About the author...

MWhere I’ll be:M

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.

Forbidden Tools

I just saw yet another of those “avoid these words and phrases” lists.

It all starts out innocently enough – someone thinks that a word is overused, so they decide to use it less. Fine. But the next thing you know, they’re telling everyone around them that they shouldn’t use it either, and then

Continue reading Forbidden Tools

The Cabinetmaker, the Photographer, the Sculptor, and the Editor

The Cabinetmaker

John Doe, a cabinetmaker, was wandering through the stacks in the farthest, darkest corner of his local hardwood dealer’s lot one fine spring day, when he came upon a very old piece of old-growth cherry wood that had been lying there air-drying in that very yard for thirty years. It was four inches thick,

Continue reading The Cabinetmaker, the Photographer, the Sculptor, and the Editor

Sometimes, it’s the mote in the other guy’s eye…

…but sometimes, it’s the tree trunk in your own.

I just read a blog post on “How Not to Write Christian Fiction.” No, I’m not going to link to it. You can find it if you try hard enough. It does make some valid points, many of them, actually, but it’s also full of the same

Continue reading Sometimes, it’s the mote in the other guy’s eye…

Correction vs Incorrection

Trust your instinct as least as much as you trust your editor.

I’m not going to link to the blog post where I found this, because it’s not my goal here to embarrass or shame anyone, or to set myself up as a better source than another blog. I only want to point out that a

Continue reading Correction vs Incorrection

One More Time Into the Breach

I will never cease in the war on adverb hatred!

One of the absolute finest writers of all time, Ursula K. Le Guin, in her latest post at the Book View Café (of which I believe she is a founder):

“Without egg, Madame,” he said softly, almost unreproachfully, and went away to fetch my eggless

Continue reading One More Time Into the Breach

Really and Truly Hating the Adverb Hatred

You’ve had it said to you.

You may even have said it to others. You, in the corner, slinking away, you’ll continue to say it, because you’ve heard it from better authorities than I am, so it must be true.

“Adjectives, like adverbs, are lazy words, slowpokes, tranquilizers. Watch out for them.”

–Jack M. Bickham

“Write with nouns and

Continue reading Really and Truly Hating the Adverb Hatred

Four Sentences

“There was a man” is a profoundly different sentence than “There was an old man,” which is profoundly different than “There was, back when we lived in the blue house, a man down the street from us, down toward Graves Avenue.” And that last one is different than “There was in those days an elder

Continue reading Four Sentences

“Active” vs “Passive” Round N, or “Once more into the breach, my friends!”

You have no idea how annoying this is to me!

Or at least I assume none of my three regular readers have figured out, over the years, how annoying it is to me that so many people rant and rail against something that they call “passive voice,” or “passive tense,” or “passive verbs,” all the while

Continue reading “Active” vs “Passive” Round N, or “Once more into the breach, my friends!”

Another Jab at the Passive Phantom

There’s at least one thing more amusing than people ranting and railing against passive voice:

…the fact that they can’t even identify it.

[P]eople disagree with me when I point out such things (over and over again, like a CD that has gotten stuc- stuc- stuc- stuc- stuc- stuc- stuc- stuc- stuck), and ask rhetorically where on

Continue reading Another Jab at the Passive Phantom

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

“Show, don’t tell,” Round N

Over and over and over, you hear people saying that. “Show, don’t tell.” Usually, it’s said by someone who feels they must “be constructive” (ie, say something bad, but say it nicely) or they’re not being helpful. Well, guess what? Words can’t show! They can only tell!

It was a dark and

Continue reading It Was a Dark and Stormy Night