lessons learned

Dirty, sexy, grammar – conjugation

September 7, 2012

So if prisoners are allowed conjugal visits, when you conjugate a verb are you screwing? Or screwed? Or just plain stupid for sleeping with a hardened criminal? Something like that. One definition of conjugation is “to become joined together; to pair and fuse in conjugation.” Well I’ll be damned. You are screwed. When you conjugate […]

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You’re unique, so be you! A guest post by J. Scott Sharp

June 12, 2012

I’d like to welcome my friend, J. Scott Sharp (Jason to the rest of us) to my blog!  This is my first guest post, and I am very pleased that it is Jason.  He blogs at jscottsharp.blogspot.ca.  You can find him on Twitter too, @jscottsharp. First, I want to thank Julie for an opportunity to […]

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Dirty, sexy, grammar – mood

May 4, 2012

Candles. Wine. Soft music. I bet you know what I’m in the mood for. Grammar! I mean, who isn’t? It’s such a sexy thing, good grammar. Even sexier when you break the ‘rules’ and rebel. That’s right, baby – end my sentence with a preposition. Come on, split my infinitive. Oh, yes…. Mood is a […]

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Careful, your tolerance is showing

April 26, 2012

Alberta recently went through a provincial election. History was made, the first woman elected premier sits in office. She happens to be someone I know personally – how cool is that? But the ‘other’ party came out of this campaign stinking like decaying roses. Wild ones. Early predictions were that they would take the whole […]

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Dirty, sexy, grammar – dangling participles

April 15, 2012

While some participles might be sexy, and a few a little dirty, the dangling kind are just plain wrong! Please folks, keep those participles in your grammatical pants. We don’t need to see ‘em dangle. A participle is a verbal form that modifies a noun. In other words, it is a verb that acts like […]

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Adverbly yours

April 1, 2012

A habit, or maybe fall back, of many writers is the ease and frequency with which they use adverbs. Especially -ly adverbs. See? I did it again. After giving my novel out to the first round of beta readers (love you guys!), I went on a search and destroy mission. Seek out any word ending […]

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The writing soundtrack

March 5, 2012

No, I haven’t suddenly become blessed with musical ability. I still sing like a duck getting a mammogram, and the only instrument I’ve mastered is, well, private. This pool of word vomit is about the music you hear when you write. Years ago, when I first attempted to write a novel, I had no music […]

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Dirty, sexy, grammar – subordinate clause

February 20, 2012

A subordinate clause is to a main clause as Leopold von Sacher-Masoch is to the Marquis de Sade. You can’t have the masochist without the sadist – although the sadist can stand alone. Or maybe that’s the cheese. Yes, the cheese stands alone. A subordinate clause has a subject and a verb, but cannot stand […]

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Dirty, sexy, grammar – apostrophe

February 5, 2012

What could be sexy about a little flick of the pencil? Well, two things. She sounds like the baby sister of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. I dub Apostrophe the goddess of punctuation. If that’s not enough to make her sexy, this little chick is badass. She is the tiny arc of controversy, sparking debate […]

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Word vomit

February 2, 2012

In a recent workshop, one of my fellow students asked the rest of us what our writing process is.  I hadn’t thought much about process at that point, and wasn’t sure what I do could be called a process.  Process sounds so formal and, I don’t know – organized.  My method is to vomit words […]

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One person’s split infinitive is another’s separable transitive phrasal verb

January 26, 2012

One of the authors I have been fortunate to study under pointed out a very bad grammatical habit I have – splitting infinitives.  Now I admit that it’s been a while since I was in school, so I had to Google infinitives for a refresher.  I found myself a bit confused, since all results on […]

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