Monthly Archives for October 2012

I’m in the (Subjunctive) Mood for a Melody

I wish I were the subjunctive mood. So mysterious. So misunderstood. If I were the subjunctive mood, only the cool crowd would get me, man. People would want to plumb my depths, find what lurks beneath these still waters. But my innermost nature would remain an eternal mystery, because I’d be like the wind, baby. […]

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A Look at Scrivener

During my college years (e-mail was as yet all but unheard of, and kids could still smoke in dorm rooms, if that gives you a general time frame) I was mystified by the processes other students employed during their studies. I took notes in class and would review my textbooks, but that was the extent […]

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The Second Time Through

In preparation for this week’s release of Justin Cronin’s The Twelve, I spent a good part of last weekend rereading its predecessor, The Passage. Here is a sentence from Cronin’s epic work: “By nightfall they were fifty miles past Oklahoma City, hurtling west across the open prairie toward a wall of spring thunderheads ascending from […]

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Have You Seen My Towel?

The hyphen is an unassuming little bugger, isn’t he? He’s happy to break a word between lines, but he doesn’t expect you to take much notice of him. He seems content to say, “The rest of the word is down there, on the next line.” The hyphen practically waves his hands in the air, bashful […]

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Mommy and Daddy Still Love You

Commas are often like confused children who have to learn different sets of rules for each of their divorced parents’ homes. At Mom’s house, it’s perfectly acceptable—in fact, it’s mandatory—to jump into place before the word and in a series. “You need to do your homework, eat your dinner, and get to bed!” insisted Mom. […]

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