Tag: Writing

Partnering: An Unexpected Gift

 

I don’t think I’m especially good at partnerships, except in my marriage (I think). I’m too stubborn, am not always prepared to compromise, and have a short attention span. So I rarely partner with a person, because I generally fear the worst—damaging or losing a friendship.

This opportunity was no exception.

One day I was exchanging emails with @iwe, and casually mentioned that if he ever took on another book project, I’d be glad to serve as proofreader and/or editor. Looking back, it’s a miracle that the heavens didn’t erupt with thunder and lightning.

Member Post

 

I was about to write a PM to a member I hadn’t seen on the site for a long time, when the “post” count on my wall caught my eye–600 posts! I double-checked to make sure that was the meaning of that icon. I thought it might be fun (for me) to reflect on what life experiences […]

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A Zeal for Writing

 

I am obsessed with writing. Seriously—I am. I wasn’t always that way, but it’s impossible to deny it at this stage of my life.

I’ve always written pretty well, but I didn’t give it a lot of thought. I had good teachers, a simple writing style, and even though I was accused by some teachers on a number of occasions of veering slightly (or greatly) off topic, they forgave me because what I wrote was usually articulate and interesting. (Of course, I couldn’t get away with that more than once with any particular teacher.)

The Power of Words: Confessions of a Wordsmith

 

Words have always fascinated me. I was the kid that was always in motion – until I learned to read. From then on you could find me sitting, reading a book. Lots of books, I go through books like Patton went through France. I did even when I was in grade school.

I loved writing, too, from first grade on. Sure, I was not great at it, but I got better fast. By fourth grade I wrote a Christmas story (as a class assignment) an uncle tried to get published in New York. (No. It did not get published. It had “serious flaws,” according to a reviewer from the publishing house. What can I say? I was nine, trying to run with adults.)

He Said, She Said

 

As a child between about the ages of 6 and 12, I had clear career plans. I wanted to be an author.

It’s easy to see why: my parents were careful to instill a lifelong love of literature in all of their children. Books were better than any toy. Also, I had a lot of imagination. When I was supposed to be sleeping, I acted out nearly full casts of characters with my own storylines as a game I played with my sister.

Member Post

 

Every writer has a specific purpose for doing what they do. Some write to share their observations and experiences; some write to instruct or inform, and others write to entertain; there are writers who work to appease an audience, and there are those who write to serve their own ego. We all have a reason, […]

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Quote of the Day: Orwell’s Rules of Writing

 

George Orwell’s rules of writing:

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.

Eric Blair (George Orwell) was one of the most accomplished wordsmiths of the 20th century. These were his guides to writing effectively.I like them, and try to follow them.

Member Post

 

I just noticed this about myself: while reading a post or comment here or anywhere else, no matter how interesting or insightful I find the substance of the idea, once an author resorts to “clever”* name-calling, my interest almost completely dissipates. Drumpf, Killary, DemocRATS, Rethuglicans, whatever. It’s like the radio dial in my head gets […]

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Member Post

 

Okay, Fellow Writers, here’s the deal: For the better part of the last 30 years, I have been a caretaker. I took care of my Dad in the last years of his life, and for the past 13 years I’ve taken care of my Mom, 24/7/365. Mom went Home to be with Jesus on January […]

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Want to Write Well? Get Anglo-Saxon with It.

 

William Zinsser writes about the Latin, Norman, and Anglo-Saxon version of some words. When you need some information you can simply ask. If you want to be fancy you can pose a question. But only the truly sophisticated will interrogate.

Boris below observes the genius behind Churchill’s style is in moving between these different variations at the right moment. When Churchill really wants to grab the audience and make a memorable point he goes to the pre-Norman, Anglo-Saxon vocabulary that they know. Zinsser would approve as he advises us to cut out the clutter and get simple with word usage to produce great writing.

Member Post

 

January is the first submission period for the Mysterion webzine. We’ll be looking for nine stories to fill out our first year (from when we start publishing in April), which means that this will probably be the most stories we’ll be looking for in a single submission period (unless our Patreon reaches some of our higher goals). We’re […]

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On Seven Years at Ricochet

 

Ricochet is productivity and procrastination, accomplishment and distraction, enrichment and inertia.

I know this well because this week marks my seventh year in this community. I came here after @jameslileks linked to his Ricochet article and described how paying for the privilege of commenting kept discourse civil and productive. I joined soon after, and don’t spend much time on other political/ cultural discussion sites.

I Don’t Do Novels

 

I write professionally. I have over twenty published books and nearly one thousand pieces printed in magazines, newspapers and online sites (counting only online stuff I have been paid to write). I can write fiction. I even have perhaps four short stories published. I think my fiction is not half-bad. (Read The Cards and tell me if you agree.) But I do not write novels. All my published books are non-fiction. All my planned books are non-fiction.

It is not that I am opposed to writing novels. I have the outline of three series of novels drafted. Not three novels – three novel series. (A set of mysteries set in East Texas, a series about an Age of Fighting Sail naval officer, a la Horatio Hornblower or Jack Aubrey, and a series rooted in Arthurian legend – ending in 1940.) Plot outlines, lists of characters, scenes.

So why not write them?

How to Become a Conservative Author: Marjory Ross, President at Regnery Publishing

 

Marji Ross, Regnery PublishingWhat do William F. Buckley, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Dinesh D’Souza, Sen. Mike Lee, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, Mark Steyn, Michelle Malkin, and David Limbaugh all have in common? They, along with dozens of other best-selling authors, are all published by Regnery Publishing. Marji Ross shares with Ricochet how to become an author and have the best chance of becoming published in the hyper-competitive conservative literary space.

Member Post

 

I’ve noticed a lot of Ricochetti are writers. I offer this safety tip, which I have recently learned.  Yes, I write in my spare time.  Who doesn’t? When doing internet research for a book, DO NOT leave a provocative screen on your computer, where a family member (i.e. wifey) might wander by and see what’s […]

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On Being Over 40 okay 50 I mean 60

 

Today’s topic is “Getting Older.” Not that I am or anything. Age cannot wither me, nor custom stale my infinite variety. I have many ways of staying engaged.

For instance, recently I went to a department store to treat myself to some shopping. This usually puts me in a good mood. But that day, I made the mistake of stopping at a cosmetics counter manned by a young woman wearing way too much eye makeup. I swear that girl was wearing every product they make, all at the same time. Her eyes looked like two tarantulas.

I didn’t stare, however, being the lady that I am. Instead I was perusing the items in the glass case, minding my own business, when Tarantula Eyes asked me if I would like to have “a makeover.” I just looked at her. I? A makeover? She thinks I need a makeover? Excuse me? I took her by the shoulders and shook her while shouting “Are you serious right now? I will have you know that when I was your age, I looked better than you will ever look in your wildest dreams, you little snot!”

Fashion and Its Healing Power

 

There are those who think fashion is frivolous or silly, but I know better. Only a couple of people on Ricochet know this, but I was sick last year. On May 20, 2016, my friend and neighbor threw me into the car and rushed me to the ER when I had a severe attack of abdominal pain. She knew I’d been having these for months because I’d missed parties and dinners, and this time she said, “Okay that’s it! We’re going to the ER.” I made her wait while I took a bath, washed my hair, shaved my legs, dried my hair, and put on makeup and an outfit. My reasoning was that if I showed up looking the way I was, they wouldn’t even try to save me.

When I got to the ER, they did a CT scan. A doctor came into the room and said, “We found a mass in your abdomen. You have cancer. We’re operating right now.” I barely had time to absorb this dire diagnosis because they knocked me out. Lucky for him, because I was about to give him a piece of my mind on the topic of bedside manner. I mean he wasn’t exactly DocJay.

He later told me that when I’d arrived at the ER, I was about six hours from death. My friend saved my life. And I had made her wait an hour while I took a bath, did my hair and makeup, and selected a chic outfit. No wonder they call vanity a Deadly Sin. But I couldn’t help it! One of my favorite quotes from a famous style icon and former editor of Vogue was running through my mind: