Monday, July 29, 2013

Grammar Police Monday - Know Your Idioms

Idiom (n.): An expression whose meaning cannot be deduced from the meanings of its individual words (ex: jump the gun).

I'm going to start including idioms in my GPM posts about commonly confused words. There's nothing wrong with writing these from time to time, but, if you're going to use one, be sure to get it right. :)

Flesh out vs Flush out
To flesh out means to add substance or detail to an object or idea; to develop.

To flush out means to drive or force something out into the open, such as game birds or criminals.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blogging Tip - Making Custom Tweets

We all want our blogs to get noticed. One way that happens is by word of mouth...or chirp, as the case may be.

Today I'm going to pass on a blogging tip I learned from Ava Jae over at Writability.
Ava frequently adds a couple of custom tweet links at the bottom of her posts, and I love them because they're so easy to use. When I asked her how she makes them, she kindly obliged me with a lesson. In the spirit of 'watch one, do one, teach one,' I'm passing it on to you.

But my blog already offers a 'tweet this' option at the bottom of my posts, you say.

That's true. But does it let you customize the tweet?
As far as I know, the person tweeting can edit it, but the blog owner can't.
And it doesn't shorten the URL either.

By creating your own custom tweets and posting the links at the bottom of your blog articles, you can encourage visitors to spread the word about your post with the ease of a couple of clicks.

Here's how it works...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blog Post Buffet


Below are links to articles I've come across lately that I thought you might enjoy.


Craft Tips

Do you struggle to avoid head-hopping in your work, or find it difficult to smoothly switch POVs? Jami Gold can help. 

Ava Jae at Writability posted about tackling the overwhelming job of editing.

Multi-published author Sylvia Rochester also has a good post on editing.

Author Politics

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cover Reveal - Courage (Mark of Nexus 2) by Carrie Butler

I'm totally beside myself. I can hardly wait for the release of Courage, the next book in Carrie's Mark of Nexus series! It is soooo good, y'all. Really. (Yes, I've had a sneak peek.)

And, phooey. We'll just have to wait. But we do get a yummy little taste today, sort of like opening a Christmas Eve gift to help us spastic, sugar-buzzed, package-shaking kids wait until the big day. 

Here's the cover!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Optical Osmosis Blog Tour - Jeff Beesler Visits

In preparation for this interview, I did quite a bit of stalking, andlet me tell youJeff Beesler is not an easy man to track. The NSA couldn't do much better.

But seriously...
Jeff and I met at #NALitChat. When he published his latest book, I liked the premise and the cover so much, I begged to be part of his blog tour. *grin*

First a little about the book...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Grammar Police Monday - To Be Or Not To Be

Sorry for the unoriginal title, but it fits. I'm blending grammar, writing and editing today, addressing 'be verbs' as they relate to fiction.

Many writers have lists of words they search out and often edit out of their manuscripts when they go back to polish their prose. These lists include everything from filter words to -ly adjectives, and they almost always include forms of the infinitive to be

It's fair to say any fiction writer who's been at it long at all will be mindful of am, was, and were. The question is, when on a mission to search and destroy, where does one draw the line?

Over the last couple of years, I've come across several writers who are highly sensitive to this group of verbs. I've known some of them, when doing critiques, to mark virtually every form of to be in the entire submission.

Don't take offense. I'm not scoffing or singling these critters out. Every writer has his or her hypersensitive areas (goodness knows I do!). My goal here is to examine the varianceto look at the grammatical side of the issue, and then open up the editing side for discussion. 

Who knows? Maybe the anti-be folks have it right. Maybe those of us in the other camp are too lax. At the very least, I think dissecting it and hashing it out will make us all better writers.

Let's tackle the grammar side of it first. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

IWSG - Writer Interrupted

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for July.  

IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list. 

Alex's awesome co-hosts for July are:




Please stop by their blogs and say thank you.

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Once again, my pre-made IWSG post sat empty until the eleventh hour because I wasn't sure what to write. I'm not really insecure. My feelings are more of the angry and frustrated variety. And, because I'm so grumpy and unproductive (not because I want to be—because things out of my control are keeping me from finishing my WIP), I don't have any good news to report. Well, I'm alive, (relatively) healthy, and I still have a job and a roof over my head, but that's about it.

I finally understand why people do crazy mid-life crisis things. If I was given to impulsive, irresponsible behavior, I would be, too.

Anyhow, I'll shove my crappy attitude aside and try to be encouraging.
Below are links to some good posts I've come across lately. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Grammar Police Monday - Get Your Ducks In A Row

Duck tape vs Duct tape
Duck tape is a common misspelling of duct tape. (Of course, the fact there is a brand of duct tape called Duck Tape with a little ducky on the label doesn't help. LOL)


 
Jutebox vs Jukebox
Jutebox is a common misspelling of jukebox--a coin-operated, music-playing device.


Cowtow vs Kowtow
Cowtow is a misspelling of the Chinese word kowtow, which means to touch one's forehead to the ground when kneeling; to show deference or servitude. (People probably assume it's spelled with a 'c' because the verb cow means to threaten or bully, and cowed means intimidated.)

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That's all for today.
Thanks for visiting. :)