May 22, 2015

The War on Spelling and Grammar is Never Over

The War on Spelling and Grammar is Never Over

We here at The Fictional Café tend to notice when a comma is used when a semicolon is necessary and when a person decides to lay down instead of lie down. Sometimes it makes us pull our hair out, but other times it elicits a hearty chuckle from us. Fortunately for you and me, the omnipresent eye of the internet notices too. Here are two of my favorite sites for fail-induced guffaws. Oh, and I had to include one great blog for accurate, easy to understand grammar and spelling tips. You know, to balance out the facepalminess.  

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May 19, 2015

Gramer? Speling? Who Cares?

OK, this is so unbelievable I had to include the absolute proof that it happened – on the radio. In fact, I had to go back and listen again just to make sure I understood what I heard. No mistake, I heard what I heard. The show was Ask Me Another, segment “Like A Confused Boss“, on NPR. A contestant was a college student, apparently graduating, asking her professor for help with her C.V., and annoyed with his advice. But listen for yourself. This post is definitely open for your comments!   Please click on the arrow below to listen.    

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April 30, 2015

Beating Procrastination With HOKAIC

HOKAIC (“hawk-ache”) by Jason Brick HOKAIC. It sounds like a Klingon curse word, but actually it’s the most important concept for success in any writing endeavor. It’s an acronym that stands for Hands On Keyboard Ass In Chair HOKAIC is absolutely the key to success as a writer because writers…well, we write. Maybe not for pay. Maybe not for publication. But we write. So at the end of the day, you’d better have spent some time with your hands and ass in the right place. It’s not always as easy as I’m making it sound, but it’s exactly that simple. Kick writer’s block where it hurts, then get busy writing. This is just part of the day for most people who make a living at our craft. For folks who still struggle with this, here are…

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April 27, 2015

Coffee Cup…Butts?

My nephew Luther, who lives in Chicago, is a really creative, ingenious, and funny guy. I love him a lot and follow his interests with great interest because they’re always so interesting. Like his handmade Christmas cards. Like his recent project to build a motorized volume control for his antique Marantz receiver [for those of you who don’t know what a receiver is, click here]. But I am not here to tell you about his retrofitted volume control, but to pass along another of his interests more in keeping with our own: coffee. Specifically coffee cup butts. Yes, you read that correctly. Luther has discovered the coffee equivalent of tea leaves. It hardly makes sense for me to attempt to describe what a coffee cup butt is. You’ll have to find out for yourself my clicking…

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April 25, 2015

Book Review: A Hoarse Half-Human Cheer

It was Peter Dexter who wrote, “Keep in mind that a book that entertains without enlightening can still be a guilty pleasure, but a book that enlightens without entertaining is algebra.” Joseph [X.J.] Kennedy’s delightful A Hoarse Half-Human Cheer is, admittedly, intended to entertain, yet it enlightens in being a period piece – après-guerre America, circa 1946 – foreshadowing the sprawling modern era in this country with wit, humor and irony. After you finish re-reading Heller’s “Catch-22,” this is the novel you should begin. Young Moon Gogarty is the book’s Candide, trying to deal with his stultified feelings after having lost his first love to his mortician grandmother, just as he’s about to begin his studies at the infamous College of Saint Cassian of Imola. He’s thrust into a community of 4,500 older men who’ve…

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