Wednesday’s Words: The Proverbial Cliché

The only writer worse than one who falls back on clichés is one who prefaces the cliché with “proverbial.” That construct has been used so often it has become a cliché in itself. Even worse, it draws attention to the writer. It says that the writer is too lazy to come up with something original, […]

Wednesday’s Words — Voice: Being Yourself in Words

“Voice” is a difficult technique for new writers to master but, like compost, voice happens. It’s who we are, how we write, what we believe. I’ve heard that a good actor is one who can be himself in front of the camera. Maybe that’s what defines a good writer, too — one who can be […]

Pride and Prejudice—A Classic?

I know there’s a reason for its lasting popularity, but I’m not falling in love with Pride and Prejudice.

Wednesday’s Words — One Word at a Time

Writing is all about goals. For most of us, the primary goal is to become a published writer, though we all envision that goal differently. Some dream of being the next Stephen King or John Grisham or (insert name here); some dream of making lots of money, and some just want to make a living […]

Wednesday’s Words: The Slang Game

Well cut off my legs and call me shorty! That particular bit of slang came from the 1940s. Can you guess what decades the rest of these came from? Heave, meaning to vomit Bitch, meaning to gripe Having the hots for someone To finger someone To come clean Groovy Sore, meaning angry Babe, meaning an […]

Change of Year, Change of Seasons

In New England, this is a time of year when one tends to wake up in the dark, experience a shortened day, then drive home in the dark. No small wonder that all of this darkness takes a toll on the psyche. But as of the winter solstice, the days began to get a little longer, even though the visible effects are hard to see so far.

Wednesday’s Words: He Said, She Said

This post is not so much about words themselves, but how we communicate with — and without — words. Writers often make men and women characters interchangeable, using only physical attributes to tell them apart, forgetting that there are differences between the two species. (I know, men and women aren’t two different species, but you have […]

Buying Used Books—Good or Bad

I’ve read complaints by writers that they make no money on the sale of used books. As a writer, does that bother you?

Is It Success If Nobody Knows About It?

There is a type of person I run into once in a while.  They’re a rare breed, but I’ve met six or seven of them in my life.  I don’t know how to classify them, but they have some things in common.  They’re all extremely capable people who seem indifferent to the traditional trappings of […]

Wednesday’s Words: List of Loaths (Part II)

We all have a list of  words and phrases that we’d just as soon cut from the language. I already talked about giving 110%, 24/7, and coeds, but the following words and phrases are just as annoying and just as meaningless. Intestinal fortitude ties my guts into knots. I suppose with all the indigestible food that we […]