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...

DANCING WITH THE STARS, POST-SEASON 24: August 4, 2017...

DANCING WITH THE STARS, POST-SEASON 24: August 4, 2017 Welcome back, Dancing With The Stars FANS!  We have some good news this week and some reason for speculation.   BABIES: Gleb and Elena (Samodanova) Savchenko welcomed their 7.9-pound new daughter, Zlata, on Tuesday, August 1, at 10:26 p.m. in Sydney, Australia.  Everyone’s healthy and happy, including the excited big sister, Olivia, age 6.  That’s wonderful news!  I’m just afraid that the child won’t be able to pronounce her own name for a few years; toddlers usually need a lot of coaching and practice to pronounce any word that contains consecutive consonants (in this case, “Zl”).   PROS RETURNING? Mark Ballas is too busy in his music career and whatever else right now, but I think he’ll return down the line.  Edyta Sliwinska, as I’ve often said, is one of my faves, and she says she would like to come back (remember: She had her second child not long ago).  Suppoedly, Maks and Peta don’t even know yet whether they’ll teach and dance.  Needless to say, most of us would love to have Derek Hough back, too, whenever possible.  Word is that he would gladly return to Dancing With The Stars to teach singer Celine Dion, if that were possible. ...

DANCING WITH THE STARS, POST-SEASON 24: July 26, 2017...

DANCING WITH THE STARS, POST-SEASON 24: July 26, 2017 Hi, dance fans! I hope all’s well with you and that, like me, you’re enjoying a wonderful visit from out-of-town family members. GREAT NEWS! Dancing with the Stars has been nominated for “Favorite Dance TV Show” in the 2017 Industry Dance Awards! This summer’s “World of Dance” from Jennifer Lopez also is a contender. MORE WEDDING INFO from Julianne Hough’s and Peta Murgatroyd’s weddings:  JULIANNE (Coeur D’Alene Lake in Idaho):  All courtesy of “People Magazine,” 24 July 2017: Julianne’s dress was pure white, off-shoulder, and sort of A-line, very simple. The couple’s two small dogs were the ring bearers—too cute!  The celebration included “a welcome party Thursday night and a beach day Friday before the rehearsal dinner. … they shared a kiss as two cannons shot biodegradable confetti into the air. … their reception under a canopy of trees in the nearby woods, which were lit up by more than 2,000 lights and candles. … Hough surprised her husband by timing a fireworks display over the lake during their first dance to OneRepublic’s ‘All This Time’ (to which she also walked down the aisle) and danced with her father, Bruce, to the song, ‘Daddy’s Little Girl,’ which she and her...

WRITING: AS CLEAR AS A BELL, AS WELL July 20, 2017...

WRITING:  AS CLEAR AS A BELL, AS WELL                                         July 20, 2017 Hello, fans of writing and grammar! Welcome back! A couple of weeks ago, I said that in recent years “as” has often been used incorrectly in writing with or without punctuation, as the case may be, to indicate an addition or a comparison and that we would cover those issues regarding “as” very soon. Let’s gain a better understanding of how to use “as” and whether (and how) to punctuate around it. To that end, examples and brief explanations follow.  (Yes, we’ve actually seen such examples of incorrect usage and much more!)   Comparison:  Comma NOT needed with “as well.” Wrong:  You sing as well, as he does.  You sing, as well as, he does.  You sing, as well as he does. Correct:  You sing as well as he does.  [He sings well. So do you.] See why no comma is needed in that correct usage?   Addition (Like “too,” “also,” “In addition”/”Additionally”):  Comma IS needed with “as well.” Wrong:  The judge could award joint custody as well. Correct: (a)  The judge could award joint custody, as well.  [The judge could award joint custody, too.  The judge could award joint custody, also.  The judge also could award...

WRITING: EDITING FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS...

WRITING:  EDITING FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS                        July 14, 2017   Editing goes hand in hand with writing and speaking. It is NOT only about using the text that you see–recommending corrections, improvements, rephrasings, completions, clarifications, better word choices, etc. It’s also about reading between the lines for what may be there that should not be and for what is not there that should be.   SUBTLETIES As a part of that, reading the text aloud can reveal subtle or not-so-subtle tones and nuances that may have sneaked their way into your writing and need to be fixed. A tone may need to be lessened, for example, from bossy or nasty to one of requesting or encouraging. Specifics may help, too. Example: From:  I need that letter on my desk by 3 p.m. To:  Please give your proposed letter to me by 2:30 so that I can review it and have a final copy ready for our department’s 4 p.m. meeting. That way, the boss will be happy with both of us.   Or, a tone may need to be strengthened from wimpy to nicely firm.  Example: From: If it isn’t too much trouble, do you think you might be able to move your car from the end of the driveway...

DANCING WITH THE STARS, POST-SEASON: July 14, 2017...

DANCING WITH THE STARS, POST-SEASON: July 14, 2017   GREAT NEWS! Dancing with the Stars just earned 7 Emmy Award nominations: 1-5:  “Outstanding” Costumes, Makeup, Hairstyling, Lighting,   Camera/Video Costumes for Variety Nonfiction or Reality Programming, Hairstyling for a Multi-Camera Series or Special Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Series Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series or Special (non-prosthetic) Technical Direction, Camera Work, Video Control for a Series   6-7:  “Outstanding Choreography”! Derek Hough, “Kairos” Mandy Moore, “On Top of the World” and “Carol of the Bells” We all know that everything Derek does is fabulous and that certain of his choreographies are absolutely mind blowing. What he accomplishes gives tribute to the stunning training that he (along with sister Julianne and Mark Ballas) received as children in Europe. He really deserves to win! And I don’t say that to take anything away from the awesome Mandy Moore. She, too, has become a dance legend in her own right. You don’t get chosen to choreograph for an entire show of a dozen or more dancers by not having your ducks in the best row possible. Both of these nominees are truly amazing and deserving. I’m not sure about your level of excitement, but I can’t wait to see whether one...

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