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Deeker's Message of the Week

April 13, 2003

A Time to Rant

You know, there comes a time when a person just needs to rant, get some things off his chest and just let it all out-- some free-floating hostility as George Carlin describes it. Before I get to what I need to address, I want to state that when I began writing these Messages of the Week about a year ago I had no intentions to turn it into my own personal bitch session, but dammit, there are some matters I can no longer hold back on any longer. With no further ado, here's what's been pissing me off this past week:

Rant #1: Diaper Boy drawing requests and Hotmail accounts

Many of the Diaper Boy Drawing requests I receive come from people who list a Hotmail account for me to send them the drawings. Hotmail's limit of one megabyte for attachments sucks some serious ass in this department (among others). Most of the drawing sets are under one megabyte, so this isn't really the issue. The issue is that Hotmail only allows a total of two megabytes of storage space. Inevitably, it seems that after sending a few sets I'll get a bounced email telling me that the user's storage allocation has been exceeded. Okay, whatever. So I send the person a short message to let him know that I can not send any more sets because of this limitation. Sure as shit enough, this message then bounces back. Christ! At this point this person is just plain shit out of luck. I've done all I can do. At least since I use Mailwasher now I don't have to download the whole goddamn bounced email (attachments and all) each time something comes back to me, but it still pisses me off to see this happen with reasonable predictability.

It's gotten to where I really detest seeing requests come to me which are to be sent to Hotmail accounts. I have seriously considered refusing to send drawing sets to anyone who furnishes a Hotmail address because I know damn well that I will likely be wasting my precious time with them. If any of these people are wondering why I stopped sending them drawings, this is why.

A review of the addresses which have been filed as failures shows that fully half of the failures come from Hotmail addresses (12 out of 24 failures filed so far). Not to pick on Hotmail, Yahoo addresses are also bad for being too limited for me to rely on for fulfilling drawings requests (5 out of the 24).

To be fair I should note that out of 41 completely fulfilled requests 8 of them have been to Hotmail accounts. I realize that it would not be fair to exclude people who rely on Hotmail for anonymity or because it is the only account they can use without someone (e.g. parents) finding out. Therefore, I won't start excluding those of you who use Hotmail or Yahoo. I think the problem stems from the fact that these people are not checking their email daily and downloading the files and clearing them out of the inbox in a timely manner. I know I can't expect everyone to check his email daily, but perhaps if you submit a requests for drawings and list a Hotmail address you should check at least once a day if possible.

Perhaps the worst offender of all isn't the user's fault. I know that Hotmail accounts are spam magnets (I usually have about 10 to 20 spams in my Yobrepaid account that I have to clear out each day). Add to this the Klez virus that takes up at least 100K every time it lands in someone's mail.

I guess my point to this rant is that if you use Hotmail and want me to send you drawings, fine, but just be aware of the limitations and be sure to check your email daily, if possible, and keep the inbox from filling up so that I can continue to send drawing sets. Incidentally, I changed some options on the drawings request form to allow for less frequent emailing of drawing sets.

If any of you have submitted a request for drawings and have not received all of them please submit a new request and indicate which sets you are still wanting to receive.

Rant #2: Poorly written stories

Just this week alone I found that three of the stories I received were very poorly written and each of them required extensive effort for me to make dozens of corrections. This isn't unusual, unfortunately, as nearly every week I find myself having to plod through countless annoying mistakes in order to make any sense of the story. Having to do this takes extra time and it really diminishes my enjoyment of reading these stories. If I were an English teacher and I had to look at students' papers riddled with so many errors as I see in some story submissions, I'd just mark a big, fat red F across the middle of the top page while using the biggest marker I could find, and then hand it back to the student.

Before anyone thinks I am being overly pedantic, I certainly do not expect perfection and I understand that a few errors may creep into a story. I know my own stories may not be perfect in the eyes of a publisher or an editor, but I still think I do well enough to demonstrate that I am educated and that I write intelligently. I like to show that I care about what I write and I try to adhere to basic writing standards.

Still, the problems I am seeing in so many of the stories are absolutely inexcusable. The most common errors I see are the following:

Many of the words I see misspelled are common, everyday words that most of us use all the time. These are words we should have learned how to spell back in the third grade, if not earlier. Most of the people who submit stories are old enough to be past this point in their education, yet their writing seems to indicate otherwise. Every time I put one of these stories into Word the screen is full of squiggly red underlines waiting for me to give them all the necessary attention to be corrected.
There are few things I find more irritating than having to figure out where one sentence ends and the next one begins, because the writer did not take the time to place periods at the end of his sentences. It is very difficult to read a passage and correctly parse the correct meaning of the writing when, by the omission of simple punctuation, the meaning of the sentence is misunderstood.

When a character is speaking, his or her words must be enclosed in quotation marks. Again, when quotation marks are not used it becomes difficult to determine when the character begins speaking and where his or her speech ends. Also, while I am on this portion of my rant, a quotation mark is a ", not a ' . Only use a ' character when a quote occurs within another quote. Also, it's important to make it clear who is doing the speaking. So often I get a story in which there is no indication when the speech has shifted to another character.

Another common problem I see is where commas are used in place of periods. This is fairly easy to correct, but it's still irritating, nonetheless.

I've also grown tired of seeing people end every sentence with an ellipsis (...). Ellipses should only be used sparingly and only when appropriate; they are not a substitute for periods. An ellipsis is usually used to either indicate an omission in a quote, or to implicitly indicate that a passage continues beyond what was actually written.

When a noun is plural IT DOES NOT REQUIRE AN APOSTROPHE! Likewise, when a noun is expressed in the possessive, an apostrophe is needed. There are other rules about single possessive versus plural possessive, what to do when the single noun or the person's name ends with an s, etc., but I don't have the time or the patience right now to give a detailed lesson. Oh, and while I am on apostrophes, remember to use them in contractions (e.g. don't, can't, wouldn't, what's, etc.)

First and foremost, the biggest and most off-pissing capitalization error I see is when "I", as in making a first-person reference to oneself, is not capitalized. Come on, wasn't this covered in the first grade?

I also learned very early on that the first word of a sentence is always capitalized. I don't know why so many writers neglect to observe this simple rule of writing. This problem is often compounded by the people who don't bother to use periods to separate their sentences.

Proper names are always capitalized (unless you're k.d. lang or e.e. cummings). Again, this isn't one of those obscure rules of writing only known by the most pedantic of writers. It's one of the fundamental basics of writing and there's no reason for people not to follow this simple convention.

At the other end of the spectrum of capitalization error makers are people who capitalize words which don't require it. There is no need to capitalize numbers which are spelled out, for example, nor is it necessary to capitalize the time when it is written out. Most common nouns not occurring at the beginning of a sentence do not require capitalization, but yet I see people do this all the time.

These are words which sound alike but are different. Misuse of you're/your is all too common, as is the confusion among there, they're and their. How hard it is to keep these words straight, really?
Miscellaneous Errors
Many stories I receive have no paragraph breaks whatsoever! It's all one big, long block of text. Paragraph breaks give the reader some sense of where the general content of the writing shifts to a different idea being expressed. Paragraph breaks are also used to offset the beginning of a quote by a person speaking. These breaks indicate where a different speaker begins or resumes his/her speech. I can't really summarize all the rules applying to paragraph breaks, but I just want people to understand their purpose and their importance in writing.

A space should follow every comma, period, question mark, exclamation point, and closing quotation mark. Not doing so causes more spelling errors to appear than there really are. A quick find/replace fixes this, but I shouldn't have to do this in the first place.

Don't abuse the word well! So many times I see a story where every other sentence begins with "Well, ..." I usually strip these out of a story completely unless they are properly used and in a sparing quantity. Removing them does not change the context of the story.

A story that starts out in first person and then shifts to third person is a real joy to edit. Few tasks are quite as excruciating as having to change every "he" to "I", every "him" to "me", and so on. Equally as annoying are stories which do not maintain a consistent verb tense. Most stories are written in past tense, but somewhere along the way a story may suddenly shift to present tense. It's things like this that make me wonder how it is that I don't drink.

I know I can list more common errors I must endure and consequently suffer from the resulting anguish, but right now my head feels like it's going to explode out of sheer frustration overload.

Because of all of these and other problems I didn't take time to list, I don't know who is to blame for seeing such poor writing on a widespread scale. I can only theorize that at least one or more of the reasons could explain it:

In spite of all the frustration and aggravation I sometimes must tolerate to put stories from other people on this site, I do it because I'm a nice guy and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or make anyone feel that his story itself isn't worth posting because of how it is written, however poorly it may be. As long as I feel the ideas expressed in the story are worthy of inclusion on this site I will post them after going to the sometimes painstaking effort to improve their readability. I never criticize authors individually and I don't want anyone to fear that I will come down on him for submitting a story that is not well-written. I just ask that those of you who may recognize yourselves as one of these writers to take some time and consideration to make your submissions easier for me to read and so that I can enjoy them along with everyone else.

I doubt any of this will encourage people to improve their writing skills and take the time to deliver something that is easy to read and understand. I just hope it makes people aware that I don't just dismiss these problems without giving them any thought.

Rant #3: Stories that are just too damn short to post

I have recommended that a story should be at least 4K in length, about two printed pages. I have been quite lax about this and have allowed shorter submissions to pass as stories. Still, some "stories" that I get are hardly more than a paragraph containing four or five sentences. I realize that for many of you, you want to write about your true diaper experiences but you don't have much to say without embellishing it with information that may not be true. Don't be afraid to include details such as the kind of diapers you wear/wore. who changed your diapers, how you felt when diaper changes were taking place, what you and other people said during the diaper change, etc. There are lots of details that can be used which will help make a story containing only a couple of paragraphs into a written work of sufficient length. Some of you may regard this as padding the story, but as long as the content relates to diapers and is not repetitious or redundant, I say, go ahead and do it.

As for fictional stories, the sky's the limit since you are free to include as much information as you want since it doesn't have to be true. Also, a story part or chapter should be longer than just a few sentences. If you are updating a story in progress and submit new material for the story please make it worthwhile for other readers. In other words, don't just submit one or two paragraphs at a time and then call it an update.

Rant #4: Stories and other submissions which do not meet the guidelines of this site

By now it should be abundantly clear to anyone who has visited this site that it is strictly devoted to boys who wear diapers. I have been steadfastly rigid with enforcing this stipulation for all submitted materials.

Still, some people try to send me stories about girls wearing diapers. I've also been getting diaper sighting reports with girls. Even some of the survey responses have come from girls (Sister survey responses excluded since, of course I expect these to come from girls who presumably and preferably do not wear diapers). I know there are people out there who disagree with my site's restrictions in that I only accept materials about boys in diapers on this site, and I know there are people who even hate me because of this (and fuck them if they do!), but the fact is, I am simply NOT INTERESTED in girls wearing diapers and I never will be. Therefore, I will not post anything in which the primary focus is on a girl who wears diapers. I know that some stories make a passing mention of such girls or some surveys will briefly acknowledge this. In cases such as this I will sometimes let them pass, however grudgingly I may feel about them. Some people may feel that by allowing girl stories that this will open up a greater variety of stories. Such a story would stick out like the opposable digit of a clumsy carpenter whose aim with his hammer is poor (okay, that was a stretch). It would be like suddenly hearing a Garth Brooks song on a heavy metal radio station.

I have stated it before and I will state it again. My limitation to content with only boys in diapers on this site is not to say that I do not recognize the fact that some girls also wear diapers. I'm just not interested in them.

While being a natural-born girl who wears diapers is one thing, to be a boy who acts like or is treated like a girl for wearing diapers is another matter altogether and is one that I personally have a very difficult time with accepting. I know there are people who are like this, and I have received a few stories and survey responses which are indicative of this gender aberration (all of which are certainly rejected for this site). I will spare readers of having to read my personal diatribe regarding my feelings on feminizing boys who wear diapers, and instead I will just leave it at asking that those of you who wish to submit stories or participate in surveys which are indicative of such behavior, to save yourselves the time and trouble of doing so for they will be deleted as soon as they are determined to be not acceptable for this site.

1000 Survey Responses- At Last!

The milestone for the 1000th survey response has finally been attained. The honor goes to Sean for submitting the 1000th response. Thanks to everyone who also participated. As always, keep 'em coming!

Top Ten Story Downloads for Week of 04/06/03 to 04/12/03

1The Package Arrives Contributed Stories1666
2Brody Contributed Stories1651
3Mike's Story Contributed Stories1633
4Once A Diaper Boy, Always A Diaper Boy Contributed Stories1545
5Close Encounters Contributed Stories1447
6Mrs. Aspic's Magic Plastic Pants Contributed Stories1390
7Ricky True Accounts1257
8C True Accounts1222
9Dannydoo True Accounts1108
10Kidnapping, Diapers and Videotape Contributed Stories835

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Stay happily and thickly diapered!

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