Showing posts from August, 2010

Cut to the Chase

Our house has a pretty miserable excuse for a tooth fairy.
Like one of the last times #4, thrilled over her latest lost tooth, put it under her pillow. I fully meant to engage the tooth fairy on her job before I went to bed. I really did. But I was tired. And I forgot.
In the morning, #4 came to me with a sad little furrow on her brow. "The tooth fairy didn't come."
#3, who is older and wiser and knows a bit about the ways of the world, helped distract #4 while I ran around the house for change and sneaked it into her room.
Turns out the tooth fairy just pushed the money into an awkward corner deep under her pillow so she didn't see it.
Or something.
Yesterday, #3 lost one of her last teeth. An hour or so later, I walked into my office to find a 5X7 piece of red cardstock on my desk and a note from her on it:
Can I have a buck?
Plus a smiley face . . . and her tooth.
Smart gal. Might as well cut to the chase, get your cash, and not risk Mom forgetting to whip the toot…

Top 5 Essentials to a Writer's Life

Totally stealing this idea from the current (Sept '10) Writer's Digest. It's their "Big 10" issue, where every article and department has a theme of 10.
One section has ten best-selling writers, each given a question with their top 10 answers. I'm going to answer some of those myself, only keep the answers to five instead of ten. (I'm no Jodi Piccoult.)
Top 5 Essentials to a Writer's Life
1) The Right Tools This definitely includes a computer, because you simply cannot function in the modern publishing industry without one. That is, unless you're Ray Bradbury (who still insists on using a typewriter). But he's Ray Bradbury.
Some writers prefer drafting in longhand, so their tools include a notebook and pen or pencil. I can't do that, in large part because my handwriting is atrocious. One of my best tools ever is my Alphasmart Neo. I've done more drafting on that puppy than almost anywhere else, and it's made drafting possible in place…

WNW: Rules? Who Says?

Several people have asked me recently about the rules of grammar and usage. Who makes them? What determines what a rule is? When and why and can we break them?
To answer that, first, we have to back up a bit.
Language evolves; we all know that. Take a look at the opening line of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in the original, and your eyes will glaze over. (That is English? What the . . . )
My dad has the first paragraph memorized, and when he recites it, it sounds stinkin' cool . . . but nothing like English.
My History of the English Language class was taught, as I've mentioned before, not by a linguist as it should have been, but by a well-meaning but ignorant literature professor who had no clue what the material meant. (Fortunately, I could go to Dad to figure out what the HECK she was teaching.)
But the workbook was helpful. It gave us exercises to show how the language had gradually changed in very predictable ways (if this vowel came after this consonant, it changed into …

NOT an Anne Freak

I'll be back with my regular schedule soon. For today, here's a favorite post of mine from waaaay back, from March 12, 2007.
NOT an Anne Freak
I know this may come as a shock to many people. To many of my close friends, in fact.
But I am not an Anne of Green Gables freak.

Sure, I have every single one of the Anne books. They're all dog-eared and nearly memorized. I own all the movies except for the last one, which is a vile thing that should never have been made. (Any self-respecting fan knows what I'm talking about, and I could go on a rampage about the timeline, the characters, the technology, and the sheer adulteration of all things Montgomery, but I'll spare you.)

I was introduced to Anne in the eighth grade. It was the year when L.M. Montgomery's books were being republished after a long time of being out of print, and I scooped them up as quickly as they were being reprinted (and as quickly as my allowance and babysitting money let me). I remember the exciteme…


It's the end of summer, which, for a couple of weeks, has meant being very busy.
These weeks have included things like spending several days at various events for the LDS Booksellers Convention, where I got to handle the one existing copy of Chocolate Never Faileth (with strong instructions that I MUST return it . . . very hard to do!).
Also had a family camp-out with Grandpa during which we played silly games, fished, and had a great time (yay for my parents being HOME!). Then came a Lyon family reunion (yay for having ALL the Lyon siblings in the same state!) and getting ready for school (NOOOOOO! Please, no more money!).
Then there was random chaos of various levels, such as all the laundry from the trips, the AC breaking, and other loveliness.
Hence, I've had spotty Internet access at best and very little time.
And, hence, a 2-week bloggy absence.
I'm back, at least for today. And yes, it's Wednesday, but it's not Word Nerd Wednesday. My apologies. :)
Today, a lis…

WNW: It Bugs Me Anymore

Some time ago, Erin asked whether any words were particular peeves of mine.
I could easily list of a bunch of broken rules that are peeves (many I've discussed here at Word Nerd Wednesday), but while I knew I had word peeves, I couldn't think of any offhand.
Then I heard one misuse over and over. That's it, I decided. Time to post that one. It's just one word, but a word that is constantly misused and has therefore become a hated one for me:
I know, random, right?
But it's used incorrectly so often that it's like nails on a chalkboard to me. (The title of this post is yelling at me to change it.)
When anymore is correctly used, we refer to a way something once was, and then state it in the negative: It's not that way ANYMORE. Things have changed.
For example:
When I got my driver's license, gas was about a dollar a gallon. You can't buy gas that cheaplyanymore.
I learned to type in high school, but with the advancement of technology, that's not…