90 results for 'writing'
I had a dream. An old man was dropping objects from a bag into a lake. I seemed to be able to read his mind. The first items to go in the water were a cricket bat and a ball; they eddied and floated away. “Goodbye little friends, and thank you for the joy you once gave me. My limbs are too stiff for you now.” A theatrical mask followed. I recognized it from when I played El Gallo in amateur theatre, years ago during my youth. “And my voice cannot hold that tenor anymore,” the old man said. “But it was a happy time. Thank you.”
I walked closer and there was an odd familiarity to this... (more)
... hospital if I took to heart every insult my teenagers hurled at me. Most negative feedback says more about the person commenting and his own emotions and reactions than it does about my me or my opinions.
I ask myself, "Why is the respondent angry?"
He is not really critiquing my writing style, content or conclusions, especially if a vehement response attacks me the writer. That is just the release valve which is handy at the moment. My words triggered a dramatic attack because the commentator has issues. Issues that lay buried until some unsuspecting scapegoat like me pushes... (more)
As a teacher of college English at Idaho State University, my students moan and groan when I mention the topics of grammar and usage. The reflexes of fear, dread, and disgust are guttural and instinctual. The students instantly hate me.
I feel the intense collective downer that I release upon the classroom environment, and I always regret having mentioned the words at all in the classroom. The collective classroom mind slams shut.But, I understand the repulsion they feel. Grammar and usage are matters that we are always told we screw up. Teachers often broach the topic as they would... (more)
It took me years to finally decide to start writing again. I had taken a 30 year sabbatical since leaving university to raise 9 children and I just couldn't seem to start. Perhaps I could have started seven years ago when everyone was in school full time but realistically there was simply to much physical work involved in running a household for eleven people and helping with the farm animals and our large vegetable garden.
there is a lot of work on a hobby farm with a family of 11
Instead of writing, I told stories. The Irish side rose to the surface as I entertained... (more)
Writing blog articles, e-books, white papers, and even emails take a considerable amount of time and effort. Working through this blog entry, I am employing various tools that make my life easier, and I find that each app I have discovered empowers me as a writer, making the time I spend efficient and my stress managed.Many inexpensive and free computer apps are designed with writers in mind, but putting together the ultimate collection might feel daunting. Although I use a MacBook Pro, many apps have PC versions as well. Below, I share the tools, links, and descriptions, and if you feel technology-savy... (more)
Verbs Defined, BoringTechnically, the definition of verbs makes them boring because they are a part of speech or a piece of language. Verbs capture an action, an occurrence, where a state of being.Verbs in Action Are PowerfulAvoiding state of being verbs makes your titles and your writing more powerful. Rather than saying that "social media is important" (a state of being), you grab attention by saying "social media rocks marketing" (an action). Action verbs do something, and therefore they create movement in the minds of readers. Instead of skipping over your title, or... (more)
George Orwell is one of the true artists of English prose. Two of his pieces in particular, Why I Write and Politics and the English Language, essays on the uses and abuse of our common language, should be compulsory reading for all those in public life.
As a writer he has long been a favourite of mine, ever since I discovered him early in my school days. I’ve recently had cause to think specifically about his political commitments, his commitment to what he calls ‘democratic socialism.’
It seems to me that his choices are at variance with his deepest sympathies: he says he is... (more)
...about it? Alright, perhaps you find that strange, but this happens to me periodically, not often. The feeling is one of unsettled, repressed, and vehement emotion--positive or negative, perhaps both.
My mother, Karen Hammond, died in 1996 when I was 24 and she was 42. I put this in writing here for the first time, and I am at once liberated and pained. Doctors diagnosed her with fairly benign breast cancer in the spring, and after two separate mastectomys, chemotherapy, radiation, and no pot to curb the nausea, she died in October. I remember a few weeks before her passing, one... (more)
...assignment was to keep a daily diary. I still have that diary today and can see snippets of a budding travel writer as I attempted to describe the incredibly luxurious Hermitage Museum in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), or the amazing souk, or marketplace, that we visited in Gibraltar. And my writing got a bit of a boost when Mr. Sperling, our teacher, asked if I would like to contribute an article to the ship’s newsletter on any topic I chose. I wrote about what was before me: A huge ship that grew smaller every day as we became more familiar with where everything was located, and as we ... (more)
... corpus, military tribunals, ignoring the Geneva Convention, and wars built on falsified intelligence.
As a fiction writer, I didn’t have to image some post-apocalyptic landscape as a backdrop for a dystopian society when there was plenty of darkness right in front of me. My formula for writing a modern adult-centered dystopia was to use facts and add in just enough plausible fiction and then blur the lines between.
In light of our recent past, I wondered how we would react to a catastrophic event greater than a terrorist bombing or a broken levy. In my novel Against Nature, I ... (more)