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Archive for February, 2014

27 Feb 2014

4 easy ways to up your game writing-wise.


Excellent example of irony: The best way to up your writing game? Boil it down.

You’ve probably come across the KISS acronym at some point: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
While I realize it ruins the acronym, my inner editor can’t help but want to lop off the “Stupid” – it’s unnecessary and, frankly, insulting.
But I digress.

And I agree – with the adage, if not the acronym. Keepin’ it simple is the way to write.

So here are four easy ways to pare. it. down.

1. Delete unnecessary “that”s.
“That” should refer to an aforementioned noun, or connect a modifying clause to a main clause. Otherwise, it’s unnecessary. Watch for “that”s that can be eliminated without changing the meaning of your sentence, and use that delete key!
:: Useful “that”:
That’s what I’m talking about.
She wanted to borrow the book that changed my life.

:: Useless “that”:
I hope that you’re well and happy. [game upped: I hope you’re well and happy.] Don’t forget that I love you. [game upped: Don’t forget, I love you.]

2. Use nickel words.
Keep it simple vocabulary-wise. Try to use words with fewer syllables, fewer letters and clear meanings. Write for a fifth-grader [we all know you’re smarter than him; no need to prove it with dollar words].

3. Mercilessly replace adverbs.
I’m as guilty as the next scribe: adverbs are overused. The key to expressive writing without all the adverbage is to try to replace as many adverbs as possible with stronger, more descriptive verbs. Examples:
She ate daintily. = She nibbled.
She walked briskly. = She strode.
She spoke harshly. = She scolded.

4. Return to noun => verb => direct object.
Keep it simple structure-wise. Whenever I find myself getting bogged down in a sentence, paragraph or piece – feeling like I’ve gone down a writerly rabbithole and can’t find my way back – this is my go-to mantra: Noun. Verb. Direct Object. What am I writing about? What is it doing? What else is necessary? Forget about modifying – distill, distill, distill.

e.g., I’m posting this now. I hope it helps!

image via pixel and post @

26 Feb 2014

a writerly manifesto: write with joy!!


25 Feb 2014

why are pencils yellow??


The yellow pencil originated in 1847 when the discovery of graphite in Siberia led to the mass production of pencils in neighboring China, where they were colored yellow in homage to the legendary Yellow Emperor, Huang Ti.

When manufactureres worldwide sought to imitate the high-quality Chinese version of the pencil, the color became standard.

via The Good Life magazine.

21 Feb 2014

better late than misspelled, mis-punctuated or misused.

A week post-holiday, but still the perfect Valentine for this writer-girl …
[who is easy on everything but grammar, spelling & punctuation errors]!!


Card available for your perfect proofreader @ Igloo Letterpress.

20 Feb 2014

why write? why not??


18 Feb 2014

smart, but not smart enough to go to bed.

yep. this is me.


image via 8fact.

14 Feb 2014

how to write a love note.


IMHO, this little sweetie’s got a lot of natural talent.
Happy Valentine’s Day – here’s hoping you get a love note as lovely as this … or give one!!

For more magical love notes written by kids, click here.

12 Feb 2014

a scarily accurate map of the writerly mind.


11 Feb 2014

nice to know you’re normal … i guess.


image via 8fact.

8 Feb 2014

14 in ’14, just for fun.


Here for your perusal are 14 books I intend to read in 2014, just for fun [alpha by author surname] …
PS – Geez, I like girly stuff:

1. The Second Journey: The Road Back to Yourself by Joan Anderson

2. Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares

3. The Lost Husband by Katherine Center

4. The Runaway Quilt by Jennifer Chiavernini

5. Glitter & Glue by Kelly Corrigan

6. The Book of Qualities by J. Ruth Gendler

7. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

8. The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language by Natalie Goldberg

9. Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz

10. Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope & Repair by Anne Lamott

11. Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist’s Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie Is Not the Answer by Jen Lancaster

12. Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts

13. The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith

14. Lethally Blond by Kate White