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An Argument for Good Grammar

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How many times have you asked your parents a question only to have them respond: "go look it up," "because I said so," or asked them to spell-check a term paper only to have them question why you chose to use an apostrophe in "Bachelor's Degree" and not "Bachelor of Science Degree?" Does the comma go inside or outside of the quotation marks? When do I capitalize a word? When do I use "which" and when do I use "that" in a sentence? Why is any of this important? We moved dozens of times across a dozen states during my childhood, but the most memorable years were spent in Dallas, Texas. My mother was a single parent, working long hours as a secretary for an international freight warehouse. She was proud of her near-perfect typing and shorthand skills; she was especially proud of her writing skills and stressed that if I wanted her to listen to what I had to say, I was to "enunciate" and use good grammar. That commen

Just Keep Writing

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It's late in the day, too late to start a large project, so I thought I might try creating a multi-media collage of some sort with old newspaper, ink, paint...whatever I could find that would capture the  golden and rose-brown shadows of light on the lake out my library window. I sorted through my brushes and papers and acrylics and found everything but inspiration. I wanted old newsprint with bold classified sections and adds with the Marlboro Man selling sin to young women with over teased hair and bold pink plastic earrings. I wanted to paste LOVE on my canvas with a glue stick, smear it with acrylic and scrape the remains of the day with a pallet knife to reveal the masterpiece that my YouTube art instructors claim represents my soul. Sifting through my archives of old correspondence, I found a couple of files containing notes and newspaper articles belonging to Ellen Hunnicutt, winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize in 1987 for her first novel: In the Music Library.  Elle