Monday, August 27, 2012

Write clearly

No, this is not a post about what a shame it is that some school systems have taken out cursive and penmanship from their elementary education curriculum.

It's another post about how language can be amusingly confusing.

This time, it's a sign on a donation box that makes my older son laugh hysterically every time we pass by:
You'll have to click on the photo to enlarge it, but the slogan says, "We turn used clothing into new kids through education." As Son1 is fond of pointing out, that make no sense at all.

I mean, you can understand their gist, but, really, no matter what process you use, used clothing can never be turned into kids.

And while this sounds like a good cause, it's a bit sad (and ironic) that something that is supposed to involve education sounds like it's written by someone who has no education.

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~ Toni Morrison

Monday, August 20, 2012

Right on, Write-On Con!

I wish I could credit the person from whom I found out about Write-On Con, but, hey, these days, I'm lucky if I remember my kids' names (all two of them) and the day of the week it is. I suspect it was one of my fellow Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrator member buddies.

Last year, when I first found out about it, I was a lurker. A lazy lurker at that. I think I arrived late and didn't really try to figure out how it works.

In the interim, I completely forgot about it because that's just how my brain rolls...or doesn't roll. My brain is quite the expert on gathering moss in my old age.

Fast forward a year. I got a notice that Write-On Con was about to start again  - fortunately for me, I had the foresight to sign up for their email notifications last year (I suspect my good twin Skippy did me the favor*).

I still am trying to figure out exactly how Write-On Con works, but I have to tell ya I learned a lot from the live and forum events which featured editors and agents, and other helpful writers.

Because I have only a picture book manuscript completed so far this year, I participated in the PB query forum. While critiquing 15 or so - I lost count - of other people's queries was time-consuming, it was also a terrific learning experience. I think my critiques improved after about the 5th one. I also realized that the accumulation of writing knowledge for the past 20 years or so actually stuck in my brain, so that even though I can't remember where I read certain facts from, I could tell others about these facts.

While no Ninja Agent asked to see my manuscript, some kind person gave my query 5 stars. [And then I, embarrassingly, asked @writeoncon what stars meant...duh.] Thank you, kind fellow writer! Your rating kept me from believing that my writing sucks so badly no agent/editor deemed the query worth looking at.

So, if you write children's literature, I highly recommend checking out Write-On Con's archives and then participating next year. It's all free, though I always donate, even last year when I had no idea what was going on. Having been a long time volunteer in various capacities, I usually believe that volunteers should be rewarded somehow. :)

Maybe I'll see you at Write-On Con next year?

*I have no twin, good or evil.

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~ Toni Morrison

Monday, August 13, 2012

To flatter or to complete, that is the question

I read something recently in an e-newsletter that made me giggle. The headline for an article said, "Compliment the Bedding."
"Well, hello, Bedding; you sure are looking sultry and beautiful tonight."
It was, as I suspected, a piece about making matching bedroom decor so the colors would go together harmoniously, and not, as you would think from the word "compliment," a piece about giving praise to the way the bedding looks.

To complIment is to flatter, to heap praise upon. To complEment is to make something whole or complete.

In this case, there's a very fine line, but there is still a distinct difference. It was pretty funny thinking about someone coming on to bedding.

What grammar faux pas makes you giggle?

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~ Toni Morrison

Monday, August 6, 2012

I'm moving!

Well, ok, I'm not personally moving, but I'm moving my blog to my new author website at teresarobeson.com. Hope you'll join me there!

You can also find me in my usual blog, Raising Our Own, where I babble about a lot of different things related to my life. :)

I won't be deleting this blog since I keep track of my favorite writing/publishing bloggers here (and I may do identical posting here and on my website for a while).

Hope your week is productive!

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~ Toni Morrison