Tag Archives: punctuation

Punctuation Punctuation Such a Foreign Word to Me

When you re writing do you ever have trouble with punctuation   I ll have to admit that on occasion it gives me a bit of a tussle   punctuationKind of like a pebble in your shoe   an itch you can’t quite reach   a grand piano falling at a rate of 32 feet per second per second until reaching terminal velocity the moment it impacts your head

You could probably say that grammatically I know sentences from start to finish   They start with a capital letter and end with a period   And before you say anything I never write a sentence that asks a question or in any way implies excitement

In all honesty I do alright with the basics but the other day I ran into something called a dangling participle grappling between a minus A coalesced and fragmentalized through the infinite sum of 2+2 equals the vernal equinox squared twice

Allow me to sum up my thoughts and feelings of punctuation in a poem I have entitled   please beat me with a baseball bat

There once was an author named Lynn
who wrote books with paper and pen
punctuate when you write said his peers with delight
else you re done before you begin

He stood tall against the assault
by golly it s not all his fault
these colons and commas and questionable marks
are determined to beat him right down to his heart

But these cads shall not prevail
my simple solution shant fail
they’ll be no more the wiser when I sneaks up behinds em
and deal the death blow were the sunshine don’t show

And now on the street its high noon
a show downs beginning to loom
the question mark laughs the commas just sneer
each one not knowing their end is so near

Then our hero Lynn makes a stand
with a number two pencil firmly in hand
he erases each line leaving nothing behind
the desperate struggle etched deep in his mind

As he saunters away in the midday sun he sees a small dot attempting to run
he picks the dot up and thinks in advance he shoves the black period into his pants
every beginning needs an end so i ll hold on to this and use it again
as for the rest of you guys you re just dust in the wind

So check out this post it s really quite weird I did the whole thing with just one period.

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Brain Bashing Sedation – It’s All the Rage

When it comes to writing, there are numerous variables that must be adhered to. MRIMargins, line spacing, font, font size, indent, storyline, protagonists, antagonist, POV (point of view), length of sentences, length of paragraphs, grammar, punctuation, use of adverbs, transitions, pronouns, word repetition, passive verbs, participles, and clichés; just to name a few.  If we take each of these points in the order in which I have placed them and apply a little judicious thought, I find that I have become proficient in none, sorely lacking in most, and downright spectacular when it comes to recognizing my literary ignorance.

Now, that’s not exactly what an author wants to hear or discover. So what does one who finds himself in this predicament do?  Firstly, you don’t fret about it and never consider giving up. It’s just another part of the writing experience (albeit the least exciting) that you must conquer on your way to literary stardom.

Comparatively speaking, the author’s nemesis and a MRI (by my way of thinking) have a great deal in common.  The former being described earlier in this post, I believe the latter deserves equal billing.

Have you ever had an MRI?  If not, allow me to explain some of the pleasant details involved with the procedure.

My very first experience with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) went something like this:

Check in at desk, sit, and wait. I had heard of patient problems associated with the procedure, but not being extremely claustrophobic I barely gave it a second thought.

I was finally called back. Oh joy, oh bliss…oh no… Ain’t no way I’m gonna fit in there!

I was instructed to remove my belt, which I did, and then climb up onto the sliding table that would pack me into that teeny, tiny hole.  I was given earplugs, a panic button, and told to remain still for forty-five minutes.

Forty-five minutes, I thought. You might want to crank that machine up a few dozen notches and get me out of there a tad faster than that. Too concerned with other matters at the time, I received my earplugs. I pushed them into my ear canals without question.  The next thing I heard was, “Here we go.”

As I slid into the cylinder, the next hint I gleaned that the situation was beginning to lean further in the wrong direction was my shoulders dragging against the sides of the tube.  I finally came to rest somewhere in the belly of the beast. I pray on a regular basis, but you can bet I had thrown it into overdrive.

Then, a strange thing happened. There were beeps, buzzes, pauses and then, no less than fifteen men commenced to beating on that tube with steel pipes, jackhammers, sledgehammers, and the like.  Alas, the earplugs now made sense.

If forty-five minutes could be stretched into six hours, this was the perfect time, in fact that’s exactly what happened, at least in my mind.

Finally, the beating stopped and the tray with my beleaguered body slid from the hole of despair into an enormous room. I do believe this room was the largest room I had ever seen and it actually contained breathable air.

I was once again a free man. The technician reunited my pants with my belt and sent me happily on my way.

As you can see the MRI experience is very similar to the first time author attempting to polish their manuscript…mainly, the terrifying anxiety and confusion.

“What must I do to overcome this mind-numbing conundrum called a manuscript?” you ask.

Fear not, you have come to the right place. No brag, just fact. You simply need to learn how to copy/edit line by line or hire an editor. If you decide to pursue becoming a copy editor it really is a piece of cake.  One minor requirement is being a literary savant, after that  everything will fall into place.

And I’m even going to throw in a bone free of charge, that bone being how to survive an MRI.  30mgs. of Valium.

You won’t be able to walk. You’ll barely be able to talk. In fact, they could dunk you into a toilet, flush for forty-five minutes and you wouldn’t know the difference.

So there you have it… Use as necessary.

Oh, and best ask your doc before you commence to cramming sedatives down your neck.

Post script: This year I’m gonna ask Santa for a clean manuscript and a gross of Valium. You never know when an MRI may sneak up on you. If not they’ll always come in handy consoling my bitterness from the mounting list of rejections.

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