It’s been a while since we had a giveaway, hasn’t it? It’s not every day that we come across generous people who want to share their beautiful - and useful – work with others, but Emily of EmDashPaperCo is giving away one of her hand-lettered mini journals. Not only will it be very useful to any writer, it also has a a very apt quote, which I hope will serve as inspiration. Emily runs a store on Etsy. She has an English BA and MA, is an avid reader, and a lover of the written word in all its forms. Doesn’t [Read more…]
I’ve heard it said more than once that grammar and learning the intricacies of a language can be boring. I guess it’s safe to assume that you don’t think the same way. (At least I hope I am right!) Earlier this week, I was working on another piece about TED talks. I don’t know if you’re familiar with TED, but the premise is to invite select speakers to speak to a limited audience, with the condition that the talk is focused on something inspiring related to the work the speaker has done. Since its inception in 1984, TED has grown [Read more…]
Many of you have been working online for quite some time, but I am sure that we also have a good number of readers who are only starting to wade in the freelance waters. Whichever group you belong to, I think that you will benefit a lot from reading Kathleen Krueger’s recently released e-book, “The Fast Track to Freelance Success Online”. Kathleen is one of our readers, and I was made aware of her book when she left a comment a week or so ago, and guess what? She has generously agreed to give away two copies! The title gives [Read more…]
Grammar can be a pain in the butt, but who says it can’t be fun? Etymology, today’s topic, technically doesn’t fall under grammar, but my discovery is too fun not to share with all of you. A guy who runs the blog Ideas Illustrated has taken it upon himself to apply some color-coding technology to English text to make the concept of English word origins more visual. If you are a visual person like me, then this endeavor is definitely a welcome one! What he did was to rely on Douglas Harper’s online dictionary of etymology to determine the language [Read more…]
I don’t know about you, but this is one of my favorite quotes from a writer. While I have to be honest and say that I am not a huge Ray Bradbury fan (not because I don’t like his work, but simply because I haven’t had the chance to read much of it), this line just hits home at times. When I saw this mug on Etsy, I had a feeling that some of you guys might want to get your hands on it as well. Not only is the design something we can relate to as writers, the mug [Read more…]
I am sure that I am not alone in feeling nostalgic about the entire experience of putting words on paper (literally) using a typewriter. As a kid, I would alternate between the desire to daintily tap on the keys and the urge to pound away like a crazed writer. It might be a difficult thing to find real typewriters nowadays, but for those of you who have an iPad, here’s the next best thing: miTypewriter. This app turns your iPad into something like the typewriters of old, and while you won’t have the tactile experience, the looks and sounds certainly [Read more…]
I believe that writers need to continue to improve themselves, and one way of doing that is to read, read, and read some more. When it comes to reading, I can read practically anything (except fashion magazines, maybe), but I do love a good fiction book. And speaking of fiction, did you know that we have a published fiction writer in our team at Splashpress Media? Robin Parrish is a journalist, blogger, and author. He contributes to our sister sites ForeverGeek and Apple Gazette. He has been so kind as to offer an electronic copy of his latest novel, Corridor, [Read more…]
What is your most important writing tool? Many years ago, the most common answers would probably have been “notebook” or “notepad” and “pen” or “pencil”. I wouldn’t be surprised if majority of modern answers include laptop, desktop computer, and iPad (or any other tablet for that matter). This is especially true for those of us who use the Internet as the main means of carrying out our work, isn’t it? If you own an iPad, and you would like to have a handy app that will help you write down your thoughts in a more organized way, we have something [Read more…]
We’ve got something special for you today! Do you remember the grammar book that we reviewed some time ago? It is titled “37 Things to Know About Grammar”, and it is a brilliant book in that it makes grammar fun. If you have memories of your grammar teacher acting like the a policeman without a sense of humor, you can forget about that. This book gives you some of the most important principles in English grammar without making you feel as if you were back in school. For writers who may need a quick reference, the book is a handy [Read more…]
As freelance writers, it is very easy to get caught up in our own busy worlds schedules. I am sure that you have, more than once, spent more than 10 hours without doing anything but work in front of your screen. While work is good, we also need to remind ourselves that there is more to life than sitting in front of a computer screen. A break every now and then is always a welcome thing. If you have been working yourself hard this week, why don’t you consider treating yourself to a break this weekend? I do not know [Read more…]
Green eggs and ham, the cat in the hat, etc. – many of us grew up reading these words, and many of us learned to love reading because of the genius of one man: Dr. Seuss. Born Theodore Seuss Geisel, the American cartoonist and writer is definitely one of the most loved children’s book writers today. Dr. Seuss was born on March 2, 1904, and in his lifetime, he published 44 children’s books which are all full of wonderfully imaginative characters. Add to these his uniquely creative writing style, and you will not be surprised at how well-loved this writer [Read more…]
Deck the blogs with tons of leads Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la Tis the season to take heed, Fa la la la la, la la la la. To the tips, advice and wisdom, Fa la la, la la la, la la la. Troll the boards making friends, Fa la la la la, la la la la. Search the archives, thoughts and surveys, Fa la la la la, la la la la. Ask Jodee about your queries. Fa la la la la, la la la la. Noemi leads in grammar guidance, Fa la la la la, la la la la. While Jonathan talks legal countenance, [Read more…]
Tell your story.
Oh, and just to encourage participation, I’ll tack on a prize. The best story wins a free copy of The Concert for Bangladesh on DVD. You get Harrison, Clapton, Preston, Dylan and even Ringo in their full bearded 1971 glory!
There are a number of web sites that I absolutely love, but I just don’t visit all that often. The main reason is that I know each of these sites could easily suck away any number of hours from my week. Interestingly, many of them involve animals: Stuff on My Cat Cute Overload I Can Has Cheeseburger Some of them are snarky: Passive Aggressive Notes People of Walmart And some of them are downright tragic: FMyLife Texts from Last Night Hm, maybe I should list People of Walmart again… There are some, however, that are just so cool that even though [Read more…]
Aw, gee. I’ve mentioned time and time again on this blog that I consider myself to be a “word-nerd.” I love to use superfluous words, and I am a fiend for a compound sentence. In addition, I love to read and to rend some deep meaning out of the words and passages of classic literature. For an American, I’m pretty well-read. Or so I thought. I took this simple little quiz and was appalled at my results. There were 17 quotes listed, and in the 5 minutes provided, I could only identify 7 of them. (They even had the author’s [Read more…]
As I’ve mentioned a few times now, and will probably continue to mention until the novelty of a new baby wears off, I just had my second child. Obviously, I had a little advanced warning that this major disruption would be happening to my schedule. All of my clients were put on notice… After all, I was planning to take the month of October off, with only this blog to “worry” about. So, everyone else was told that I’d do as much as I could for them, up to the last possible moment, but that I was off limits as [Read more…]
While it probably comes as no big surprise to any of you, I haven’t had as much free time as usual lately to surf the Internet collecting the URLs of things that make me LOL. It’s not really the new baby as much as it is the toddler I already had. The new one seems to actually grasp the concept of sleeping, something her big sister still resists on a daily basis. Perhaps that’s why I’m actually in the office, 15 days after giving birth, with the newest family member sleeping in the car seat next to my desk. I [Read more…]
My darling husband sent me a link today, and all I could make out from the URL was “stuff no one told me” and “don’t freelance.” “Uh-oh,” I thought. ”He’s finally decided he’s had enough of this being in business for myself thing and is trying to build a case against it.” (I’m very glass-is-half-empty here in the last week or so of this pregnancy.) Instead, he had found a really funny couple of cartoons that I think many of you will relate to all too well. It’s by Alex Noriega at Stuff No One Told Me, and I highly [Read more…]
After finding that fun haiku shirt the other day, I found myself spending an ill-advised amount of time on the Internet looking at “writerly” shirts and other products. One of the coolest things I came across really doesn’t fit my personal style at all. As a shirt, I’m not really all that interested in the style, BUT I so dig the fact that it includes a collection of Shakespearean insults and wanted to share some of the best ones here. When I insult someone, I generally just end up sounding petty and awkward. I mean, there are very few occasions [Read more…]
I have this little thing where I like to turn my dreams into haiku. I mean, given all the words in the world, it’s nearly impossible to really explain the incredible weirdness that happens in our dream lives, so cutting it down to 17 syllables shouldn’t really make that much of a difference, right? Today, I found a total gem while looking for a different design. Oh my gosh. How much do I want this shirt from Threadless Tees? Words cannot express: My birthday’s October 8th. Just sayin’…
It’s no secret that I consider myself to be a word-nerd. I know the difference among “there,” “their,” and “they’re,” for example. (I also know the difference between “between” and “among,” in case you didn’t notice.) Yeah, I do make the occasional mistake, but I hope very few of them slip through the cracks when I proofread work for clients and all. Despite my large vocabulary and ability to punctuate, there are some common English language issues that still escape me. As much as I want to understand them, however, I just can’t seem to wrap my brain around proper [Read more…]
I’ve seen this type of thing in several different places. Back when I was still wondering what the heck the Internet had to offer other than hard-to-follow chat rooms, I found a printed version of it in a souvenir shop and bought it for my English major friend. Some years later, I was forwarding different iterations via email. (Yeah, the Internet was getting a little more relevant at that point.) Now, here I am: a professional blogger, and I’ve found a whole new way to make people read this stuff. By the way, I found this compilation at PlainLanguage.gov. I’m [Read more…]
So, I’m always on the lookout for “writerly” jokes. Yes, I know that “writerly” is not a word, but I use it on a regular basis nonetheless. It’s my favorite non-existing adjective, in fact. I like to fancy myself as a Picasso of the English language. Now that I have a fairly thorough understanding of the proper use of words, punctuation, etc, it’s safe for me to experiment and add my own touches and flourishes. Or an extra nose or something. (Just had to reincorporate that whole “Picasso” comment.) Anyway, I found some new writerly jokes, and this was my [Read more…]
I have two things to say about this: 1. It’s NSFW because of some naughty language (in addition to bad grammar, of course). 2. A lot of people on my Facebook friends list are lucky I don’t have a taser like these grammar police.
Do you ever wonder if perhaps some people’s “writer’s block” has less to do with drawing a blank than it does with the number of Twitter updates they send in a day? Here’s a little ditty by published author Jackson Pierce where she calls herself out for that very thing. Anyone else recognize a bit too much of themselves? OK, this one isn’t actually writing related, but since I already posted a link to a Tik Tok parody, I figured I might as well throw in my very favorite one. It’s geeky-ish-ly delicious.