April 28, 2013

Daily Write: The Dilation

The dilation kicked in while I read. Earlier, the ophthalmologist’s nurse put drops in my eyes and explained that it'd take 20 minutes, sending me back to the waiting room. I brought a book along, not grasping that light and more light would flood the print, making it difficult to look at the page or anywhere, really. Feeling a slight discomfort, I set the book down and closed my eyes.

An older couple sat to the left and the man, the husband I’m sure, moaned. “Ugh-h-h-h-h. Ohm-m-m-mnnn. Ooouuuwwww.” After the tenth or so set of moans, the wife cleared her throat and started to speak to him in a warm, low tone. “Dear,” she said, “give it a REST.” My eyes popped open. Their backs were to a large window and daylight blasted such that I couldn't make them out. Just then the nurse called my name and I got up and walked away. 

April 18, 2013

A Senate in the Gun Lobby's Grip: How to advocate in writing

Gabrielle Giffords wrote about yesterday's Senate vote on gun control. I think it is an excellent piece of persuasive/advocacy writing. She brings weight from being a gun violence victim and a politician-former-legislator. Her rendering of the attacked children and description of politics, while brief, really delivers impact. Importantly, she maintains energy and the call to action to fight on. Read it in the New York Times here.

April 17, 2013

Daily Write: Breakfast

My first job out of college, I had the exact same breakfast every day. Sick or healthy, hung over or rested, running late or early, it always played the same way. Exactly. I’m sure I didn’t realize that first morning how the routine was becoming established. Would it have mattered?

After getting off the train, I’d walk with the masses through the station to Dunkin Donuts and line up in front of the same register for a chocolate-covered cake donut. Depending on the wait to reach the counter, I’d cheat on my beloved by furtively gazing upon the jelly-filled, white powder-sugared, fried something braids, and Danish-y pastries. The store, built to fit in a rail station’s narrow stall, smelled like someone had painted the walls with a sugar-grime paste. Sometimes my teeth itched in anticipation.

April 14, 2013

Daily Write: The Report

It wasn’t so much that Karim had been stabbed to death, though that part of the autopsy report was certainly disturbing. The examination revealed how the first blow was a mortal one, severing an artery just outside the heart. The killer had no way of knowing this. Almost immediately after the fatal wound, Karim somehow landed face down across his unmade bed and absorbed ten more stabs in the back from a 6 inch blade. That was that.

April 6, 2013

Copywriting - Lose the Typos!

I intended to highlight two articles regarding copywriting tips. Both contain timely, useful information for writers. Both also have typos of the sort easily caught with careful proofreading.

Rather than link to pieces with typos, I decided to post this obvious bit of advice: Read what you write out loud, as if you're seeing it for the first time.

Another tip: Record yourself reading the article, story, or pitch and listen to it without reading along. Goofs, duplicate words, and weak spots tend to jump out when you do this.

Want to feel (somewhat) better about your typos? Here's a link to The Atlantic's "The Best (Worst?) Typos, Mistakes and Correrctions of 2012." Enjoy!