Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Pretend I'm singing you Christmas carols. May your days be merry and bright!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Now that's good marketing

We received a very memorable direct mail piece at work the other day.

It was an oversized postcard from a proofreading service. One side of the mailer offered this explanation for a quote on the other side:
"That was an actual typo caught by our proofreader before the job went to press. Our client was happy, and the Easter Bunny was ecstatic."
And what, you're probably wondering, was the quote on the other side?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just open the door

Q: Knock knock...

A: Who's there?

Q: To.

A: To who?

Q: I believe you mean "to whom."

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Not THAT Written Expressions

I subscribe to Google Alerts for a couple of terms, one of which is "Written Expressions." That's how I discovered that I'm not the only Written Expressions, LLC around. Sadly for me, the other one is an e-book publishing site that specializes in erotic fiction.

That may or may not explain why I received an email via my web site asking if I publish and market e-books.

Nope, not me, I'm just a humble writer and editor.

Monday, August 9, 2010


"Language lovers who are not faint of heart won't want to miss this one."

This is a quote from the book jacket of William Gay's Twilight. Apparently, I am not that kind of language lover (and no, I didn't get it confused with the Stephenie Meyer book of the same title).

I picked up the novel based on the description offered in a recent edition of my local library's "Thrillers & Suspense" e-newsletter: "a resplendently dark Southern Gothic thriller," it gushed.

Dark, yes. Southern, yes. Thriller? Well, I was less than thrilled.

I pride myself on finishing what I start, at least when it comes to reading, but I just couldn't get through this one. I returned it unfinished today because I couldn't bear the thought of incurring fines for a book I wasn't even remotely enjoying.

Among my many issues:
  • Gay doesn't use quotation marks to set off his characters' speech, which makes differentiating dialog from description challenging--especially in light of the following issue.
  • I couldn't keep myself from editing his writing. Run-on sentences, commas in odd places (when he used them at all) was kind of like reading stream of consciousness writing, if the writer had ADHD. I had to read some passages two or three times before I could make sense of them. He's won awards for his writing, so I guess somebody sees merit in it--but yeesh.
  • The book is written in third person, with the exception of one early chapter written in first person...I have no idea who the narrator of that chapter is, despite the fact that I made it two-thirds of the way through the book before abandoning it.
My last reason for not liking this book has nothing to do with the writing itself. In fact, it's a horrible reason, but I'm going to share it anyway: the photo of Gay on the book jacket is scary. He looks like a backwoods psychopath. Do I expect all authors to be attractive? No, of course not...but at least wash your hair for your author photo...

Monday, June 21, 2010


Last night, one of our local news programs reported on oil drilling in Point Hope, Alaska. Great attention was paid to the particulars of the story--the reporter balanced the pros and cons of drilling in water that is shallow (established safety measures) but ice-laden (aforementioned measures have not been proven in frozen waters). Locals were interviewed for their opinions. The economic and environmental impacts of drilling vs. not drilling were explored.

Before you nominate the piece for the journalistic award of your choosing, I should also mention that the caption that remained on-screen for the entire piece read "Point Hope, AL." Good going, Fox 28 News.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Typo and the City

Today, against my better judgment, I went with some friends to see Sex and the City 2. There is a lot I am willing to put up with in exchange for a little girl time: I overcame my distaste for what passes for "style" and my general dislike of Sarah Jessica Parker. I overlooked the almost universally horrible movie reviews. I paid for mediocre food and an overpriced margarita (the theater we went to was a "movie tavern").

But I very nearly got up and left the theater when "writer" Carrie Bradshaw submitted an article to Vogue with the title "The Terrible Two's."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bacterial marketing?

This afternoon, I walked into the ladies' room in my office building. Laying on the floor of the stall next to me was a business card belonging to a commercial moving vendor that had been in the building yesterday.

I'm sure one of the other female tenants dropped it accidentally, but it's much more entertaining to imagine that the commercial moving vendor--a man--snuck into the restroom and dropped it there himself to drum up business.

That got me thinking about the various places I've left my business cards, and creative places that I COULD leave them.

What's the weirdest place you ever left your card?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Make way for ducklings

I'm not sure how or why, but I have a momma mallard, several ducklings, and several as-of-yet unhatched eggs in one of my flower beds. Cross your fingers that they stay off the radar of the neighborhood hawks, feral cats and traffic!

Any tips on how to keep them happy until they move on, and what to do when they're old enough to swim? The nearest body of water to us is a small koi pond about ten houses down the road...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Obscene kids' toy?

I received a package of "grow capsules" (those little gel caps that dissolve to release sponge shapes) for my birthday from some young friends. The directions instructed me to "please the capsules in hot water."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Through the looking glass

I spent a good part of Wednesday and Thursday on the glass side of a 2-way mirror, watching people respond to some materials I helped create. It was fascinating, but exhausting.

There were nine one-hour, one-on-one interviews over the two days. I took many, many notes.

Here's something weird for you to mull over:

When the interviewees entered the room, they brought with them a cup of water and their name tag. Every one of the women left their name tags behind at the close of the interview, but every one of them men took or threw theirs away when they left. Not sure what that says about the nature of men versus women, but I'm sure there's something psychologically or sociologically significant in that.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It isn't lost--it ran away from your stupidity

This weekend, I copy edited a "lost dog" flier. There were no more than 1o words on it, and I corrected four of them. Two of the more egregious errors were "are" instead of "our" and "thank's." I was tempted to call the number listed and demand payment for services rendered.

Monday, January 18, 2010


"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

Happy Birthday, Dr. King.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year post

What a year.

In a time when many people were being laid off, my business boomed. I was blessed with clients who were a pleasure to work with. I sincerely thank everyone who allowed me to help them with their business communications.

While I had several clients, one in particular kept me busy almost full-time, almost all year. This is the same client who in October became my employer. I've spent the last few months working my tail off, but enjoying every minute of it. It's amazing how great it is to work for and with people that you like and respect, and who like and respect you.

Sorry it's been so long since I posted...I will try to do better in 2010.