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Showing posts from November, 2012

Funny Girl

When someone compliments me on a peculiarity, I don’t know how to respond.  I suddenly become self-conscious and my mannerism becomes an affectation. Someone will compliment my laugh.  They’ll used words like sexy, bawdy, and brazen (Really? Oh, go on!), and vanity takes over.  My sexy becomes a snort, my bawdy chuckle a toothy bray, and my brazen come-on morphs into something creepy and unintentional. I am no better off when someone calls attention to the way I walk.  I’ve been told I have a self-assured gait, a sensuous samba, and a feminine air when I move. (Well, goodness me!) This usually goes straight to my already inflated ego, and I lose all semblance of “graceful” and “alluring.” I gambol ostrich-like, all hips and haunches.  I mince, teetering and stumbling like my shoes pinch, and worse yet, I amble side to side like a mama ape foraging in the jungle. None of my peculiarities are intentional, honest.  They are just a product of who I am, so when someone asks me to be funny,…

The Five Best Books on the Craft of Writing for 2012

Since there is a big difference between writing a story and crafting a story, I purchased several books on the subject in 2012, but these were the five I kept near me when I wrote. I refer to them often and wanted to share them with you.

The Art of Styling Sentences, 4th Edition, by Ann Longknife, Ph.D., and K. D. Sullivan. This is a sophisticated workbook for writers who want to master the twenty basic sentence patterns (and the punctuation that accomplishes each). I can write a sentence well, but I wanted to improve my knowledge on craft. 

A Dash of Style: the Art and Mastery of Punctuation by Noah Lukeman. This book dedicates individual chapters on the many varied ways to use: the period, the comma, the semicolon, the colon, the dash, the parentheses, quotation marks, the question mark, the exclamation mark, the use of italics, ellipsis, and the hyphen.  Not only is it a great reference, but it offers some new creative approaches.

Toxic Feedback:  Helping Writers Survive and Thrive b…

Grandma’s Dining Table

Twenty five years ago my first husband and I bought a new home with four bedrooms and three baths, but my favorite part of the house was the enormous room you walked into from the front door. It had no dividing wall but the design was to use half of it as a formal living and the other half as a formal dining. From the beginning I decided to make it into one huge dining room that would catch the eye when everyone walked in through the front door of my home.   My three children were very young, but I envisioned them grown and married. We counted five at the time, but one day we would grow to eight, maybe more if we factored in grandchildren, so I bought a table that sat a family of twelve.  My husband thought it silly to look that far ahead and convinced me to buy only ten chairs. The room looked magnificent – the long, majestic table, the ten chairs, the buffet, a couple of real ficus, and a few other nice pieces of furniture – I was pleased. The table lasted longer than the marriage, a…

Hit and Run, Misdemeanor

I live off a state highway, not on some meandering country road but on a busy five-lane free-for-all. Six days a week, paper thin econo cars play chicken with semi trucks carrying full capacity loads.  Commuters late for work and hot doggers in their show room, cowboy trucks barrel by, unaffected by the rules of courtesy or the laws of the state of Texas. HoneyBunch says it wasn’t always like this.  When he first bought this property back in the 80’s, he could count the total traffic that passed in one day on both hands.  To see the traffic slow like that nowadays, I’d have to get up around 3:00 AM on a Sunday morning. We witness several speeding tickets a day, one fatality a week, and two Hit and Run, Misdemeanors a year.  Luckily, those hit and runs only take out mailboxes.  Drivers will veer off the road or lose control of their vehicles and our mailboxes end up in the property next door.  All we will find the next morning are a bent post (or what’s left of it), tire marks, and our…