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Showing posts from March, 2012

WNW: Why Punctuation Matters

People joke that I'm the Grammar Nazi. My critique group says that I know exactly how to use commas (and then they go comatose, and tweet about it, if I try to explain why a semicolon is correct on page 5). For that matter, rumor has it that when they speak about our group and mention members' strengths, they bring up punctuation as my strength. While I do know my fair share of punctuation rules, I do like to hope that in the 12 years I've been there I've been worth more than fixing comma splices. :) But yes, I do care about punctuation more than the average reader or writer. Why? Because it adds nuance and meaning that nothing else can. The same words can have a totally different meaning with a few different punctuation marks. This is true with big issues like pacing, tone, and mood. But to make my point, I'll go a bit over the top for today's Word Nerd Wednesday. First off, read Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots, and Leaves (the title of which is a punctuati…

A Rant Against "I Expect Nothing of My Children that I Don't of Myself"

Soap box for the day:
In many circles and blogs, I hear the idea that we shouldn't give our children standards and expectations that we don't follow ourselves.
One blogger (who got lots of support in the comments) went so far as to say they didn't feel comfortable doing anything that they wouldn't approve their children of doing.
Oh, boy.
Okay, I get the concept, and in theory, if you stand at a great distance, squinting your eyes, it's a very nice-looking idea.
Yet I can't take people who say these things seriously, because the premise is so completely flawed.
On a very basic level, consider these examples: I will not let my nine-year-old wear make-up or get her ears pierced. Does that mean that as an adult woman, I should take out my earrings and remove all make-up?No way would I allow my twelve-year-old to get behind the wheel of a car. I expect her not to drive. Yet I drive. Every day. Dang. I'd better stop that.When my son was six, I expected him to stay…

Author Interview: Susan Corpany

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Today I get to interview Susan Corpany, a writer I've gotten to know a bit better over the last couple of years. Most of that has been electronically, as Susan lives in Hawaii, but she's made it out to a few conferences and the like, and it's been a lot of fun to rub shoulders and get to know her better.
About Susan: Susan Law Corpany is the author of five novels. Her latest novel, Lucky Change, was a finalist for a Whitney Award. She writes a column for Meridian online magazine called “A Beacon Light.” Susan grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and currently lives on the Big Island of Hawaii with her husband, Thom. In her spare time, she manages the family vacation rental home on historic Kealakekua Bay. Between them, they are the parents of six children and add new grandchildren on a regular basis. She loves to travel and see the world and loves to stay home and enjoy the paradise in which she lives.

AL: How long have you been writing and how did you get started? (When did the…

WNW: St. Patrick's Edition, Take 3

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This one's as fun for geeks as it is for word nerds.
"A Biologist's St. Patrick's Day Song" explains the science behind alcohol, from how it's made to what it does in the body.
I may be Mormon (and thus don't drink), but I think the song is great fun (and educational!) nonetheless.

Give this guy a beer. Me? This Saturday, I'll be celebrating the holiday with some Irish soda bread, which I first tasted last St. Patrick's Day thanks to Sarah, who brought it to critique group.