Tag Archives: books

Exercise’s Unexpected Benefits

Today’s blog is going to be short.  I can’t waste a moment.  I’m on a roll, and I don’t want to interrupt it for too long.  That being said, here’s what’s happened,  and it’s still early!

It’s just possible that I should get up at 6-ish a.m. and exercise every day.  (Thank you, husband…)  Seems to stimulate the brain and the imagination.

After a brisk (by my definition) walk, I returned to fix coffee and an English muffin (with healthy sugar-free peanut butter).  I sat down to read my email, which is normally a tedious task comprised of culling the horrid from the merely bad.  Imagine my surprise when the first item I opened was a gem!

After five weeks of not-so-patient waiting, I received an answer from someone who had promised to help me with technical details I needed for the WIP. Now, I fully understand that one can find any answer on the all-knowing WWW; however, mine is a particularly esoteric question.  I needed to know, specifically, how Texas Hill Country animals react to and escape a wildfire.  So, this person’s knowledge was particularly valuable to my story.  (Just because my middle grade books are Texas animal tall tales does not mean they can’t be fact-based!)  Honestly, I was beginning to think I might have to find another expert.  Not an easy task when the nearest town’s population is just over 4,000!  Her email arrived just in time.  So glad it finally did. I wasn’t looking forward to hours of googling and binging.

Shortly thereafter, I discovered more answers to questions I had asked of another person…and there they were, just waiting for me in my virtual inbox. Wonders never cease!

While riding this informational ‘high,’ I started working on a chapter of the book that’s been troublesome. Not today! Breezed right through it! The plot came together. The words flowed. The characters knew exactly what to say. Astounding!

So, it just made sense that I take advantage and get the blog done, too.

News Flash!  I am so looking forward to my “blog swapping/tour” (well, that’s what we’re calling it!) with Kris Yankee, author of Saving Redwind: A Wallpaper Adventure. I’ll be interviewed on her blog on Monday, August 29th and Kris will be here on my blog Wednesday, August 31st. Kris is an interesting, talented, multi-dimensional person, and her book is awesome! (If you’d like a quick sneak peek: http://www.facebook.com/BooksbyKrisYankee)

One more recent good thing! Seems they just don’t stop today! Although I’ve known for months that I was going to be a grandma again, we just found out on Thursday that the expected baby is a boy! Hooray! Another grandson! Can’t wait!

Good things come to those who…exercise??


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Filed under Marginally Personal, The Business of Writing

I Can’t Stand “ITS” Any More…

…so I’m speaking out.

If you mean “it is,” the contraction is it’s.
If you mean “something belongs to it,” the possessive is its.

If it’s plural, there is NO apostrophe before the “s.”  Example:  car (one) ;  cars (more than one);  car’s is an incorrect pluralization…that would be possessive, as in car’s engine.

IT’S not difficult, people.

IT’S wrong in newspapers, on billboards, in advertisements, on and on, ad nauseam.  It seems as if NO ONE knows which one to use, including (but not limited to) editors, publishers, book agents, authors, blog writers, teachers, and most of the English-writing human race.

To make matters worse, the mistakes cited above are not the only common mistakes that have sneaked (not snuck) into our collective writings. The list is abominably long. As a proofreader and former editor, as well as a currently-published author…

Today I will take red pencil in hand and correct our local newspaper. I will forward it to the editor, along with my business card and an offer to work with them as a consultant…a well-compensated consultant.  I fully expect profound silence in response. My efforts will, in all likelihood, be in vain. But, at least I will have taken a stand.

While writing this, a memory started nagging the back of my brain.  Once upon a time, there was an organization based in the UK called SPAM…Society for the Prevention of Apostrophe Misuse. I Googled it, and apparently it’s now defunct.  I saw many mentions of the group, but no discussions that were dated more currently than 2009.  What a shame.  Perhaps I’ll start my own group…as soon as I can find an acronym that hasn’t already been used.  Stay tuned for further announcements.

If you are (correct contraction here would be you’re…not your) an author, blogger, writer, editor, agent, publisher, printer, or other entity that works with words on a daily basis, and you’re not sure of your proofreading skills, contact me. I can help. I’ve been doing this professionally for years. (Please note that I did NOT write year’s!)

If you are as bothered as I by abuse of the English language, please feel free to provide examples in the “Comments” section of this blog.

If you should happen to think of a possible acronym for an apostrophe-misuse group, please comment below.  All submissions will be read.  And corrected.

No apostrophes were abused or misused in the writing of this blog.  I do, however, plead guilty to an overuse of ellipses.  In my defense, it’s only for emphasis.


Filed under The Business of Writing