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Showing posts from June, 2012

I'm A Freak

No, I haven't gone off the deep end or dyed my hair to look like a rainbow snow cone. The title of this post refers to my stubborn nature to control. I might as well admit it. "My name is Melissa and I'm a control freak." "Hi, Melissa," comes a rippled murmur from the audience.  Okay. So there's really just a lone cricket. I can pretend, right?  :P I thought I'd open it up for comments today about how our love for our stories combined with our personality determines the amount of control we like to have over our writing and how that control affects both the way we process critiques and the choices we make when it comes time to publish.  I must admit, this mix of protectiveness and stubbornness has not only made it hard for me to see reason with negative comments from my critters at times, but it has also been one of the driving forces behind me viewing indie and self publishing as more desirable than the traditional route. I'll readily admit I do

Grammar Police Monday - Say what?

After getting nabbed for a usage error recently, I decided to do a few GPM posts on specific homophones that are commonly confused words. When we speak, such misuse may go unnoticed; but when we write, it's there in print for all the world to see.  Let's start with the one I goofed. Which is correct? The man's hands were (calloused / callused) from years of work. He has a (callous / callus) attitude toward the homeless. In the first sentence, callused is correct, because it specifically refers to hardened places on the skin. In the second, it's callous . Even though callous means 'to harden,' it refers to an emotional state, meaning to be insensitive.  Another mistake I made for years before becoming enlightened to the error of my ways was using the verb pour when I meant pore . You pour water from a pitcher into a glass, but if you are studying something intently, you're poring over it. A third — and one I was glad I looked up the other day before hit

Welcome Author Elaine D. Walsh

Three friends, two secrets, one lie, and the summer that changed their lives.  Debut novel Atomic Summer explodes onto this summer’s must read book list June 21, 2012 In 1953, three teenage girls’ innocent conversations about what each of them would do if the end of the world were imminent, coupled with a friend’s obsession, become the catalyst for a prank that spins wildly beyond control and draws in an entire town. Left behind in the wake of that summer’s events are their unrealized dreams and open wounds. In 1973, a reunion trip to the small town of their youths returns them to the summer of 1953 and the passion and betrayal that changed their lives. The world is ripe for destruction in 1953. The Korean War drags on and the Rosenbergs are executed as spies. Senator Joseph McCarthy convinces the country communists are infiltrating the government, and the threat of nuclear war festered in the collective consciousness of the nation. While Americans constructed backyard bomb shelters,

Grammar Police Monday - All Is Not Well & Good

Today I'm going to touch on a few misused adjectives and adverbs. Before I give you examples, let's review. Adjectives describe nouns and pronouns.  Adverbs modify anything else—verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Basically, adverbs tell us how, when or where. Ex: The tall boy ran swiftly down the road. In this example, tall is an adjective. It describes the noun boy .  S wiftly is an adverb. It modifies the verb ran — it tells us how he ran.  (And don't give me grief about the -ly adverbs. LOL :P  I'm not suggesting you use these often, just teaching you the rule.) Many words that function as adjectives can also function as adverbs. When using a word as an adverb, use the -ly form of the word . An exception to this would be the word fast . It doesn't have an -ly form. Ex: I took a quick shower . becomes: I showered quickly .  Two modifiers I often see misused are good and well . The word good is an adjective, and the word well is an adverb. Use good whe

No Wednesday Post This Week - Notice

I am currently experiencing internet connection problems. (I'm at McDonald's right now on guest wireless - LOL) I will have little to no internet access until my service is restored. Thanks in advance for your patience if you try to contact me and I don't respond. I will catch up with all of you asap. - Melissa  PS - Monday's GPM post is set to fire off regardless. 3:25 pm CST ETA: It's the wireless router, not the modem. Whew. Hopefully it'll be fixed soon. At least I have internet access. :) Update 6/14: It's fixed. :)

Grammar Police Monday - Do Commas Give You Pause? Part II

This is part II of my lesson on comma rules. Today I'm going to focus on basic comma use within sentences. Last week, I noted that in a series or list, the serial or 'Oxford' comma before the conjunction could often be left out. (Ex: Mary put money, lipstick , and mascara in her purse. ) When joining two independent clauses , however, always put a comma before the conjunction .* Ex: Roger drove into town, and Pam stayed home. *There is and exception to this rule. You can omit the comma if the two phrases are short. I would advise against this, however, unless the phrases are very short and the sentence is very clear without the comma. Ex: Paul coughed and Ben laughed . I'm in favor of tightening prose, but not at the expense of stumbling the reader. What good is it to tighten your sentence, only to have the reader stop and re-read the line? On the other hand, never place a comma between a subject and its verb . Ex: Roger drove into town and went to the store .  Ther

Of WIPs, Melodies & Insecurities

Now that school's out, I'm reorganizing myself. I'm going to stomp, scream & threaten to move out if I don’t get plan some writing time for my WIP. I’m half way there, and if I could get a few days of uninterrupted time, I could finish the first draft of Come Back . I’ll probably barricade myself inside a hotel room for a couple of nights soon and do some marathon writing while hubby holds down the fort. (I soooo need a vacation! ...Can you tell? :P) Another goal I have is to make the blog rounds soon, and then visit more regularly in the future. I've failed miserably at that goal lately. *blushes and hangs head in shame* I've also been dealing with some negative thinking about my writing. I go from feeling like I really have a handle on it — that it's good — to thinking I'm deluding myself and no one will like it. From believing my crit partners' compliments, to thinking they're just being 'nice' and not telling me how bad it really is.