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Elevenses: Favorites for February 2016

Elevenses: Favorites for February 2016

Welcome to Elevenses, a monthly round-up of my favorite articles and resources related to language, writing, editing, and freelancing.

C82 | Between the Words →

Several of my copy editor friends shared this Medium post about punctuation in novels, which led me to the gorgeous Between the Words poster set. I want to cover every available wall in my townhouse with this amazing artwork, which visualizes what novels would look like without words—just the punctuation. (Read more about the project in a Wired article from January 2016.)

Diana Urban | 98 Book Marketing Ideas for Authors →

If you read my recent blog post about tools for self-publishing and wanted an even more extensive list about how to market your own book, please check out this article. Diana gives advice for every stage of the marketing process, from book cover design to author websites to social media campaigns.

Jeff Goins | What Nobody Tells You about Being a Best-selling Author →

While I do love irony, this link is not intended to be a contradiction to the previous link. Instead, it is a valuable reminder to be careful how you define success for your project—whether that is a self-published collection of poems or a traditionally published book. Aiming for a "best seller" list may not be the best goal for you or your readers.

CMOS Shop Talk | Libraries and Books for Young People →

This interview with a librarian, Louise Brueggemann of the Chicago area, genuinely lifted my spirits. I cherished the time I spent in my local library as a child, and I hope that future generations continue to find value and joy in their own libraries. "As communities’ needs change, libraries change to meet those needs. I believe that the future of libraries is bright."

You Don't Say | Three Journalistic Tics You Can Safely Drop →

Sometimes, it's okay to break the rules. In this case, it's encouraged. These tics are rather subtle ones (in my opinion), so I am rather excited to look for them in my own writing and to keep them in mind for future editing projects.

Elevenses: Favorites for January 2016

Elevenses: Favorites for January 2016

Welcome to Elevenses, a monthly round-up of my favorite articles and resources related to language, writing, editing, and freelancing.

The Guardian | Back to Prep School →

This is an endearing article on the use of prepositions, including a brief study of how prepositions get assigned to phrases ("bored by," "bored of," or "bored with"?) and a lighthearted reminder about the importance of choosing the right preposition.

The Write Practice | How to Avoid Bad Writing →

"Awkward writing is common, and I believe that it’s actually a good sign. Awkward writing means that you are writing and have begun to silence your inner critic." The advice in this post is intended for inexperienced writers but has value to anyone who enjoys writing or editing. It really does help to read what you wrote out loud, and it really does help to pursue plain language by shortening sentences, using the active voice, etc.

 I cherish my local library (and the librarians who make it such a pleasant place to visit).

I cherish my local library (and the librarians who make it such a pleasant place to visit).

Mental Floss | 11 Ridiculously Overdue Library Books →

I have lived my entire life in fear of having an overdue library book, so I am thoroughly surprised by how much I enjoyed this article. (Also, I am very grateful to my own local library for having a $10 cap on fees.)

Gadgette | Oxford Dictionaries Sort-of Apologizes for Laughing at Feminists →

Start with the original story and then read the article linked above. The issue at hand is obviously a complicated one that cannot be summarized in two short essays, but the situation reminds me that I am very grateful to have the opportunity to discuss the importance of language (and that English is a living language that can be revised as our culture grows in empathy).

Copyediting | What Is Proofreading? →

Before I entered the world of professional copy editing and proofreading, I might have used the two words interchangeably—or defined copy editing as "advanced proofreading." In fact, I still have work to do in differentiating between the two services on my own website, but this is the exact post I will be referring to as I make those changes.

Elevenses: Favorites for December 2015

Elevenses: Favorites for December 2015

Welcome to Elevenses, a monthly round-up of my favorite articles and resources related to language, writing, editing, and freelancing.

Slate | “Teachers! Please Do Not Make Your Students Use Synonyms for Said,” I Blurted →

The title says it all. Stop barking your dialogue.

Los Angeles Times | Is It Wookie or Wookiee? The Times' Definitive 'Star Wars' Style Guide →

When your classic style guide isn't nerdy enough, the Internet will provide you with a Star Wars style guide. The A.V. Club website posted a follow-up: "There Are Two E's in 'Wookiee,' Damn It."

The Guardian | At last, a book that tells you exactly where to stick your apostrophe →

Most people I've worked with struggle with two punctuation marks: apostrophes and commas. (Personally, I overuse hyphens like it's my divine calling.) This article helps explain the purpose of apostrophes—and where they belong. I look forward to ordering a copy of the related book.

Inc. | 10 Simple Tips on Being a Better Writer →

"Think about capitalization. Understand the reasons to use an apostrophe. When in doubt, go for brevity." This article is surprisingly comprehensive given how short it is, so check it out before sending your next email, posting your next tweet, or submitting the next draft of your novel.

NYPL's Most Popular Check-outs of 2015 →

I love year-end book lists and libraries, so this article was an instant bookmark for me. It's a fascinating glimpse at the content that people actively sought out (from 92 libraries!) and a nice complement to my other favorite reading list—the Goodreads Choice Awards—if you're looking for book recommendations in the new year.

Elevenses: Favorites for November 2015

Elevenses: Favorites for November 2015

Welcome to Elevenses, a monthly round-up of my favorite articles and resources related to language, writing, editing, and freelancing.

Squarespace | Cover Pages →

I will be writing more about this next week, but it is worth mentioning twice: Squarespace has a new subscription option for people who simply want to set up a landing page or cover page—a one-page website, basically. This is a fantastic option for authors who want to promote a new book and for writers or editors who want to create an online résumé. Learn more about Squarespace cover pages and use the official Squarespace coupon code to get 10% off any annual purchase.


You Don't Say | The Old Editor Wants You to Own, and Consult, Books →

This is a wonderfully curated list of recommended dictionaries, style guides, and other books about language and usage. I look forward to adding many of these books to my own shelves in the coming year.

Title Capitalization →

I second-guess myself on title capitalization at least once a week. (Thanks, anxiety and perfectionism.) This website is a nice way to confirm the rules and exceptions before hitting "publish" on a blog post.

Grammarist | Lasagna vs. Lasagne →

My best friend served lasagna for dinner a few weeks ago. As he was sending me pictures of his culinary accomplishment, I was overwhelmed by curiosity. I was pretty sure I had seen some people spell the dish "lasagne," but I grew up spelling it "lasagna." The Internet came to my rescue with this explanation.

Arrant Pedantry | How to Use Quotation Marks →

Jonathan Owen describes this as "a snarky flowchart," and that is precisely why it love it. Of course, it's also educational and is followed up by really useful guidelines, but that's all just a bonus. Thanks for the delightful work, Mr. Owen.

Daily Pangram | 2,000 Pangrams Archive →

A recent tweet by @HoeflerCo brought this wonderful site to my attention. It's a collection of pangrams, which Wikipedia defines as "a sentence using every letter of the alphabet at least once," otherwise known as a holoalphabetic sentence. I would love to see these incorporated in a daily calendar or as calligraphed greeting cards or something.