DANCING WITH THE STARS, PRE-SEASON 25: September 1, 2017...

DANCING WITH THE STARS, PRE-SEASON 25: September 1, 2017 Welcome back, Dancing with the Stars fans!  Lots of news and excitement building both for news and for the show to return. CASTING CONFIRMATIONS & RUMORS: Confirmations: “Property Brothers’” real-estate expert Drew Scott & pro/reigning Mirrorball champ Emma Slater (won with NFL star Rashad Jennings last season): Confirmed to you earlier this week.  Reminder: Emma just finished the Hot Summer Nights tour two weeks ago, so I don’t see how she could have had much time with him yet. Singer/Actor Nick Lachey & pro Peta Murgatroyd: Confirmed to you earlier this week. Vanessa (Minillo) Lachey & pro Maks Chmerkovskiy: Confirmed to you earlier this week. WWE Wrestler Nikki Bella & pro Artem Chigvintsev: Confirmed to you last week. Actor/Singer/Dancer Jordan Fisher (Disney & “Hamilton”) & pro Lindsay Arnold. Former NBA champ/ former Knick’s Coach Derek Fisher, who might end up with pro Sharna Burgess. Former Paralympic Swimmer Victoria Arlen & pro Val Chmerkovskiy. Actor Frankie Munizare (formerly ‘Malcom’ on “Malcolm in the Middle”) & pro Witney Carson. Violinist Lindsey Stirling (& which male pro?) While certain pros are very competitive, it’s all in fun, family and friendship.  Mark Ballas says it’s really just about doing their best for their Dancing...

DANCING WITH THE STARS, PRE-SEASON 25: August 29, 2017...

DANCING WITH THE STARS, PRE-SEASON 25:  August 29, 2017   RUMORS (or CONFIRMATIONS?) from “People”: Nick and wife Vanessa Lachey are said to be sure things for the fall lineup of celebs.  Nick is the brother of Drew Lachey, who won an early season of DWTS with Cheryl Burke.  Drew and Cheryl ended their season memorably with an adorable, fun freestyle to “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy”—love it! Andrea Evans, from the soap “One Life to Live,” is rumored to be a possible celeb dancer this season.  We’ll find out for sure in a few weeks, starting September 18th!   PROS & TROUPE NEWS: Pro Val Chmerkovskiy has openly confirmed his romance with pro Jenna Johnson and appears to be very happy about it.  Keep your eyeballs peeled for those two.  When I met them, separately but at the same tour event, they seemed to be very nice.  Val looked a tad tired due to the demands of the tour, but he seemed to enjoy spinning me around for ten seconds. I did, too! Word on the street is that Jenna Johnson, Sasha Farber, Brandon Armstrong, Artur Adamski, Britt Stewart, and Hayley Erbert will be troupe members for Season 25. OTHER NEWS: Guess what!  Rashad Jennings doesn’t just play...

WRITING: TO SPLIT OR TO FIX? August 29, 2017...

WRITING:  TO SPLIT OR TO FIX?                                   August 29, 2017 Having house guests for two weeks was fun, but I got behind in my work and then I was sick last week.  Thank you for returning for more writing and grammar info!   Sometimes writing is very easy, and the sentences flow readily from our minds through our fingers onto the page.  At others, though, some phrases/sentences become like tongue twisters and don’t seem to come out right, no matter what we do.  Trying to force writing and rhyme can cause discomfort and dissonance for both writers and readers.  What to do?   The Problem When you’re experiencing too much difficulty and/or confusion in writing or editing a sentence, step back, slow down, and read it out loud.  Was it uncomfortable for you to say and hear?  If so, look at/listen to the parts, and figure out what and where the problems are.  Is logic/clarity the only problematic issue?  Does it sound clunky and odd, without a smooth flow?  Can you easily move or delete a word or two in order to achieve logic and a comfortable flow?  If not . . .   The Solution Consider reconstructing/rewriting the sentence or splitting it into two or three sentences, depending...

DANCING WITH THE STARS, PRE-SEASON 25: August 25, 2017...

DANCING WITH THE STARS, PRE-SEASON 25: August 25, 2017 PRO WATCH: Yesterday I told you that promises were stated that the pros for Season 25 of Dancing with the Stars would be revealed to us this morning on GMA.  Turns out that they aren’t revealing quite all of them today.  We know that Mark Ballas and Cheryl Burke are back!  Mark took two seasons off to do Broadway.  He says he knows who his celeb partner is, but, of course, he isn’t allowed to tell who she is.  He adds that he’d love to have his wife, singer-songwriter Alexander “BC” Jean, as his official DWTS dance partner at some point.  “Never say never,” he says.  Cheryl has been running her dance studio, guesting on TV shows, touring, including in Japan, and whatever else.  These two seem to have missed the constant creativity and the family-style fun with friends and fans on Dancing With The Stars.  Welcome back, Mark and Cheryl!  Note that Mark was included in today’s confirmed list of pros but Cheryl was not; she was mentioned elsewhere.  Hmm … I wonder whether she’ll be the (or one) “surprise pro” they promise to reveal on September 6th.  So, according to what I was able to find, as of...

DANCING WITH THE STARS POST-SEASON 24 AND PRE-SEASON 25 NEWS...

DANCING WITH THE STARS POST-SEASON 24 AND PRE-SEASON 25 NEWS   HOT SUMMER NIGHTS: The Dancing With The Stars “Hot Summer Nights” Live Tour began on June 16 in New Jersey, worked its way across the U.S., and finished on Aug. 13 in Fresno, California. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see this one.  But judging by their “Dance All Night” winter tour that I saw in Cincinnati in January of 2016 and by their performances during the regular DWTS seasons, it was as awesome and entertaining as ever. Congratulations to the team.  Word is that Season 24’s winner with Emma, NFL running back Rashad Jennings, held his own excellently alongside the pros while adding his own moves and flavors to the charming and funny personality that we came to love during his season on the show.  Wouldn’t you love to see his dance again? I would! Although Gleb had to leave the tour when his baby was coming a few weeks ago, I’m guessing that he’ll be a pro again this-coming season, starting on September 18. Any pros who just finished the tour but are being chosen for Season 25 will have to pop right into the studio to start training their respective celebrities. Can you imagine being so...

WRITING: Got Writer’s Block? Pursuing Perfection? August 7, 2017...

WRITING:  Got Writer’s Block? Pursuing Perfection?           August 7, 2017 Got writer’s block? Pursuing perfection?  Let’s get you out of those, pronto. Resolving the first can also relieve the second. Writer’s Block:  Ever heard of free writing and webbing? Free writing:  In the pre-writing phase, set a timer for, say, 20 or 30 minutes.  Write whatever and everything that comes to mind, whether to generate ideas or to create on a topic. Don’t pause/stop to read, consider, or edit for spelling, grammar, word choice, or anything else.  Just write!  When the timer goes off, read what you have and you’ll be amazed to see how many ideas came out and what they are leading to. Webbing: For the lack of another explanation, webbing is a method of visually connecting ideas and subject-related words in a written web toward the writing goal.  The writer can branch out and connect further as needed.  Using this fast, concise method, the writer can stay on course to see and keep track of possibilities. Creating in these ways, timed or not, also can help to curb your tendency to be a perfectionist. Read on. Pursuing Perfection Because I’m also an editor who wants everything created by me or by others to be as good as...

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