International House of Grammar
By the time you read this post, I will have taken my friend Cara to IHOP for the first time. She’s Swedish, you see, and not only are their traditional pancakes different from ours, but additionally, they don’t eat them for breakfast, so she’s pretty excited. So am I, since while I’m a really good cook and baker, my pancakes suck. I spent most of my twenties confused about what I was doing so wrong and making attempt after attempt to improve my pancake-making skill. By the ti
All I Know about Hockey I Learned from Erotica
Over the last few weeks I had the pleasure of editing Bianca Sommerland’s latest book in her Dartmouth Cobras series, Iron Cross. The Dartmouth Cobras are a fictional NHL team located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and the books detail the players’ lives on and off the ice. I started working with Bianca about eighteen months ago after I read her first book in the series, Game Misconduct. (It’s free on Amazon, go get it.) I offered to re-edit her books and a great professional rel
Turning Water into Wine
I love wine. If you didn’t know that, perhaps you’re one of the three people reading this blog with whom I’ve never interacted on social media or in person. In honor of your newbie status, welcome! My personal motto is “Alcohol may not solve your problems, but neither will water or milk.” You’re welcome to borrow it. Sadly though, today’s post is not about wine. It’s also not about religion. (Spoiler alert: None of my posts will ever be about religion.) And despite the lack o
Don't Keep It in Your Pants
Allow me to begin with a short apology. Paying the rent and getting new passport stamps (Dubai!) has kept me away from this blog for too long. I'm doing my best to get some posts banked so that doesn't happen again. Thanks for your patience. On with the show! A couple months back I took a poll on Twitter: What’s your least favorite word for male or female sex organs? (Also, hey there, Mom. This post may be awkward to read. And all y’all out there reading this at your desks at
BULLY (transitive verb): to treat abusively or to affect by means of force or coercion. When FDR was president, most Americans did not know that he primarily used a wheelchair. The media didn’t report on it, and he endeavored never to appear in public sitting in it, with only two photos in existence of such an event. His “weakness” was not made public. Why am I telling this story? (And really, how often do you ask yourself that when you’re reading one of my blog posts? Probab
Posse in Effect
Do you ever get the feeling that the creators of the English language are just messing with you? Like, why are there so many words that sound the same but mean dissimilar (or even the same!) things and may be spelled in wholly different ways? Who thought that was a good idea? How could they have ever expected anyone to learn all these variations and nuances? I think it was all a big game to them. With us as the losers. Take one of the worst word-pair offenders: “affect” and “
You Like to Watch, Don't You?
I overslept this morning. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve done that in the last twelve months. (Don’t worry, I was still on time for work. And I had time to stop at Target. I just skipped my workout. I was going to do that when I got home from work tonight. But...wine.) The reason I was so tired? This awesomeness: Cara Dee was working on what I *thought* was her next book, Outcome, the follow up to her #1 Amazon success Aftermath. Out of the blue I get a mess
Total Ellipsis of the Heart
Normal people don’t speak in complete sentences. They pause and stammer and vacillate and allude and do all manner of things which are very difficult to express in writing and punctuation. One of the least understood forms of punctuation is the ellipsis. (And just to get this out of the way, “ellipsis” is the singular form of the word, “ellipses” is the plural. This makes for awesome editing notes: “You need an ellipsis here.” and “Ellipses wouldn’t go amiss in this speech.”
"One Stomach Flu away from My Goal Weight..."
I had a grand plan for a fun, witty, grammar-centric post this week. Then I got a stomach virus, and all of my plans were sacrificed in my efforts to stay alive. I'm on the mend—and I've lost half a pound, so at least there's an upside. So today's post (a day late, apologies) is instead one in an occasional series talking up a project I am working on. Don't worry that this site is going to turn into "All Promotion, All the Time," but I do want to draw attention to the great b
Perfect Is the Enemy of Good
Years ago I had a boss who was very fond of the saying “Perfect is the enemy of good.” At twenty-two and unaccustomed to corporate-speak, my immediate reaction to that phrase was along the lines of “What the hell does that mean?” I finally figured out what it meant, but I failed to see how it applied to my professional life. Shouldn’t I want everything I work on to be perfect? Why should I settle for shoddy work-product? And why should my boss be willing to accept it from me?