Another Look at Commas

Commas are the bane of my writing existence. It’s amazing how one tiny, squiggly, thingamajig (okay, punctuation mark) can create such havoc. If you don’t believe me consider the following:

Comma Post Comma Post 5 comma Post-2 comma Post-4 Comma Post -6 images

See what I mean? Been there, done that; fortunately, for those of us who struggle with the almighty comma, we have the  Grammar Revolution. This week, Elizabeth O’Brien offers us a refresher and One Easy Comma Rule.

If you want additional help with grammar and punctuation, check out Elizabeth and all her helpful lessons at Grammar Revolution.

What about you? What is your most frequent punctuation sin? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Join the conversation. Talk to me or tell me your story. I’m all ears.

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Opening Lines- The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Aw, the elusive, perfect opening line. It’s the most important line of your book. If you can’t grab the reader’s attention from the beginning, all the gnashing of teeth, hair pulling, and hard work you put in writing will have been time wasted; much like watching the news.

Sometimes, your muse whispers the perfect opening line in your ear, and other times it’s as elusive as the winning lottery ticket. Don’t sweat it. All writers struggle with getting it right at some time in their career. Others end up in therapy – kidding.

Wherever you find yourself on the writing continuum, it’s good to know you’re not alone. So, Sit back and enjoy, The Hipster & the Clairvoyant: 6 Bad Openings for Your Book from Dinty W. Moore (Psychology Today).

Do you have a bad opening line, you’d like to share? We’ve love to read it; share it below. In the meantime, I think I’ll head to the kitchen, I’ve suddenly got a hankering for beef stew.

Pretend I’m your therapist, talk to me. Tell me your story. I’m all ears.

Spicy Language

The Daily Post Prompt:  Spicy

“Morning mom.” Karen stopped in the doorway of the kitchen and stared. Her mom, lost in the pages of a book, hadn’t heard a thing and her coffee sat untouched in front of her. Karen stepped back into the shadow of the hallway. Her mother didn’t move except to turn the page and with each turn, her face flushed a deeper red. It looked to Karen as if she wanted to crawl inside the book.

She couldn’t remember a time, at least in recent years, she’d seen her mother looking so … happy? Content? Moved? No! Excited, that was it. What the hell was her mother reading? She squinted and leaned closer in an attempt to read the cover. Mr. Tubs slipped up behind her and rub against her leg. Karen yelped and stumbled into the room.

Her mother sprung from her seat as if bitten. She grabbed the chair to keep it from toppling and slapped a dish towel over the book. “Heavens, Karen you scared the life out of me.”

“Sorry,” Karen said, “you can thank Mr. Tubs for that, he caught me by surprise.”

Her mother carried her untouched cup to the sink. “Sit down, I’ll get you some coffee.”  She opened the cupboard, “Cream and sugar?”

“Yeah, thanks.” Karen lifted the corner of the towel. “Whatcha reading?” Her mother spun around and grabbed the covered book from Karen’s grasp. Her face flushed crimson. “Nothing you’d like.” She stuffed the book in a drawer. “Gladys gave it to me, and I can’t imagine why. It isn’t very good.”

“Really?” Karen bit her lip to keep from laughing. “Why’s that?”

She handed Karen a steaming cup of coffee. “The language is a bit spicy for my taste.”

“Couldn’t tell it from the look on your face when you were reading. Fifty Shades of Grey, mom?” Karen snickered.  “Spicy indeed.”

 

 

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Join the conversation. Talk to me or tell me your story. I’m all ears.

The Heavy Weight of Perfectionism

My name is Sheila, and I am a perfectionist.

The experts say this personality trait comes from one’s childhood. For me, that’s probably true. My mom, God rest her soul, taught me, from an early age, to do things right the first time. Or, do it over until I could do it right the first time. Want to know the best way to clean windows, grout, baseboards or window seals?  Gotcha covered, but that’s another post.

Even at this late stage in my life, I continue to struggle with having everything “perfect.” This is especially true as it relates to writing.  That’s why my WIP, 40,000 words in, is still unfinished. This is not a trait of which I’m proud. Striving for perfection will suck the life out of your soul if allowed to run unchecked. At times it weighs me down, and I miss out on being present with the people and life happening around me.

The Perils of Perfection. It is well worth a read and thoughtful consideration.

“Strive for Progress, not Perfection.” Click to Tweet

What about you? How many on her list could you check in the affirmative? Are you a perfectionist? Me? I’m ready to ease up and relax.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Join the conversation. Talk to me or tell me your story. I’m all ears.