How Sexy Can Punctation Be? Somewhat.

This is a terrific post from “Fixed That For Ya’,” an editor’s blog, which I just learned about from writer Mary Carroll-Hackett.

Here’s what the writers says about semi colons, for example:

“1. Semicolon

You probably don’t think you have a chance with that Hot Babe. That’s why you need a semicolon. It will help you get together with someone who’s Way Out Of Your League. We grammar lovers call these “independent clauses,” but really, it doesn’t matter what label you want to put on yourself. The important thing is that when you think you don’t have a chance, you can use a semicolon to join two phrases that ordinarily wouldn’t go together. HECK YEAH.”

Visit for the rest of them.

I have an unnatural affinity for the semi-colon, or, as one writing mentor warned me, “semi-colon poisoning,” and an unnatural annoyance with the exclamation point, which I use only when I’m trying to be unnaturally enthusiastic.

If you pay attention, you’ll notice that I edited the editor’s punctuation in that quote.  Go look for it.

Think, Read, Write, Read, Talk, Think, Read . . . .

A cycle:  Reading, writing, thinking, talking, and writing.  It’s also a typical process through which we come up with ideas and communicate them to others.  We hope that they are good ideas—that’s why we talk to people close at hand and read those who are not.  Sometimes, they’re not—that’s why we talk to people close at hand and read those who are not.

The idea that writers work entirely alone, isolated, sometimes inebriated, and produce works of genius under great and emotionally painful duress is not really true.  Writers are quite sociable, are only occasionally inebriated, and often produce works of genius after spending quality time with their friends and family, and later with their editors.  What you see on the published printed page is often the product of years of exchanges with several people, whether they are nosing around the manuscripts directly, or not.

“Think before you speak; read before you think; ask before you read,” my mother used to say.  And I add:  “Get to know some interesting people before you ask.”  Join a readers’ or writers’ group.  Visit your library and get to know your librarians (they miss you).  Keep an idea file while you read and jot down the names of books and people you should track down to talk about what’s on your mind.  If you have a therapist, that’s great; but that’s not what I’m talking about, here.

If you are already on your way into a small or large writing project, take a look at the other pages here, and send me a note through the “comments” section or by clicking on my email address.