Shrinking Giant: B&N Closing More Stores

According to an article in the LA Times (quoting the WSJ, which is behind a paywall), Barnes & Noble, the last of the big chain bookstores, plans to whittle its brick-&-mortar stores down to only 450 or 500 stores in the next ten years. The reason: e-books. Big surprise. So is this a good thing […]

Tuesday’s Tips: Try to Use “Try” Correctly

Many people use the phrase “try and” when they mean “attempt to.” The right way to write it is “try to.” For example: I’m going to try to explain this process. NOT I’m going to try and explain this process. Why? Because “try,” in this instance, is a transitive verb, and “explain” is the object; […]

National Handwriting Day

…was Wednesday. I thought it was interesting enough to post about, even if I am late. It’s sponsored by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association to celebrate the beauty and power of handwriting every Jan. 23, on John Hancock’s birthday. According to their website, “Handwriting allows us to be artists and individuals during a time when […]

Tuesday’s Tips: You Can’t Help Reading This

When something is so powerfully compelling or interesting that you simply can’t help yourself, you must do or think something, write it that way: I can’t help wondering why she’s wearing mismatched socks. NOT I can’t help but wonder why she’s wearing mismatched socks because “can’t help but” is a double negative.

Tuesday’s Tips: Back-to-School Edition

Welcome back! Here’s to another semester of overpriced textbooks and sleep deprivation. To make the transition easier, I’m giving you a simple tip today: the difference between “its” and “it’s.” It’s is a contraction that means “it is,” always and forever, amen. Its (without an apostrophe) is the possessive of “it,” meaning “belonging to it.”

Some Back-to-School Perspective

Happy back-to-school day, for all of you who are starting the spring semester! Time to accrue frightening amounts of debt and drag ourselves out of bed at an ungodly hour to learn about thesis statements and colonialism…and why? For most, it’s the path to a career, i.e., a regular job with, if we’re lucky, better […]

Want to be a Novelist? Advice to New Writers

So the question has been posed: why do so many writers start out with novels? (Thanks GalleyCat for the link). The author, identified only as So_nat_a_composer, asks this on Reddit, positing that really, beginning writers, like beginning composers, should start out small and work up to something as large and time-consuming as a novel. I […]