation marks!

Well, the woman is overwrought, having just seen a murder! No, just a body, actually~

And this morning, I decided we need another punctuation mark~ And that's it. You just saw it. The "tilde" in Spanish, the "similar to" in math.

Because, doesn't it even just look like a little "whoo~"

Not quite a shout, (or the mental equivalent thereof, Browne & King in Self-Editing for Fiction Writers ) but more emotion than a period indicates, just a little frisson of enthusiasm~

And that's it~ I'm adopting the tilde and calling it the frisson! That is, the frisson~

A lot of us live relatively quiet lives and don't often see bodies in cemeteries, but I have a feeling that in some of these life-or-death situations we write about, if we were facing them in real life and someone quoted us, they would find a period inadequate. I suspect they would use exclamation points in our quotes more than we do in our fiction.

There are cases when a period is too blah and an exclamation point too strong. And without the right kind of punctuation, a sentence's words could be misconstrued and understated.

Words are not always enough. Context is not always enough. That's why we have punctuation. Even so, who hasn't had their email or note misunderstood in some way?

So, here's to a new punctuation mark, the frisson~

Works for me~ : ) What do you think?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Are Christians losing sense...

...of hearing?

My heroine, Maggie, often turned a deaf ear to the counsel of others . When her husband told her, "Get into a playpen with serpents, sooner or later, you get bitten," she did and she did. She dabbled in the occult and paid a terrible price before she was restored to her fun-loving self, to love, and to God.

But she chose not to hear.

I'm talking about going to church and not even knowing our hearing is damaged until it's too late.

"Just 15 minutes of exposure to high-decibel music can cause permanent hearing loss. That's right. Permanent. Research indicates that 30% of rock musicians have a measurable hearing loss. Classical musicians fare even worse - with up to 52% experiencing hearing impairment. That means that members of your praise band, your harpist, your worshippers and your sound crew are all at risk. The good news? Hearing loss can be prevented. "

I love exuberant praise and worship as much as anybody, and have for years. But the volume of the music in churches is causing hearing loss and people do not even realize it!

65 decibels is the level of normal conversation.

85 decibels is the level of permanent damage to the fine, tiny "hair cells" by which we hear!

100-120 db is a typical concert and some church services and rallies.

Too many churches have that one glaring--or should I say blaring fault.

I suggest that (half-deaf!?) sound engineers and leadership not depend on the meters entirely, but also walk around the service and listen. If it's so loud you must shout over the music, painfully loud or causing ears to ring, it's causing permanent damage. It's certainly not fellowship, either.

Plus, when you're invited forward for prayer for your needs and you can barely share your needs or hear the prayers over the music, that is not music. That is ridiculous!

I would urge anyone with influence in church to beg pastors to keep the decibels below the permanent damage level of 85!!!

Click here and read some of these articles if you doubt this is a major problem.

"Make a joyful noise," the Lord said. He didn't say to make a harmful one. Who wants to go to church to worship the Lord and unaware, go out with damage to one of the five senses with which He blessed us!

Do ya hear what I'm saying? : )

Has your church's music ever hurt your ears? Have you ever wished they'd just turn it down? Comments?