a couple of weeks ago, in a flurry of posts and comments after kramer's n-word meltdown, i was contacted by h. lewis smith, author of "bury that sucka", a book that advocates that the black community stop using the word. i ordered a copy of the book, and provided the link where the book could be purchased. well, right after this that link is coming down. word of advice to mr. smith and anyone else who is contemplating self-publication: GET YOURSELF AN EDITOR. i couldn't even make it through the introduction. the few -- very few -- sentences that aren't littered with both spelling and grammatical errors (let's not even talk about the punctuation), don't even make sense in the english language. for example: "In the pursuit of this endeavor, other doors are swung wide open interrelated to the vicissitudinous racial friction encompassing life in America." huh? okay, let me bypass a few more convoluted, even tortured, sentences and move on to a few selected fragments that would have been redlined in even a third-grade class: "Apologizes are made in advance to you, the reader" (well, at least he understands that apologies are in order!) "the proceeding chapters reveals" "The endearingly usage and acceptance" "consideration is giving as to" "the earth isn't flat but in -- actually -- is basically round" i've got a couple of problems with that aside from the elementary grammatical one. the earth is "basically" round? not really round? just basically, or sort of, or possibly? and, finally: "Then, there are times we reach a fork in the road of having to accept true reality and since old habits die a hard, slow agonizing death; we eventually but grudgingly give in to it." well, that was my fork in the road, all right: i just don't have the time to try to make it through such a hard, slow, agonizing morass of writing, however well-intentioned (or even correct -- there's really no way to tell from the language) its author might be. i'm no stickler for the generally accepted rules and regulations of writing. some of my favorite writers, such as carole maso, regularly disregard them. (in fact, maso has written a wonderful book about writing called "break every rule".) but you have to know the rules before you get the creative license to break them, and if you're trying to convey a point you're pretty much obligated to make it in a way that doesn't leave your readers with their eyes crossed. i have nothing against self-publishing (this book was produced by Publish America; click the blog title link to find out a little bit about their reputation). POD and/or vanity presses, as they used to be called, have their place, and with the economics and politics of the publishing world being what they are, many fine books would never see the light of day without these types of resources. but you have to "come real or don't come at all" as they say in the boroughs. h. lewis smith would have done much better not to have come at all, or at least to have found a reasonably skilled writer to hold his hand part of the way.this blog was committed by jackie sheeler www.shoutedword.com