Monthly Archives January 2009

Writers’ Group

“Fine writers should split hairs together, and sit side by side, like friendly apes, to pick the fleas from each other’s fur.” - Logan Pearsall Smith I have the great fortune to belong to a writers’ group, known variously as The Group, The Writing Circle and The Babbling Book (by me, although the others find that one a tad silly). We are a handful of women writers, writing nerds, really, all
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The Strunk

“To write well is to think well, to feel well, and to render well; it is to possess at once an intellect, soul, and taste.” - George Louis Buffon When to use further or farther? Since when are nouns used as verbs?? And when did irregardless become acceptable*??? Questions like these have been keeping me awake at night. Thank god for the Strunk. E.B. White, in his 1979 introduction to The Elements of Style,
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Keep Going…

“Genius is the gold in the mine, talent is the miner who works and brings it out.” - Marguerite Blessington The Resident Teenager (RT) is working hard. Rather than reinforcing the stereotype of the lazy, computer-addicted young man, he is hard at it, setting a great example around here. It’s remarkable how much a motivated young person can accomplish. The RT’s got roles in three different theatre productions,
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Business as Usual

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” - Samuel Johnson “How was your week?” “Cold. How was yours?” “Great. Warm, thanks.” I chose to ignore the remark. While the Business Guy was away doing business in warmer climes, I was dressed in four layers of extreme woolies,
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Sixty-three Words that Could Change the World:

“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unneccessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.” - William Strunk Jr.
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Shovelling

“Either write something worth doing or do something worth writing.” - Benjamin Franklin It’s been an effort to get out the door these days. Just after the rain washed away most of the New Year’s Eve snow, leaving us with bumpy, frozen footprints to trip and slip on, another blizzard hit the East Coast. It’s been cold enough that the snow has remained white and rather pretty,
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Reading List

“I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.” - Nathaniel Hawthorne While staring at the dust bunnies and wondering what to write for the next blog, my mind wandered to the novel I’m reading, Joseph Boyden’s harrowing Through Black Spruce. My thoughts travelled further back to the last novel I read, Where White Horses Gallop by Beatrice MacNeil, then to the book before
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Revision

“Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.” - Henry David Thoreau I had a chat with my Eccentric-Lady-Artist mother the other day. (She’s not eccentric, really; that’s a nickname given her years ago with great affection by my father. For blogging purposes I think it works, so will keep the moniker – little did Dad know!)
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Reading, reading, reading…

“If you want to be a writer, you must read and read and read, and write and write and write.” - Anon. I don’t know why more of a fuss hasn’t been made about Where White Horses Gallop, a new novel by Beatrice MacNeil*. It’s a heartbreaking and lyrical gem of a story about the loss of three young men from a remote community in Cape Breton. I gobbled it
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