Counting how many times I use REALLY, VERY, WAS, FELT, THOUGHT, and all those other, pesky, weak words.

When we write, there some obvious tricks of the trade we try to follow:  No passive voice, show-not tell, minimal adverbs.  Priscilla Bettis offers us an eyeopening to see how often these no-nos sneak into our writing. via Counting how many times I use REALLY, VERY, WAS, FELT, THOUGHT, and all those other, pesky, weak words.


The Writer’s Cottage

writer with typewriterPsychologically, I made two major breakthroughs as a writer this week while we were in Virginia Beach.  We were looking at possible retirement homes.

“What do you two do besides volunteering?” our tour guide asked us.

“I write a blog, ” I responded.

“What’s it about?” she enquired.

“I write about a variety of topics that interest me.  I have about 350 followers.”

It was the first time I had mentioned my blog to a stranger.  It felt good to acknowledge I was a writer.

Later that afternoon, as we drove through  some neighborhoods,  anytime we saw a house with a detached building like a storage hut or an adult-sized playhouse, my husband would say “That can be your writing cottage.  All you’ll need is electricty.”

“And heat and airconditiooning ” I joked.  It was the first time he has expressed an interest in my writing besides doing an excellent job of taking pictures of unusual bathroom doors for my Bathroom Signs irregular series of blog posts.

Plunk by plunk, letter by letter , word by word, I’m typing my way into  being a writer.


5 Unconventional Ways to Promote Your Blog

This is a different take on the usual blog advice. Very helpful and insightful.

The Art of Blogging

If you are trying to reach more readers, chances are you’re already familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) and building a presence on different social media networks.

There is nothing wrong with those methods, and you should probably give them a try, but if you have already exhausted all the common methods of promoting your blog, then here are 5 unconventional methods that will get you more readers.

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📚 🌹 Giornata mondiale del libro 🌹 📚

via 📚 🌹 Giornata mondiale del libro 🌹 📚

Here is the  English translation

Today April 23 marks the World Book and Copyright Day, which is also called Book and Roses Day.

The date April 23 was chosen because on that day, in 1616, three great men of world literature died: the Englishman William Shakespeare, the Spanish Miguel de Cervantes and the Peruvian Garcilaso Inca de la Vega.

Born in Catalonia on the day of Sant Jordi (Saint George), the Spanish "book and rose festival" became UNESCO International Day.

On the day dedicated to Sant Jordi, according to tradition, men give their women a rose, which, according to legend, was born from the blood gushed from the body of the dragon killed by Saint George.
This is why it has become customary for booksellers to give a gift to customers for every book bought

They Weren’t as Bad as I Thought

writing editingMy read and critique group meets the third Friday of each month.  We submit our pieces by midnight on the first Friday of each month,  One of our group leaders assembles them in a PDF document and emails them to us the following Monday or Tuesday.

Depending upon whether we are in two or three groups and how many people submit pieces, we each have four to six approximately 10-page submissions to read.  The guidelines say 10 pages per month, but people submit up to 19 pages so that an entire chapter can be included.  Most of the submissions are fiction.  A few are memoirs and occasionally someone submits poetry.

This month I submitted poetry that had been posted to this blog.  Titles included The Feral Wind, Assaulting the Beaches on Christmas Day, What Book is This,   How Fast Are You?, and a few others.   In the two weeks between submitting them and having them critiqued, I wondered why I had taken the easy way out and submitted poetry.  On a few of the poems like Feral Wind and Assaulting the Beaches on Christmas Day,  I had spent some time molding the words.  Most of the others were dashed off as quickly as I could get the words typed and the mispellings corrected. (Thank you Grammarly, even if I don’t always agree with you.)

Anything can be improved.  Removing most “the”‘s from The Feral Wind really smoothed out the flow.

Original lines

The playful breeze

Tossed birds into the air

To soar with the currents

Swoop with the downdrafts

Gliding and pirouetting

Between the cliffs of the cove and the point

Where the sea cave channeled the waves through the jutting land.

Revised lines

A playful breeze

Tossed birds into the air

To soar with  currents

Swoop with  downdrafts

Gliding and pirouetting

Between  cliffs of the cove and  point

Where the sea cave channeled the waves through  jutting land.

The other poems were critiqued because of imagery (or lack thereof like How Fast Are You which is just a word play on the number of words that end in fast like breakfast or steadfast.)  The uneven cadence in some poems like Be Leaf in Yourself were highlighted with re-write.  Everyone had a differing opinion on whether a poem had some or no meaning.

People seemed surprised and liked the variety.  No one shredded the poems with criticism.  The light hearted poems were as well received as the more lyrical or highly scripted poems.  I told them I was regretting the submission of some poems.  They asked which ones.  I said I would tell them after the poems had been critiqued.  The ones I had not wanted  to include were Be Leaf in Yourself and Valentine’s Day: Day of Love,.

Take away:  Be brave.  Let your work be judged. It is often not as bad as your inner critique would have you belive. The insights of others, may just improve your work.  It improved mine.