Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Serial Commas

There are several arguments for consistent use of the serial comma:

1) The use of a serial comma better matches the spoken cadence of sentences.
2) Using the serial comma can resolve ambiguity within a list of ideas.
3) Its use is consistent with other style means of separating items in a list.

On the flip side there is one strong argument against consistent use of the serial comma:
It is redundant in a simple list, because the and or the or is often meant to serve (by itself) to mark the logical separation between the final two items, unless, of course, the final two items are not truly separate items but are two parts of a compound single item.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Life has filled up the time that I should be writing. My long break from the pages of my novel and father's memoir is hopefully ending, and I will get back to playing with words.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Write about an ironic use of bad manners.

Her pointer finger pressed against her lips thankfully muffled her abrasive shhh to a classroom of twenty adults.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Well these are not an assignments but something to ponder and get your pen moving or the delete button active.

“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.”

– George Orwell (1903-1950)

“You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What is in front of you? Or out your back window?

There is a speckled starling that believes he is a brown sparrow. He travels with a flock of sparrows and eats at the feeder with his surrogate family, even though his beak and feet are three times the size of his companions.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"If we personify the novel, make it into a being named Marissa Novella, for example, I believe that we can see the complex interworkings of story and plot."

Name your novel, not give it a title, but make the project a living thing so that you know you have to breathe life into it everyday.

My pile of papers and doc files are now referred to as Millie Yarn.

Walter Mosley, This Year You Write Your Novel

Monday, March 14, 2011

how the city-girl changed into a country-girl...

Some man stepped on my foot and some woman smacked the back of my head while I was quietly sitting on the L train, if this abuse happened in the country on my farm I could hit them back with my spade shovel.