5 Things I Think About Before Hitting the Publish Button

I am morbidly fascinated with a Freshly Pressed post this week entitled “23 Things To Do Instead Of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23”. It is getting a great deal of attention and many of the comments are overwhelmingly negative and hostile. I get the basic idea of what the writer is trying to convey, but it just doesn’t resonate with me. Instead, it’s become my version of reality TV, watching this writer get water boarded online. I might have written a similar post at her age, except I only had a typewriter… Read More

An Audience of Editors

In my last post, I incorrectly attributed a quote, due to quick and shallow internet research. I was corrected by a reader and removed the quote, with my face burning and stomach in knots.  I wasn’t just corrected, I felt upbraided and dressed down and my reaction was anger and embarrassment. I started writing about it and magically, it became this post. It’s a risky business, writing out loud. Not just because you put pieces of yourself out into the world, but because everybody is an editor or a critic. You make… Read More

So I Wrote a Novel…and Then I Avoided It Like the Plague

And one day, when I’m mere ashes being transported in a tacky vase to my destination of choice (my reading chair, of course), they will rifle through my meager possessions to find a two inch black binder covered in a thin layer of dust and decorated with geometric coffee rings on every other page. There will be notes in red ink hastily scrawled along the margins: Geez, time travel much? Get Strunk and possibly White, this grammar stinks! Schedule mammogram. Look up spelling of onomonopea omonomopia. Bread, milk, canola oil, trail mix… Read More

What to Leave In, What to Leave Out

I love editing. There is something about cutting unnecessary words and reordering sentences that gives me pleasure. It’s an art form to make things simpler, cleaner and more lyrical. Of late I’ve needed to apply those same skills to my life, especially when I find myself drowning in too much information or too many nuisance tasks. What gets left in? What gets deleted? What gets rewritten to make more sense? This week, I re-read a favorite writing resource, On Writing Well by William Zinsser. He advocates clean, expressive writing. I’ve been doing… Read More