Feisty

by Jennifer Paros

August 2017

A friend of my father’s visits once a year. He is part of my childhood memories — one of my Dad’s colleagues who periodically helped animate our home with conversation and laughter when I was a young. Several times while visiting with him again, he mentioned how I was “feisty” as a child. I immediately noticed my young (inner) self rear up like a horse, reminding me of that fiery, rumbling feeling — whatever defiance and stubbornness are made of — and also the stuff, I now believe, of heroines and heroes.

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Got Your Number

by Cherie Tucker

July 2017

It’s summer, so are a few easy-to-remember rules:

Spell out ALL numbers from 1 to 10 when writing and there is no need to quickly comprehend them. I tried on one of those hats, but it was too big.

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Make Yourself Comfortable, Hunt and Rest and Everything Will Be Okay

by Jennifer Paros

July 2017

Our cat Charlie likes to find new places to sleep. We have a part of our living room, which has evolved into the cat area, where comfort and casual accommodations are freely offered. But Charlie is on a hunt for something different – like an office chair, under the covers of our bed, or inside a closet. Once a spot is selected, he remains dedicated to it for several weeks – until the hunt begins again.

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Are Your Beliefs Holding You Back from Success as a Writer?

by Katherine Mayfield

July 2017

Whether you’ve heard it from family, friends, or fellow writers, you’ve probably absorbed the belief that “writers don’t make much money.” Even if you strongly desire to make money from your writing, this unconscious belief can hold you back.

Yes, there are writers who make a LOT of money from their writing. Is it just luck? Or is there something more profound going on?

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Keep It Together

by Cherie Tucker

June 2017

We haven’t discussed this for a long while, and I’ve noticed some bad habits developing. You know how to use the hyphen when you break a word at the end of a line. You aren’t as good as using that same hyphen to connect two words in a manner that gives them a single meaning.

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Tips on Powering Through the Slush Pile

by Judi Lauren

June 2017

Because of the woes of cold querying, pitch contests such as Pitch Madness and Pitch Wars are becoming increasingly popular. However, cold querying doesn’t have to be that frightening. There are several ways you can up your chances of pushing your query through the slush pile and ultimately winning over an agent or editor.

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Crimes Against Ourselves, Compassion for All

by Jennifer Paros

June 2017

It’s a story that’s now a speck in the rearview mirror of the news, but most likely one to be remembered: A paying passenger pulled off an airplane against his will, resisted and, in doing so, sustained a concussion, lost two teeth, and broke his nose. Due to overbooking and the airline’s need for seats for staff, the man was selected as one of four to leave.

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Prepositionally Yours

by Cherie Tucker

May 2017

Almost everyone knows the “rule” that says you must never end a sentence with a preposition. They irony is that most people who know this rule don’t know what a preposition is. And they don’t know that there are exceptions.

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The Wheelchair Woman

by Noelle Sterne

May 2017

The whole thing lasted no more than ten seconds. I’d stopped at the supermarket for a few necessities before rushing home for an important client call. Throwing my groceries on the counter, I paced back and forth, almost hopping, sandwiched between the customers behind and ahead of me.

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Put a Line Through It. On Mistakes, Messes, and Moving On

by Jennifer Paros

May 2017

When I was in high school, I had an English teacher with some very specific ideas of how we were to write. For a time, in fact, some of us received surprisingly poor grades, as we hadn’t yet grasped the particular form she required. Though I felt resentful of her somewhat rigid system, one rule she imposed was okay.

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Case Dismissed!

by Cherie Tucker

April 2017

To all of you who insist in putting in that comma before the and in a series and who have been told it isn’t necessary, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has declared that it is. Just this month their decision stated that because of a missing comma, instructions for delivery drivers were unclear, and the court ruled against a dairy company in Maine, awarding the drivers “an estimated $10 million.”

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The Deeper State, Tell Me a True Story

by Jennifer Paros

April 2017

Recently in the news, the phrase Deep State has gotten traction. It refers to a shadow structure in the government operating on its own, outside of the law. The Deep State implies an unseen criminal network attempting to undermine us. My problem with a Deep State – whether or not it exists – is that as a construct alone it creates fear.

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Call Bill

by Cherie Tucker

March 2017

In today’s paper, a quote ended with:

“Therefore, we’ve fallen flat on our face.”

When a sentence like that came up in one of my classes, someone asked if it shouldn’t be “flat on our faces.” The conversation then continued like this:

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Not a Poem, Not a Story

by Jackie Sizemore

March 2017

If I am being honest, I wasn’t even sure I knew what a lyric essay was. To me, it looked like an essay open to emotional tangents with a loose interpretation of sentence structure. The lyric essays I stumbled upon in online literary journals seemed to borrow from poetry, following rhythm and aiming for a feeling rather than a clear narrative.

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Shut Up, I’m Sorry, I Love You

by Jennifer Paros

March 2017 

Recently, in the middle of a heated disagreement with me, my son yelled “Shut up!” – then immediately added, “I’m sorry, I love you.” I found the quick succession of phrases funny and was impressed with how efficiently he traveled the emotional spectrum.

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An Artist's Story

by Erica Miner

February 2017

The strains of An American in Paris played through my mind as I drove home from the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center and crossed the George Washington Bridge from Manhattan into New Jersey. It had stopped raining, but I still took note of the slick roads, paying careful attention to the wet patches.

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