Happy Punctuation Day!

By Virginia Parker Staat

“In the family of punctuation, where the full stop is daddy and the comma is mummy,
and the semicolon quietly practises the piano with crossed hands, 
the exclamation mark is the big attention-deficit brother who gets overexcited and breaks things and laughs too loudly.”

~ Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

On September 24, our nation will celebrate its 16thNational Punctuation Day. Jeff Rubin founded the event in 2004 as “a celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotation marks, and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the ever-mysterious ellipses.” 

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The Cutting Room Floor

By Virginia Parker Staat

“Cut a good story anywhere, and it will bleed.”  ~ Anton Chekhov

I remember my first attempt at writing a young adult novel. It took nearly six months of my life to complete it. I immediately put it in a drawer to let it heal itself. When I read it in its entirety several weeks later, I was astonished to discover the book actually began about sixty pages into the piece.

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Predictive Murder

By Virginia Parker Staat

 “Some things are so unexpected that no one is prepared for them.” 
~ Leo Rosten, Rome Wasn’t Burned in a Day

After the death of her archaic computer, my 90-year-old mother recently purchased a new one. She is still adjusting. As an example, she always closes her emails to me with “Love you, Mother.” 

     In her last email, she wrote, “The computer thinks it is cute to add Nature to my Mother. I DON’T.” I nearly fell off the stool in laughter. Welcome, my dear mother, to the world of the infamous autocorrect.

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That That and Which Hunts

By Virginia Parker Staat

“Don’t gobblefunk around with words.” ~ Roald Dahl, The BFG

One of my most recent favorite reads was Love Does by Bob Goff. It was a fantastic book. I savored every line… so much so that I even read the acknowledgements, which were oddly placed at the back of the book rather than in the usual front matter. In the acknowledgements, Goff included a curious tribute to his friend and fellow author Donald Miller, “and to Don Miller, who taught me not to write thatinto my life…” In Goff’s entire book, it is the one sentence that puzzles me.

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