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Birch Bay Public Market

Friday, May 10 through the end of summer, Cathy and I will be selling her hand-made soaps, lotions, and toiletries, along with my photography, note cards, calenders, books, etc.

Come see us!

Across the street from the C Shop

4825 Alderson Road, Birch Bay, Washington 98230


I had an automated blogroll here, powered by Google Reader, but Google, in its near-infinite lack of wisdom, killed Google Reader. Prior to this murder, all I had to do to put a blog on my blogroll (or to take it off) was to place it in a Reader folder called, appropriately enough, "blogroll" (or, of course, to remove it). I use The Old Reader now for following blogs, but it seems to have no way to something similar regarding the blogroll. If you know of a way to do this, please let me know.

Holding her close in that sweet perfection

I just got an interesting email from a concerned reader. In my novella, The Back Porch, I use the phrase “holding her close.” My reader asks:

“Shouldn’t this be ‘holding her closely’? Since ‘close’ modifies ‘holding,’ and since ‘holding’ is a verb, shouldn’t it be ‘closely,’ the adverb form?”

Actually, I have to give this reader points for actually asking this as a question, since nine times out of ten, this sort of comment is more of a finger-pointing than a question, but, no, it shouldn’t be ‘closely.’ It could have been, of course, since ‘closely’ certainly is an adverb, but so is ‘close.’ In fact, in my New Oxford American Dictionary the examples given of adverbial usage are these:

  • they stood close to the door
  • he was holding her close <—Hey, look! My exact phrase! Smile

Or, if you prefer an argument from logic, if I can hold someone up, or hold them down, or hold them off, then why can I not hold them close?

Although this reader gets points for asking (and this wasn’t the only example quoted, as I do tend to use similar constructions, favoring the non-ly version of an adverb over the (generally much clumsier) –ly version), nonetheless I have to wonder what it is about writing style that makes people hunt down an author’s email address and fire off something like this. Nothing at all about the story. No indication of whether she liked it or not. Just “Hey, isn’t this a mistake?”

I don’t know, maybe she’d been given a homework assignment on adverb use or something, and she just happened to find mine.

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