Josephine's Dream Reading

Josephine's Dream Reading
Trying to look like Josephine Baker - and failing miserably!

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
Conquering the Beast

Monday, February 28, 2011

Graphic Novels Might be For You.

I attended an annual event of the Vancouver Children's Lit. Roundtable, called Serendipity, and this year the theme was The Graphic Novel. It was an eye opener and an inspiration. And as the first speaker began to describe his childhood and the writing and illustrating collaboration he has with his sister, I got an idea! That's right, an idea for a short graphic novel. I admit, it could be a picture book, but it would be quite different in tone as a graphic novel, and that's how I see it. I'm not an artist, but I did some scribbles and captions in squares and it started to feel possible. The story was based on an incident from my childhood, but grew much bigger from that little seed. (The seed was actually an old photograph)
So here are two ideas for you. Read some graphic novels - or comics - and see if this is your kind of genre in which to write.
Pay attention when you are listening to any kind of lecture or talk, because a word, a sentence or just an idea might light a little flame in your mind that will grow into something bigger. Pluck what you need out of the presentation, or pay attention when it waves a flag at you!
Happy discovering!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Lot is Two Words

That's right, there's no such thing as 'alot.'** And while I've got your attention 'there's' is singular, as in 'There's a small hotel, by a wishing well.' As opposed to 'There're wishing wells, by some small hotels.' (plural). You'll rarely see 'there're' anymore, and I think that's a tragedy of small proportions (compared with all the serious problems of the world, I mean). I still say and write it, however.
Maybe I've said some of this before, but in the newspapers and on Facebook and on t.v. and in the classrooms of the nation, they don't seem to understand.

** I know some of you don't believe me, so look at it this way. You wouldn't say 'abunch' of flowers or 'apile' of laundry or 'aheap' of trouble. So you wouldn't say 'alot' of homework.

Keep trying. We all have trouble with the language. English is not easy, even for those of us who grew up with it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Quick and Dirty Grammar Tips

No, alas, this probably won't help with our eternal spelling problems or my fast fading memory for the names of simple household objects (yesterday, for example I couldn't remember 'fuse box.') I'm sure there are plenty of 64 year olds with minds like sharp tacks, but I'm not one of them. Anyway, this isn't about my sad brain cells but about grammar! I recently wanted to know two things. When to use WHO and WHOM and also ... why do I keep seeing 'that' where I used to see 'who?' I became so confused that I would interchange them just to be on the safe side. When I finally broke down and Googled these life and death questions I came upon the attached link. You might have to actually type it in, but if you type your question followed by 'quick and dirty grammar tips,' or something like that, you'll probably get the site, and your question will be answered with speedy simplicity. Go for it.