Friday, June 28, 2013

CreateSpace - Head to Desk

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! Yay! Friday! It's about time, too. This week was a long one, but I wrote many words. I have five works in progress, so expect a rash of publishing coming out of this Indie author later in the year. Perhaps I'll be doing a number of giveaways around Christmas again. My goals are to publish the next two installments of the Mystic series (Melody and Coralie), M, Player, and possibly another book I've written a chapter of. Lofty goals! But that's not the topic of today's post. Today, I'd like to talk about CreateSpace.

As you may know, I'm a graphic designer. Because of this, I use Adobe InDesign to format my books for print. On occasion, I format books with artwork that bleeds off the edge of the pages. As in the examples below:

 The Bird
 Dark Premonitions - Second Sight, Book Three
Chasing Memories - The Tala Prophecies, Book One

If you've read The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book, you've probably already hit the point where you don't get errors back from CreateSpace's auto-check. And you're probably using MS Word to format your books.

This little golden nugget of teachings is for those of you that want to have elements in your book that bleed and are using ID.

When you place your artwork, be sure the bounding box bleeds on all sides all the way to the edge. Even though it looks right on the screen, and you know it'll print correctly, the auto-check will kick it back and show it as an error. If you ignore the issues and save past them, submitting your book without the all-clear, you'll get a reject.

I've even gone as far as to call CreateSpace about the book I'd submitted, assuring them that the artwork was exactly as I wanted it, and they told me they couldn't push it through to the printing house without causing a major headache for everyone involved.

So, to keep others from experiencing mounds of frustration, and having minions, who only know that if the auto-check says no it can't happen, laugh in your face and tell you there's nothing they can do, I'm sharing my frustration.

I only thank the heavens above that I experienced the drawback with my own book and not that of a client. I'm grateful for the experience, but wish I'd known all that I'm sharing with you now before I hit that wall and was forced to step back and re-group.

I hope this post prevents some headaches for some of you.

If you're designing in MS Word, I'm not sure you can create elements that bleed. Though perhaps it's possible.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Writing a Series

Happy Thursday, good people of the blogosphere! I hope you're all looking forward to some lovely time over the weekend and have huge plans for the week of the fourth! I've been knee-deep in the Mystic series this week and hope to roll Melody and Coralie out very soon. Fact checking can certainly keep one on their toes! Speaking of things to beware of when writing a series, that's the topic for today! So grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

As regular readers of my blog know, I'm the author of the Mystic series. It's about six women who come together to prevent the end of the world happening. What they're fighting is birthed from humanity; the surprise of the series will appear in the last book, Markaza.

Some of the things I did to prepare for this series:
  • Write character bios.
  • Make a timeline.
  • Decide on locations, issues, and strengths.
  • Keep a chart of things that happen during the series (like visions Markaza has of the future) for quick reference.

If you're writing a series, these items are a must-have. They'll save you from having to go back through your previous work to fact-check. You can't contradict yourself if you plan to build a world and characters your readers will believe.

If you don't go into great detail with your characters' appearances, you'll not only leave a lot to the imagination of the reader, you also won't have to check back very often to make sure you're being consistent. How much is too much?

Good planning is essential. It'll get you everywhere.

I left off the Mystic series last year around December, but Melody is singing to have her story heard, and Coralie is acting like a pain in my ass. They're both scrambling, once again, to get out of my head and onto the page.

I hope this helps. A series isn't something to thumb your nose at. It takes a lot of careful consideration and work to make it interesting.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Flash Writing Contest

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm sharing a pretty cool opportunity for all my readers from the Indie Book of the Day folks. Before I give you the link for the contest, I'm gonna share the links for IBD's website and other social media outlets. Here we go!

You can find Indie Book of the Day on the web here:
You can follow them on Twitter here: @IBDBookoftheDay

And on Facebook here: Indie Book of the Day

Now, on to the flash writing contest!

You can check out the PDF with instructions and rules here: Get the PDF!

They have five categories for you to choose from and provide a prompt. There's something for everyone. Best part of the contest is: It's 100% free to enter!

I do hope some of you take the time to enjoy this great opportunity. Be sure to follow the rules, guys!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Editing vs Proofreading - What's the Difference?

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'd like to go over the difference between an edit and a proofread; including what you should expect from each. These are just a couple of the services we provide over on INDIE Books Gone Wild. If you aren't sure what services you need, this post will help you decide and tell you how to prepare for each one. So grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!


This is a service where you send your book to someone and they fix basic grammar and construction issues, punctuation, transitions, spelling, inconsistencies, and look to cut your word count. A good editor won't change your voice, they'll make it more legible.

Any editor you choose should give you a sample edit of your first chapter to see if you're a good fit. At IBGW, we use that first chapter to rate the quality of your writing and base our price from there. Why? Because if it doesn't take us as long to edit your book, you won't pay as much. You're paying your editor for their time and knowledge of the English language.

Be sure your editor uses a style guide so you'll know what changes to expect and have a reference.

An inline edit looks something like this:
Inline changes and notes in the sidebar are things you should expect. At IBGW, we strive to make you a better writer during our edits by providing education and noting things you should be watching out for. Every writer makes common errors; but if you know what they are, you're less likely to repeat them if you learn from your mistakes. This, I believe, is something every editor should do.


Different from editing, proofreading is all about looking for good transitions, proper use of punctuation, spelling issues, and redundancy. A proofreader should be able to speed-read your work and highlight issues without going into great detail. Your editor should be catching everything else. Many proofreaders will highlight things your editor may have missed and sling out a comment; but you shouldn't expect that. They're looking to give your manuscript a final once-over before it goes to print. All your T's should be crossed and your I's dotted after your manuscript is returned by a proofreader.

Your editor should never be your proofreader. They're too close to the work by the time the edit is done, and they'll miss things, just like you.

At INDIE Books Gone Wild, we use one person on our team to edit and another to proofread. Proofreading is included in the price of your edit. There's no need to shell out more money for someone else to do it. We even write it up in your contract and book your proofreading for you. That's part of the benefit of working with a team rather than a single person who tries to do it all.

No matter who you choose to work with, make sure you've read something they've written or edited and are comfortable with them as a person. Be sure you can respect their comments when your manuscript is returned. There's nothing worse than questioning every change someone makes. Trust is a huge part of the writer/editor relationship.

As a final note: Regardless of who you work with, be sure to have a contract. If your editor or proofreader balks at the idea of a contract, or won't let you read/look it over before you're expected to sign, run away. A contract is there to protect you both and shouldn't sway power one way or the other. Also, make sure it has an out clause.

I hope this helps you all in some small way.

That's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Winner - Chasing Memories Giveaway

Happy Saturday, good people of the blogosphere!! Today, I announce the winner of the rafflecopter giveaway for Chasing Memories!

Congratulations to Kelly F! I'll be in touch today to get the information for your prize shipment.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

New TBR List

Happy Thursday, good people of the blogosphere! Today I'm bringing you all a list of the books on my TBR list. Again, I'll read more than one at a time so you'll probably get a flurry of reviews in a month or two. Links below will take you to the Amazon buy page for Kindle. Here we go:

Indie books:

I've been wanting to read this book for a while.
I've already become enamored with the main characters and I can't wait to read more.

I've had this one for a while. I know if I get into it, I won't be able to put it down.
Well, here goes!

Another one I've had for a while.
It caught my eye from a sample and the main character seemed interesting.

Trade pub books:

This is book two of the series I reviewed yesterday.
I'm very excited to find out what happens to Mr. Jacob Reckless.

I hope you all come back for the reviews.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Book Review - Reckless

Happy Wednesday, good people of the blogosphere! I don't know if you're a reader like I am; but I read many books at once. Because of this, I often finish many books at once. One of the books I've been reading, alongside my Indie selections, is written by one of my favorite authors, Cornelia Funke. She hasn't put much out there since writing the Inkheart series (which I devoured). I was super stoked when I found her Mirrorworld series and bought book one, Reckless, right away. Book two just released last month and I can't wait to dive in. Today, I bring you my review.

Title: Reckless
Author: Cornelia Funke
Genre: YA Fantasy
Print Length: 400 pages
Purchase at Amazon: $8.99 (Link goes to free Kindle preview)

Book Description from Amazon:
Ever since Jacob Reckless was a child, he has been escaping to a hidden world through a portal in his father's abandoned study. Over the years, he has made a name for himself as a finder of enchanted items and buried secrets. He's also made many enemies and allies--most important, Fox, a beautiful shape-shifting vixen whom Jacob cares for more than he lets on.

But life in this other world is about to change. Tragedy strikes when Jacob's younger brother, Will, follows him through the portal. Brutally attacked, Will is infected with a curse that is quickly transforming him into a Goyl--a ruthless killing machine, with skin made of stone.

Jacob is prepared to fight to save his brother, but in a land built on trickery and lies, Jacob will need all the wit, courage, and reckless spirit he can summon to reverse the dark spell--before it's too late.

First off, let me say how much I love the cover for this book. Cornelia Funke also illustrated it and the interior layout is a thing of beauty. I look at a lot of trade published work for ideas about design and this one sparked my brain into overdrive. Well, let's get to the meat and potatoes, shall we?

I'll be honest, because Cornelia Funke is one of my favorite authors, I didn't even bother reading the description before I picked this book up. It sucked me right in with the adventure and action scenes but I was able to put it down now and then and read something else for a while. That probably won't happen with book two because of the way book one ended.

From a reader's perspective:
Jacob Reckless is true to his name. He's impulsive, stubborn, and a risk-taker. But love for his brother, Will, makes Jacob likeable as a main character. If you love fairy tales of old and would like to read some new spins on them, this book is for you. Like all good spin-offs, Reckless gives each tale a little twist so the outcome you read about isn't what you were told. This astonished me and I felt a kinship with Ms. Funke as I read her take on some of the classics like Sleeping Beauty and Hansel and Gretel. After writing The Bird, I know how difficult it is to make the connections to older stories believable. Action and suspense abound in this book. Chapters were kinda short, which was offputting at first, but something I grew to appreciate as I read on. In true Funke form, she doesn't waste words on a lot of description, so flow was smooth. Will and his girlfriend have an interesting relationship, and I can't wait to see if their characters get developed more in book two. I also adored Fox for her nippy ways, fierce devotion to Jacob, and desire to hide. She seems damaged somehow, but that was an unresolved mystery left hanging. World building was out of this universe amazing.

From an editor's perspective:
I found a few errors, but nothing that would throw me out of the story or keep me from reading more. One or two in most books is to be expected.

My rating:
+1 Star for making Jacob irritating and endearing all at the same time.
+1 Star for giving me fairy-tale lore with a new twist.
+1 Star for awesome world building.
+1 Star for making me try stepping into my own mirror.
+1 Star for lack of errors and beautiful formatting.

Overall, 5 out of 5 stars. This was a book I could really sink my teeth into. Recommended for all those that love a great fantasy.

Don't forget to pop over and enter to win a copy of Chasing Memories by Tia Silverthorne Bach. You only have until midnight on Friday, June 21, 2013.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Book Review - The White Aura

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! I know I'm late but better late than never, right? Today, I bring you another review from my Indie Fever, 2013, reading challenge. If you'd like to check out the participants and read some of the reviews, you may do so by clicking the challenge name above. Without dragging this out any further, I give you my review of The White Aura (book one) by Felicia Tatum.

Title: The White Aura (book one)
Genre: YA Paranormal
Author: Felicia Tatum
Print Length:  221 pages
Link to Amazon: $2.99

Book Description from Amazon:
How do you live with the gut clenching truth that the one you love will die if you meet them? Twenty year old sorcerer Scott Tabors is learning how. After seeing seventeen year old Olivia Whitehead outside of a coffee shop, his heart will never be the same. He longs for her, he wants her, and he knows she will be his. They are heart mates. …but due to a curse on his family, he can’t meet her. Not yet. So for now, he visits her in her dreams. Her dreams where he can tell her everything but his name.

Olivia Whitehead is a typical junior in high school. She and her best friend are having the time of their lives, but she can’t help but notice the changes happening to her. Especially the changes in her heart after she begins dreaming about a mysterious dark haired young man. But what will happen when the school heartthrob decides he wants Olivia? Will she realize the dream man is real or will she move on?

I bought this book back in December of 2012 during my Indie Authors! Sell Me Your Book! party. After reading an excerpt, I was hooked by the story. The White Aura is a fun YA read that will keep you on the edge of your seat; wondering what's going to happen next.

From a reader's perspective:
I fell in love with Olivia and her quirky ways. She snagged me with her humor and her love for her best friend, J. It was believable that Olivia was meeting a strange boy in her dreams and pined after him while awake. I wasn't too keen on her mom and dad never being around. It kinda made me mad that they weren't the loving parents this witty child deserved. Scott, the love interest, was painted as the perfect boyfriend in every way. The story even goes so far as to have him weaken when he isn't around Olivia. I like it when characters have just a few flaws. While Scott is a sorcerer and is bound to Olivia because of a mystical occurrence that only happens to his kind, it still struck me as odd that he never even looked at another girl before he saw Olivia. That being said, the secondary characters were really well done, and I look forward to learning more about them in future installments of the series. The White Aura does a fine job of tying up loose ends for the story being told, but leaves a few things in question that I hope are answered later on.

From an editor's perspective:
This book has so much potential to be a best-selling series; but the lack of editing (by a professional) left me putting it down now and then because I was thrown out of the story. As with many novels, pronouns needed some work. Misspelled words appeared now and then, punctuation could use a tweak or two, and dialogue was stilted. It really just needs a strong polish by a good editor.

My rating:
+1 Star for characters I could really wrap my head around.
+1 Star for giving me an excellent storyline that was paced well.
+1 Star for making me want to read another installment.
-1 Star for perfectionism in a character that was begging for a flaw.
-1 Star for editing errors.

Overall, 3 out of 5 stars. Not too shabby! I recommend this read if you enjoy tales of sorcerers and love.

I hope you'll all download the sample and give it a shot.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Review - Chasing Memories

Happy Friday! Wow, what an awesome last couple of weeks. Today, I'm bringing you another book review. I know how excited you are to hear about new authors and new books. This goes in hand with my Indie Fever, 2013, reading challenge. I've committed to reading 4-8 Indie books this year. I think I'm up to six so far. I finished The White Aura by Felicia Tatum a week or so ago; so, come on back Monday to see my review of that one.

Okay, okay, I'll move along here. Before I delve into my review, I'll give you a word or two about Chasing Memories (The Tala Prophecies - Book One) by Tia Silverthorne Bach.

There isn't another way; not now. The others are coming. I can't let them have you...

Seventeen-year-old Reagan has a problem: She can't remember what happened the night her brother was taken. Now, the dreams haunting her from the incident are becoming more intense by the day. All the while, the lines between what's real and what's a product of her paranormal-obsessed mind are becoming blurred.

Is she losing her mind or has she just stepped into a world she thought only existed in books?

Caught in a web of worried parents, competing boys, Wiccan relatives, protective amulets, and psychiatrist babble, Reagan must determine the truth before it's too late.

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Length: 296 printed pages
You can pick up a Kindle copy for just $3.99 on Amazon or, you can grab a print copy (take a look inside, dears) for just $9.99 on Amazon.

I was the editor for Chasing Memories so, naturally, I've read it. I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened the book and dove in; but what I got was a pleasant surprise. There was mystery, action, family drama, and paranormal activity that left me wondering what was really going on until the last page. Without dragging it out further, I give you my review!

From a reader's perspective:
Reagan is a typical teenager who forced me to care about what was happening to her. There were so many times I wanted to slap her because of the things she was doing; but, on the same note, there were times I wanted to slap her mother, too. That's when I know I've gotten hold of a great book. I loved how the supporting cast of characters came to life on the page, how well I could see Colorado in my mind's eye (I've never been there, but now I feel like I have), and how accurate the descriptions of Georgia were. When I got to the last page, the surprise ending left me wanting more. It's a good thing there's a sequel in the works! Tia also didn't bog me down with descriptions. There were just enough so I saw it, but it left a little to my imagination.

From an editor's perspective:
Well, now, this is a tough one. Because I was the editor, I see no reason for any errors to be present. Not only did I edit, we had a third set of eyes do the proofreading. If you find any glaring errors in this book, I beg you to apply to join our editing team.

My rating:
+ 1 star for giving me teen angst that worked.
+ 1 star for making me love the characters.
+ 1 star for the perfect amount of descriptive text.
+ 1 star for the surprise twist in the end.
+ 1 star for the lack of errors in the writing.

Overall, 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this book if you love YA or werewolf stories!

Now, for a surprise! If you'd like to win a printed copy of Chasing Memories, here's your chance! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Review - The Disappearing Girl

Happy Thursday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, a treat for you all. I'm participating in the Indie Fever 2013 reading challenge and have committed to read and review no less than eight Indie books this year. So far, I've done about four. But that's not all the books I've read, just the ones I've written reviews on up to this point. My plan for the next few days is to rectify that situation. For the first book, I bring you The Disappearing Girl by Heather Topham Wood. Enjoy!


Kayla Marlowe is slowly vanishing…

Last year, Kayla’s world imploded. Her beloved father died, leaving her alone with a narcissistic mother who is quick to criticize her daughter’s appearance. During her winter break from college, Kayla’s dangerous obsession with losing weight begins.

Kayla feels like her world changes for the better overnight. Being skinny seems to be the key to the happiness she has desperately been seeking. Her mother and friends shower her with compliments, telling her how fantastic she looks. Kayla is starving, but no one knows it.

Cameron Bennett explodes into Kayla’s life. He’s sexy and kind—he has every quality she has been looking for in a guy. As Cameron grows closer to Kayla and learns of how far she’s willing to go to stay thin, he becomes desperate to save her.

Kayla’s struggles with anorexia and bulimia reach a breaking point and she is forced to confront her body image issues in order to survive. She wonders if Cameron could be the one to help heal her from the pain of her past.

New Adult Contemporary-Ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations.

You can pick up a copy today for free; but after that it goes to $2.99. Grab it on Amazon!

Now, for my review:
Author Heather Topham Wood has done a great job of bringing attention to something so many people struggle with in life. It's a difficult thing to live with and a terrifying disease to read about. Let's get to the meat and potatoes.
From a reader's perspective:
I found myself drawn in and feeling what Kayla was going through as she struggled with her life and the disease that threatens to ruin her. Being able to identify with a character is something every reader strives for. I not only identified with Kayla, I was cheering for her recovery, angry with her mother, and cried when the ball finally dropped on the whole situation. Not to be left out, the secondary characters like Cameron, Kayla's best friend, Brittany, and Kayla's sister, Lila, were all well developed. Brittany being in the picture helped show how your best friend can disappear before your very eyes and you never know how bad it really is. This story is captivating and will leave you emotionally wrought.
From an editor's perspective:
I'm always rough on the books I read because I'm an editor. I find things most wouldn't. This book is very well written. There are no plot holes, scene jumps, or inconsistencies. There were a couple of places where a pronoun or two would've behooved the flow, but that's minor.
+1 Star for making me cringe and allowing me to feel the character
+1 Star for excellent character development (even the secondary ones)
+1 Star for bridging such a taboo subject in such a way that it made sense
+1 Star for being a great story I could really sink my teeth into
+.5 Star for really great editing

Overall, 4.5 out of 5 stars. Since there are no half stars, I round up when posting to review sites. This is a highly recommended read.

Pick up your copy on Amazon today! Come on back tomorrow for my review of Chasing Memories.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Parentheses, Brackets, Braces, and Slashes

Happy Wednesday, good people of the blogosphere! Today is the last post in my series on punctuation. I know, you're all very upset about it; but, let me reassure you that I have some great posts for tomorrow, Friday, and Monday. They're reviews of a few Indie books I've read: Chasing Memories, The Disappearing Girl, and The White Aura. So make sure you come on back for that! Grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

As always, my information comes from The Chicago Manual of Style 15th Edition. If you use a different style guide, you may have different standards. Just remember, consistency is key!


These little boogers are used to set aside text which isn't relative to the rest of the sentence. Often used by writers to insert a thought or quip that's totally off the subject by the character that we're seeing life through. In a more scholarly application, they're used for citations. You may combine them with em dashes. Writers of fiction tend to avoid the use of parentheses, choosing to use an em dash instead.


Square Brackets
If you're quoting something written by someone else, and wish to add your two cents to the quote, you need square brackets. If you're translating, the original word is sometimes put in line with square brackets around it. When you want to set something off inside parentheses, you don't use another set of parentheses, you use square brackets.

Angle Brackets and Braces
These are for html programming and are used to tell a typesetter how you want your manuscript to look. While we don't do this much nowadays because of computers, way back when we used typewriters, it was a necessity. Please don't use them to set off an e-mail address or your URL. It'll cause you headaches at some point.


Can be used to replace "or," "and," "through," or "a" between words or numbers to signify alternatives. It's also used in URLs rather heavily. When quoting poetry, slashes indicate line breaks. Remember, there's a difference between a slash and a backslash. Examples:
She had an outgoing/friendly personality.
He wanted a black/blue/red car.
We were looking for a 1992/93 model car, but we'll take a 2005/6 edition if it's an SUV. **Replaced an en dash**
Please go to: c:\dos\windows\user

I hope you learned something today you didn't know before.

Well, that's all for today folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Comma Part 3

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! Today brings us to the third and last post of my series on commas. It falls into the bracket of punctuation posts I've been running here on the blog as well. This post will cover a few more uses of that tiny punctuation mark that gives us all so many headaches. To be honest, there are many more uses for the comma than I covered over these three posts. Know them all and, above all else, use good judgment when placing them. A comma can stilt the flow of your text if used too often. Grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

As always, I'll be using The Chicago Manual of Style 15th Edition as a guide. If you're an editor, I know you have a style guide lying around. This is mine.

If you missed the first two comma posts, check them out here:
Part 1
Part 2

Three more ways to use a comma:

When there are two or more adjectives preceding a noun. If you're describing something and need more than two adjectives that could be joined by "and" without disrupting the description, they get a comma between. Remember, a comma denotes a pause and also something left out. Examples:

She wore a big, blue, floppy hat to the beach.
He had swollen, hairy toes.
She went to the only traditional Catholic church in town.

Commas are also used to separate homonyms. If you have more than one instance of a word and a pause is needed between them because they mean different things, they get a comma. Examples:
They walked in, in groups of six.
If whatever it is, is a good thing, it's okay.

You should use commas when writing dates, names (personal with a place), and addresses. Unless the date is written in the day-month-year style. Examples:
We're leaving for Las Vegas July 26, 2013, and won't return until the end of August. **No commas if no year**
We're leaving for Las Vegan July 26 and won't return until the end of August.
I gasped when he told me his birthday was 18 May 1988. **Day-month-year**
Gina Sultack, of Wisconson, was late for her interview. **Unless the place is integral to the sentence**
Hebert of Lafayette.
She lived at 442 Lincoln Place, Slate, NC 01234.

I hope these three posts have helped you all in some small way. I'll be back tomorrow with more punctuation!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Monday, June 10, 2013

I'm Baaaaack!

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! I know I've been gone for a minute or two (read: six days), but I'm back. I know you were wondering if I'd just left you all forever; but I assure you, I'm not going anywhere! Last week was a little crazy around here. Why? Well, The Best Boyfriend in the World was moving in and we had a ton of stuff to bring over. Combining two households into one takes time and patience on both ends. But we got it done!

I'm really excited because I've just stepped into a whole new chapter of my life. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

But that's all a part of living life and taking chances. I wouldn't trade him for the world, and I've never been in love the way I am now. It's been a couple of years and every day sees that love grow stronger. I don't even know how that's possible.

It was worth every minute of hard work we put into it and I'm happy to announce I'll be back to my regular blogging schedule tomorrow with Comma Part 3.

Today, I leave you with a little photo of The Best Boyfriend in the World and a promise that I'll return tomorrow with yet another of the informative posts you know and enjoy.

Isn't he just dreamy?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Comma Part 2

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, we continue with our section on punctuation with Comma Part 2. If you missed part 1, check it out here: Comma Part 1. Without further ado, grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

We already went over using commas in a list (Oxford commas), introductory phrases and words, and with direct addresses. Part 2 will go over clauses. Dependent, independent, and relative. As with my other posts on punctuation, we'll be referencing The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition.

Dependent Clauses:
If you mix up a sentence and put the end before the beginning, it needs a comma (like in the sentence I just gave you). If you were to put the beginning first, it would need no comma. Example: A sentence needs a comma if you mix it up and put the end before the beginning. *Note that the subject/pronoun had to be moved as well. The key here is: If one won't make sense without the other, it's a dependent clause.

When the dependent clause comes after the main idea, no comma is needed; as you can see in the example above.

Two conjunctions together get a comma, but not between conjunctions.

If you're having trouble deciding where to put a comma, or don't know if one should be used, speak the words aloud and see where you pause naturally.

Independent Clauses:
Now here's where it gets a little tricky. If you use a conjunction like and, but, or, so, yet, etc., the comma usually goes before the conjunction. If the two independent clauses are short and related, no comma is needed. Remember to use good judgment here. Examples: Hera ran away, and Zeus gave chase. Hera ran away and Zeus gave chase. Hera ran away. Zeus gave chase. There are three ways to write that sentence. When in doubt, split them out!

Relative Clauses:
There are two kinds of relative clauses: restrictive and nonrestrictive. One is essential to the meaning of the sentence and gets no commas. The other is fluff and gets commas. Anything you can remove from a sentence and not impact the idea is nonrestrictive. Examples: I prepared a report about the impact of waste on the environment that's due tomorrow. I prepared a waste impact report, involving the environment, that's due tomorrow.

As you can see from the examples above, there are a ton of different ways to construct a sentence. Good writers use many different styles to keep the flow and break up monotony.

Join me tomorrow for my last post on commas for this series. While there's a ton of information on this tiny piece of punctuation, I won't go into them all; just the most important ones!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!