On Writing

How Do You Use a Semicolon?

14 Oct , 2018  

I will never understand the hatred of the semicolon. It is a useful and correct punctuation mark, if ever there was one. It has saved me, many times, from being run over by a run-on sentence. A run-on sentence is like the grafting of a lemon tree and a lime, using nothing but a bit […]

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On Writing, Op-Ed

I Wasn’t Offended; You Were Being a Jerk

11 Sep , 2018  

The same folks who decry “political correctness” and clamor for the right to be rude and aggressively offensive are the same ones who whine whenever someone finds them…offensive.

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Fisher Body Plant #21 - Detroit, MI

On Writing, Visual Perspectives

Art & a Sense of Humor #WATWB

3 Sep , 2018  

The biggest threat to creativity isn’t rejection from publishers, readers, or art critics.

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Keyboard in Purple

On Writing

Spun Up

1 Mar , 2018  

I read a student essay, recently, that I would swear was written by someone for whom English was a second (or distant third) language. The conspicuous overuse of a thesaurus was one red flag.  The more I thought about it, the more certain I was that it was written on Fiverr and spun through an […]

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On Writing

Weird Words Make for Weird Spellings

24 Feb , 2018  

Is it jif, as in JIF brand peanut butter? Or gif, as in gift? Seems a strange thing for a giraffe to quibble over, especially if the inventor calls it jif. Weird words lead to weird arguments. Does the parent get to name the baby, or must he follow linguistic conventions? To say gif seems […]

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On Writing

Weirdly Competitive

19 Feb , 2018  

I am weirdly competitive. I thought it was just me, but my friend Allie mentioned being “highly competitive when it doesn’t count” and I just burst out laughing. Now I find that my friend Mitch has a little streak of it; he rose to the challenge of writing a whole blog post without commas.  Just […]

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On Writing

Countdown to NaNoWriMo!

31 Oct , 2017  

Some of you have already started writing, but for those of us in the United States – where NaNoWriMo got its “Na” – we’re still a good 45 minutes to launch. Getting excited? For me, it’s tradition to stay up till midnight an write, at the very least, “In the beginning…” More can wait until […]

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On Writing

Should I Blog the Novel-in-Progress? #NaNoWriMo #WriteBravely

22 Oct , 2017  

There are good reasons to blog the novel during #NaNoWriMo, and there are excellent reasons not to. It’s entirely up to you, but you need to consider a few things before you commit to a decision: Copyright, Commitment, and Willingness to Fail.

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Plot Dragons

On Writing

Here, There Be Dragons – Plot Dragons!

14 Oct , 2017  

My fellow Write Triber, Vinodini Iyer wrote, in a comment on my Plot Bunnies, Ninjas, and Tales of Derring-Do, “My plot bunnies sometimes start dragging a bit and I need to turn them into plot dragons to make worth a read.” Naturally, my plot dragons wanted to meet her plot dragons! Forever Friends My first plot dragon […]

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On Writing

Plot Bunnies, Ninjas, and Tales of Derring-Do

10 Oct , 2017  

Have I convinced you to throw yourself into the fray? To sharpen the nib on your fountain pen, dip it into the purple ink, and write perspicacious prose in that delightfully madcap literary adventure known as NaNoWriMo? I hope so! Now, if you’re already addicted to writing, you know the drill. But if you’re still […]

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On Writing

NaNoWriMo Math

6 Oct , 2017  

I remember thinking I’d never be able to break the 6,000 word barrier, let alone write 50,000 words during my first NaNoWriMo. I had something to prove, that first year – to myself. “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something—anything—down on paper. What I’ve learned […]

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On Writing

On Writing

October, or “NaNoWriMo Prep Month”

3 Oct , 2017  

Some of us don’t like to color inside the lines, and November isn’t the time to start. At its core, National Novel Writing Month, or “NaNoWriMo,” is about writing fast enough to drown out the sound of the inner critic in the frantic clacking of fingernails on a keyboard. 50,000 words in 30 days, or […]

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On Writing

On Writing

Struggling to Find the Writer’s Voice

23 Sep , 2017  

Struggling to “find your voice“ as a writer? How can it be that you’ve lost it? It’s like looking for the car keys clutched in your hand. What IS Voice? It’s helpful to define what “voice” is and what it isn’t. Jon Jorgenson wrote, “The artistic voice is a longing to create what does not yet exist, […]

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