Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2013

Semicolon Junkie

I am a semicolon junkie; I absolutely crave semicolons and use them as often as I can in my writing.
Using a semicolon is a deliberate, stylistic choice; as a result, I love them.
The semicolon is dual in nature; it resembles both the comma and the period, and its function is a little of both. When used in place of either, the eye flies over it almost as fast as it would a comma; however, it also yields for a nanosecond (but doesn’t come to a complete stop) like it would for a period. 
The primary function of a semicolon is to connect two closely related sentences (main clauses or thoughts); consequently, the savvy eye knows to search for the connection.  It might be in the form of an extended explanation; it might be in the form of a comparison or a contrast (most often an antithetical statement).
It mends the comma splice; it fixes the run-on sentence; it signals a pause when in the presence of a conjunctive adverb or a transitional expression.
Sometimes the semicolon is used to thin a…

Family Album

It sits on the very top shelf of the bookcase, gathering dust.  To get it down I have to climb on a chair though my knees are weak and I am not as limber as I once was. Black marker on a torn piece of masking tape stuck on its front cover says that it is mine, made for me by my mother twenty-odd years ago when I thought I had lost all my family albums.   Remembrances of yesterdays – 1968- a black and white, 5 X 7, a family portrait taken the summer after I graduated from high school and was to start college and before my older brother got drafted and ended up in Vietnam. Seven of us smile back to someone or something stage right.  We were all younger, thinner, more na├»ve back then. If I could go back in time, what would I say to each of them?  Would they listen? 1973 – a faded 8 X 10 wedding picture done in some golden hue that was supposed to make everything look romantic.  It is one of the few I did not rip into pieces and throw into the fireplace.   The dreams and the promises of tha…

Grief

You wake up in the morning and the day laughs at your pain. It is sunny and bright, cheerful and promising; everything opposite of how you feel. 
You count the days in minuses.  First a few seconds separate you from the person you loved, then the seconds melt into minutes and hurry into hours.  The minuses become days, weeks, and months.
You reach into a drawer, a closet, a cabinet and find you didn’t get rid of everything as well as you thought. Memories hide in the most unsuspecting places.  
You hear a voice and you turn, a smile on your face, ready to answer, forgetting for one second that it is not him or her.
You think of a question, hear a joke, remember a story and you reach for the phone before you realize he won’t answer at the other end.
A couple holds hands, a baby cries, you overhear a conversation , and you pray no one saw the look of grief on your face before you walked away.
Why wasn’t he more careful, more obedient, more diligent? Did he not know how much he would be mi…

Pretty in Pink

I love all my siblings but M and I have a special bond, one forged by the same traumatic, childhood experience – we both survived our mother’s attempt to dress us in haute couture at holidays. (Or about as haute couture as one can get in suburbia in the late fifties/early sixties off the Sears sales rack.)
M and I dreaded major holidays because we knew that somewhere lurking among the gaily-wrapped Christmas presents or among the cellophane-covered Easter baskets were our dreaded holiday outfits.
Mom would pull them out with a flourish and force us to wear them to church – stiff, itchy, girly dresses with big poufy sleeves and huge sashes she would tie into enormous bows that bounced off our backsides like old-fashioned bustles.
We weren’t allowed to complain that we hated the dresses or that the material gave us rashes or that we hated the colors. They came in pink and yellow – colors that never complimented our skin tones –, or worse yet, one Christmas M and I had to wear outfits in …