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Check the Bunny Slippers at the Door

by Katherine Pryor

As writers, one of the perks of our profession is the ability to roll out of bed, hit ‘Brew’ on the coffee maker, and go to work wearing whatever we darn well please.  I wrote my first two novels in a pair of lucky bunny slippers, which have now disintegrated due to constant wear and one too many embarrassing trips to the porch to sign for a UPS delivery.  These days, I know I’ve had a good day of writing if I’m still wearing the bright purple, Rock ‘n Roll Monkey pajamas a friend gave me as a joke—at lunchtime. (And, yes, there have been some awkward conversations with FedEx drivers--) more...

Where, oh, Where Does That Little Mark Go?

by Cherie Tucker

Those pesky apostrophes confound so many.  Should it go before or after the s, and why do you need one anyway?  Well, you need the apostrophe to communicate to the reader that there is a letter missing, for one thing.  It also shows ownership rather than number.
We don’t seem to have trouble with the apostrophe when it signals a contraction, such as in I’m, where the apostrophe obviously stands in for the missing a.  It’s the possessive angle that trips so many up, so maybe this will help.  The missing letter in ownership—as in the king’s throne—is the letter e. Going back to Middle English, ownership of nouns was shown by adding es, as in the kinges book.  Over the years, the apostrophe took the place of that e and continues to be used today. 


Dispatches From The Publishing Front


Editors and Writers Conferences
We Want to Meet You!

by Erin Brown

I remember my first writers conference well.  Many, many years ago, as a fresh-faced young editor in New York, I was invited to attend a small romance writers conference in a small town north of the city.  I couldn’t have been more excited.  Travel to an exotic locale (off Route I-91)!  Adventure!  Free meals (Limit: one trip to the buffet only)!  Two nights raiding the mini-bar at a snazzy hotel (well, a twenty-room motor lodge off the highway)!  I packed up my bag, dry cleaned my suit, and hit the parkway heading out of town. 

When I arrived, I met with the coordinator and I asked what time my panel would be the next morning.  She looked at me a bit confused and said, “Oh, well, you’re actually giving the keynote speech tomorrow.”  When I eventually came to on the worn carpet near the motel lobby restrooms, with the help of cold water and a quick smack to the face, she gave me the keys to my room (along with a saccharine smile and the line, “I’m so sorry I forgot to tell you!”) and the topic of my speech: “The Dos and Don’ts of Writing Erotica.” more...


Outline? Yea or Nay.

by James Thayer

Explaining the reason eleven years passed between Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full, Tom Wolfe said,  “I always recommend to people who ask me for helpful hints on writing that they start with an outline.  Naturally, I didn’t take my own advice and do an outline until I was years into this project.”        

A special terror is generated when you become lost in a forest, as you realize you have no idea which direction to travel, and that you are clueless in the deep woods.  This fright is much like having written five chapters of a novel and then realizing you are utterly lost. more...

You Know that You Know
Leading Your Life, Creating Your Story

by Jennifer Paros

Over nine years ago, I found myself in the hospital after the birth of my second son, having lost near to half my blood.  Without going into (possibly) unwelcome medical explanation, suffice it to say, there was a glitch in the labor process that had resulted in my severe anemic condition. 

In the hospital, I was surrounded by concerned people.  People who had studied to be there, who wore white often and who wanted to take my temperature, take samples of what little blood I had left, and wake me from sound and much needed sleep.  I found these people caring, for the most part, but often fear-inducing.  more...



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