Thoughts from a word-catcher

cat at breakfast small

Old fashion words never go out of style, they just seem to be brushed aside. However, from Old-English to around your grandmother’s kitchen table, a person comes across these once familiar words like old friends. Although language is evolving, and word mutations have entered modern day language, it is not uncommon, especially for writers who wish to authenticate their jargon, to add flair and accuracy to their works.

And so, today’s blog plays tribute to the retired words, and like good soldiers they should not be forgotten. Whether you express yourself with brevity or tend to be long-winded, there is always room to rediscover.

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Shameful perhaps, however, I hope it is more thought of as a helpful guide, I have slipped into my blog conversation my title, Once Upon a Time Words: Definitions of Often Read but Seldom Spoken Words. As you might imagine, I am a word lover.

 

A little writing guidance grows a story

self-made

Writing styles are affected by various attributes such as genre, time and culture settings, social backgrounds, personalities of the characters, and the mood of a scene. Fiction offers a distilled representation of the ways in which writers are among the most significant touchstones in another’s life.  However, as much as a writer may have the zest and passion to write, there is always that time in the day when she or he asks  “is this story any good?”

Today’s post is dedicated to those writers that could use a bit of push in the right direction. The rubric below may help you get back your confidence. Getting opinions are helpful, but self-guided direction may be the first step to improving your story.

Directions: Reread your story. What do you need to do to make it better? Use this rubric to help you decide. Check the sentences that describe your story.

Looking Good!

The beginning makes my audience want to read more. It introduces the characters, the setting, and the problem.

The middle shows how the characters deal with the problem.

All of the events are in order and are important to the story.

The ending shows how the problem works out.

Details make the story come alive!

My characters have a voice, and the story sounds the way I wanted.

There are almost no mistakes in capitalization, punctuation, or spelling.

Getting Stronger

The beginning could be more interesting.

I haven’t told how the characters deal with the problem.

I forgot to include some important events.

The story doesn’t sound finished.

Details need to show, not tell, about the characters, events, and setting.

My story doesn’t sound the way I wanted.

There are a few mistakes.

Back to the drawing board

The beginning is boring.

There is no clear problem.

The story is confusing. Important events are left out.

The ending just stops. How does the problem work out?

Where can I add details?

My story is written in a dull, flat voice.

There are a lot of mistakes.

***

Wouldn’t it be nice if life had a rubric…but then perhaps it would be boring!

A gentle reminder

see sawAs more and more information comes to people by way of social media, their reaction to  input has been, shall we say, varied, many times misguided, and more than often  confused among the minutia of “stuff”.  So, for those who may have forgotten or even never really digested the most primary of facts (as stipulated in the Constitution) regarding the United States branches of government; here is a rudimentary check list.

Today’s blog is dedicated to The Three Branches of Government.

Pretend that three people who weigh the same take turns on a seesaw. No matter which two people are on the seesaw at opposite ends, they are balanced. Our government is the same way. The three that take turns riding the seesaw are: –

(1)  President – Executive Branch, (2) Legislative Branch, and (3) Supreme Court – Judicial Branch

How do these branches balance and check each other? Each branch has different powers from another branch. But each weighs the same.

Using the lists below you can imagine a seesaw to show how each branch balances the other.

***

separation_of_powers

Executive branch- President:

• Makes treaties with other nations
• Carries out laws
• Vetoes bills Congress passes if he thinks they are wrong
• Appoints judges in the Judicial Branch for a life term
• Writes the budget Congress:

Legislative Branch- Congress and Senate

• Makes laws
• Can override a President’s veto of a bill by 2/3 vote
• Can impeach (fire) a President for misconduct
• Must approve presidential appointments for judges and justices
• Gives the O.K. on budget spending and treaties
• Can remove judges from office for misconduct

Supreme Court- Judicial Branch

• Interprets laws
• May decide that some laws that Congress makes or decisions that the President make are not right according to the Constitution.

***

For whatever it is worth, take into consideration these facts and when confronted by a tide of media input, throw this out as a lifeboat and tow in the truth.