Categories
memoir storytelling work

Today is National Ampersand Day

National Ampersand Day

TODAY IS NATIONAL AMPERSAND DAY

Today is National Ampersand Day.

Seriously?

The ampersand has a holiday?

Why would anyone want to celebrate this symbol?

It’s only used in writing.

No one ever says the word, “ampersand.”

It’s only supposed to be written in very specific circumstances.

How in the world do you celebrate?

Tacos?

Beer?

Tacos & beer?

It’s not grammatically correct to use the ampersand in this context…

But since it’s tacos & beer, who’s going to complain?

Categories
storytelling work

Proofread Before You Post

Proofread before you post

PROOFREAD BEFORE YOU POST

I don’t correct people’s grammar when I’m not teaching.

That’s obnoxious.

Especially on line.

It’s so easy to make typos.

And auto correct can be a jerk.

I make plenty of mistakes myself.

I try to overlook it when I see it online.

HOWEVER…

Today I read an entire conversation about a dessert tortoise.

The first post was about a pet dessert tortoise.

And all of the responses were about other people’s pet dessert tortoises.

Every single person in the thread spelled desert wrong.

In my mind, I pictured a slow-moving tortoise covered in whipped cream and chocolate syrup with a sprinkling of salmonella.

It’s a desert tortoise.

Not a dessert tortoise.

Proofread before you post.

Categories
storytelling work

It Could Be a Very Interesting Concept

It could be a very interesting concept

IT COULD BE A VERY INTERESTING CONCEPT

I’ve been binge-reading Baldacci thrillers.

I’ve been binge-watching True Detective on HBO.

I can’t help but notice the similarities between Rustin Cohle and Amos Decker.

They both suffered devastating losses.

They both suffered brain injuries.

They both are insufferably self absorbed.

And they are both trying to do the best they can with the rotten hand they’ve been dealt.

Now I want to see a crossover where Cohle and Decker work a case together.

Marty Hart and Melvin Mars would have to show up too, to keep them from killing each other.

It could be a very interesting concept.

Categories
lifestyle reading

Season One of True Detective

Season One of True Detective

SEASON ONE OF TRUE DETECTIVE

I just finished Season One of True Detective.

It wasn’t really a cop show.

It wasn’t really about a cold case.

It wasn’t really about what might have happened all those years ago.

That was just the vehicle to tell the story.

The real story was about sin and redemption.

And grief.

And enduring friendship.

I can’t wait to start Season Two.

Categories
humor lifestyle quarantine

Everyone is Talking About Tiger King

everyone is talking about tiger king

EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT TIGER KING

Everyone is talking about Tiger King.

So I started to watch it.

I immediately determined that I lack the proper level of Quarantine Desperation necessary for this show.

I have started a concurrent binge of Prodigal Son and True Detective.

These are both really good stories.

I’ll keep Tiger King on the back burner.

If The Husband and I can ever be bothered to have a Quarantine Fight, I’ll watch Tiger King with the volume way up high.

Just to annoy him

Categories
lifestyle speaking writing

A Solution for Writer’s Block

a solution for writer's block

A SOLUTION FOR WRITER’S BLOCK

It’s NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month.

The challenge is to write 1667 words a day.

Every single day.

For an entire month.

Many writers are complaining of writer’s block.

I have the perfect solution for that.

Join Toastmasters.

At Toastmasters, you will learn how to do impromptu speaking.

You can apply everything you learn about impromptu speaking to your writing.

Not every speech, and not every piece of writing, will be great.

But you can rework those less-than-perfect pieces into something better.

You can edit a rough first draft.

You can’t edit a blank screen.

Join Toastmasters to find a solution for writer’s block.

Categories
lifestyle writing

NaNoWriMo

nanowrimo

NANOWRIMO

Not only is November National Diabetes Awareness Month, It is also NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month.

The idea is to write 1667 words a day.

If you do that every day, you will have written 50,000 words by the end of November.

I’m not entering the official contest.

In the official contest you have to upload your manuscript to prove your word count.

I’m not that trusting.

I’ll do the writing.

I’ll do the word count.

But I’m not uploading my work…

Categories
lifestyle reading writing

Writing on an Unfamiliar Topic

writing on an unfamiliar topic

WRITING ON AN UNFAMILIAR TOPIC

Writers often ask if they can write on an unfamiliar topic.

“Do I have to limit myself to writing what I know?”

The answer is NO.

Writing is creative.

Stretch your mind and write on any topic you choose.

But be careful.

Your manuscript might get passed if your story doesn’t make sense.

I recently read a manuscript where the main character was a painter.

The author wrote about chiaroscuro.

But she clearly didn’t understand the notion of this artistic concept.

And she didn’t even spell it right.

I read another manuscript with Jewish characters.

But this author clearly didn’t understand Yiddish slang.

Words like “kvetch,” “schlock,” and “schmutz” were used completely out of context.

I started to binge-watch a popular Netflix series, but I had to quit.

The main character’s backstory is that he was a baseball phenom in high school.

However, there was a batting cage scene with the actor in a ridiculous batting stance.

A phenom should know how to position himself at the plate.

How in the world did this scene pass a technical edit?

I quit watching the show.

I quit watching that actor.

I’ll never get that goofy batting stance image out of my head.

The bottom line is that it’s OK to write about an unfamiliar topic.

But do your research.

Or your manuscript will get passed.

Or worse, it will get produced, and then it will become a laughingstock.

Categories
lifestyle reading writing

I Binge-Watched Fleabag

I binge-watched Fleabag

I BINGE-WATCHED FLEABAG

I binge-watched Fleabag on Amazon Prime.

It won a bunch of Emmys so I had to check it out.

Wow!

What a fabulous example of amazing script writing.

It’s gritty and off-color.

And very, very funny.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

I’ll just say that the fourth-wall element was incredible.

And it wrapped up beautifully with that wave at the end.

This story has a little bit of everything.

Comedy, grief, guilt, guinea pigs, love, acceptance, sin and redemption.

And some theft.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge not only starred in the series, she wrote it too.

Now I have to stalk her and check out all of her work.

Categories
humor reading writing

Who Proofreads This Stuff?

who proofreads this stuff

Who proofreads this stuff?

I read the following headline:

“Homicide Suspect Arrested from the Sheriff’s Department.”

This implies that the suspect worked in the Sheriff’s Department.

Which was not the case at all.

The suspect was arrested BY the Sheriff’s Department,

not FROM the Sheriff’s Department.

That’s a whole different kind of news story.

And a bit of a disappointing read.

Who proofreads this stuff?