Love, Comma, Yours Truly

“Know the rules, so you know how to break them properly.” –Dalai Lama

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Depending on the time of day and the amount of alcohol involved, writers can go on for hours debating the differences between “voice” and “style.” As a part time copyeditor, it is my job to recognize an author’s style…and then not mess with it (unless it conflicts with house style–just like in poker, the house always wins).

One of the elements unique to each writer’s style is the comma.

Commas are used for lots of reasons. They can be used in lists of one thing, two things, and a third thing. They are used when addressing someone. They are used when interjecting a thought into a middle of a sentence. Most commonly, however, they are used to designate a pause in the rhythm of the text.

Most commas are legal. I feel confident in saying that because…
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Resumes and Synopsis . . . So Much Alike!

I will have to say I haven’t had time to get on-line as much as I would like to lately.  Recent situations in my ‘real’ life have interrupted much of my normal routine.  Having had a rough 2010 with my hubby laid-off (he has a solid job again and I thank God every day) and the economy the way it is, we’ve had to accept the fact I can no longer be a stay at home Mom in which we’d both agreed to eighteen years ago when my oldest was an infant.  When my second daughter came along 3 years and eight days after the first, it didn’t make sense to work just to pay for daycare.

Now that the oldest is in college and the youngest is two years away from high school graduation, it’s time for me to beat the streets of the job market.  Years of volunteering and various jobs from home (everything from in home party sales to helping my father-in-law with his insurance company) I’m now…
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Acronym Soup

It always blew my mind when my husband would come home and say something like…

“After retiring from the USMC four years ago, I went to work for the DoD as a PM with a PMP cert and have managed elements of the MTVR, HMMWV, MRAP and MATV programs, all ranging from ACAT III up to ACAT ID according to the DoD 5000 and DAWIA standards.  We work to counter IEDs, EFPs, RKG-3s with BFTs, Armor, RWS as well as the TAK-4 suspension from OTC and have expended billions in IR&D, PMC and O&M funding over the past 9 FYDB.”

Anyone understand what I just said? I didn’t either for the longest time. I had to learn to speak acronym.

Many people use acronyms, and some of them are so imbedded in our everyday lives that we don’t even realize we are using them. Things like TV, PJs, NASA, NATO, OMG,…
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Calling All Underdogs!

 

Doesn’t everyone want to be inspired?  Let’s face it.  We all have that hunger to be the one-in-a-million shot.   And if we can’t be it, we at least want to root for that underdog.    

The first movie that had me sitting on the edge of my seat was Rocky.  With my heart pounding with excitement, I watched as he beat the odds.  I remember being so disappointed and even dumbfounded that Rocky didn’t win that fight with Apollo Creed.  I’m not sure I even knew that he didn’t win until years later.  I couldn’t imagine it.  Where’s the happy ending?  Between Adrian’s red beret falling off and her running, running madly for the man she loved and Rocky not caring a fig that the announcer was declaring the winner and him shouting, shouting soulfully for the woman he loved, it sure felt like he won. 

But then, I got it.  It was about GETTING THERE.  Getting the shot and not being afraid to take it. 

Everyone assumed Rocky…
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Artist Date and Bento Box

When I was four years old, I made a caterpillar in preschool. I glued together cut-up egg-cartons to form the segmented body and stuck pipe-cleaners on the “head” to form antenna. When I finished, the teacher instructed me to put the caterpillar into my cubby hole, and the class went outside for recess. When we returned, the caterpillar was gone. In its place was a beautiful butterfly.

I remember staring at this butterfly, in delight and astonishment and wonder. Its wings stretched out in an array of color, and glitter dusted its body. Life was all about discovery and exploration, and anything was possible in this world. Absolutely anything.

Of course, then I grew up, and school was no longer about art projects and magical transformations. It revolved, instead, around analytical…
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If Voice Found, Please Return to Rightful Owner

Here, voicey  voicey.  Come out, come out wherever you are.  Dang blast it.  I’ve lost it again.  My dratted voice.  Not the one I use to issue dictates to errant children, ultimatums to disobedient husbands or false sincerity to overbearing bosses.  Definitely not that one.  The voice I lost, or maybe never had at all, is that mellifluous fingerprint-like identification of that quality only the best writers can convey.  It’s like a lineup or a taste test.  If I had a slew of books, covers, bios and dedications ripped away, with only my eyes as the guideposts, I can tell you which writer wrote which book.  You know exactly what I’m talking about.  It’s that voice, takes you by the lapels and yanks you into whatever or wherever it wishes you to go.  That’s the voice I’m looking for.. and the one I still can’t find.

That’s not to say I don’t hear voices.  Oh, believe me, I do.  My voice hearing ability can rival all the faces of…
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Rewriting: the Love/Hate relationship of writing and how we manage it

I have a draft open on my laptop right now:  “Lucky Numbers v12 100p June4”.  Tomorrow, the version 12 will be version13.  One hundred pages will have been re-read and minute changes made, for the thirteenth time.  If I can finish those hundred pages tomorrow it will be submitted, along with the synopsis (currently version 14) to an editor who requested it at the WRW retreat in May.

But my secret is, I didn’t write all of it.  I’m putting the final rewrite on a manuscript I’ve been writing with a collaborator for two years.  This is the most recent version of the tale, and it’s been a long and complex production.

How do you handle rewrites?  Is putting the story down a breeze, and the rewriting a slog?  Do you plot as you go, and then have to go back and patch up all the holes you left behind?  Or is it all carefully planned, with minor time needed for…
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The Muse…To Tell or Not To Tell?

Today I happened to be innocently surfing the web, in search of…well, a kick start for a character, yes…a muse.  I came upon the official website of a talented and handsome actor and decided to check it out.  The website was under construction but there was one active tab I could click on.  So I did.  And it was a link to contact the actor through email. 

That is a dangerous thing in the hands of a writer on the search for that little something to give her some oomph behind a character.  My first reaction was to click on the link, type something cheesy about how talented and handsome he is and to be clever, add a little thank you for being my inspiration today. 

Thank goodness my secret sense kicked in just in time before I made a fool of myself!!

And it got me thinking…as a writer, which aspects of your personal process do you feel should be kept secret and which ones do you think are safe…
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The Dreaded Synopsis

Tell me, how do you write the synopsis to your W.I.P.? Because here’s how my typical synopsis writing day goes. 

First, I remind myself and anyone within earshot of how much I hate writing the synopsis. Then I open a Word Document. After staring at said blank page for about three straight minutes, I toggle over to Twitter and tweet about how I despise the synopsis.

Then, I eat something. After that, I let the food digest. We’ve all heard our mothers remind us to wait twenty minutes after we eat before working on our synopsis. Don’t want any writing-related cramps after all.

Finally, I go back to the blank page and eek out two lame sentences. I berate them. I judge them. Then I take the time to berate and judge myself. You suck, Kerri!

If there is any time left I send my BFF an email expressing my extreme suck-age. And then she tells me over…
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Expectations, Infidelity and the Terminator

I am an avid reader (and hopeful aspiring author) of Harlequin Blaze, the hottest and sexiest line of their category line stable.  In it you will find the trademark hot-lovin’ in a variety of positions, locations and with or without accompanying toys.  This line is lava-hot but also promises a happily- ever-after (HEA) or a happliy-for-now (HFN) ending for one man and one woman – an emotional connection in addiiton to the sexual one.  If you want sex with multiple partners of either gender, you need to look elsewhere (like the Harlequin SPICE line).

So, when I picked up and read, ‘Reckless Pleasures” by Tori Carrington (a long-time favorite of mine) I was thrown by my reaction to the plot.  Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

”Six months apart is a long time. For security expert, Megan McGowan, it feels like forever since she’s felt the strong arms of Darius Folsom around her. Since Dari’s military deployment six…
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