French Liqueur And Fake Stories

My brain on Bénédictine Let me tell you a story: In 1510, there lived a Benedictine monk who was gifted in alchemy. He wanted to create an elixir to lengthen life. So during his free time at the monastery, he mixed a few dozen herbs and plants with honey and alcohol to make this concoction. … Read more

Your Brain On Hemingway

40 different one-sentence endings Did you know your brain attaches the quality of a piece of writing to the ending? It’s true. Hemingway knew this when he wrote the ending of A Farewell To Arms 40 times. That’s 40 different one-sentence endings. You see, he knew that if you didn’t stick the landing like a … Read more

Zombies And Gibberish

Don’t let bad repetition kill your copywriting Human brains are fascinating. (And apparently, zombies think they’re tasty.) When you read, hear, or speak… Neurons fire Pathways light up Connections are made The communication networks in our brains are so visually striking that they’ve been compared to mini universes. (I can’t wait for Neil deGrasse Tyson … Read more

Purple Spite And Oak Trees

A tip for concise copy Some days, I’m purple with spite. I end up looking like Violet from the Willy Wonka movie. Sugar and spice don’t go with my attitude. For example, last year my neighbor cut down 26 oak trees on his one-acre lot. All the squirrels that used to live near him, now … Read more

The sky is blue. The turf is green.

Jumping to assumptions higher than a wide receiver. I like watching professional football. (Yes, I know it’s problematic. But old habits die hard.) I’m not invested in the game like some men. (Talk about emotional creatures.) I tune in for the commentary. While witnessing the Giants failed comeback 2 Sundays ago, the quarterback was forced … Read more

Missed Opportunities And McDonald’s

Oh, French Fries! I ventured to an actual store last week. And while I was sitting in the customer service line, I noticed a kid standing to my side rambling about something. He was all of 3 years old and was pulling umbrellas out of the impulse buy rack. I noticed it wasn’t sturdy so … Read more

I love ellipses…

Almost as much as espresso I use ellipses like vanilla syrup in my lattes. Sprinkled here… And there… And sometimes just dumped haphazardly… Because what’s life without a sweet treat? (Nothing but sour-grape-sad coffee. Trust me.) I love ellipses so much I dedicated a whole chapter in my book to those punctuation marks. But ellipses … Read more

Sacrifice your writing

Rituals are cool I love rituals. (Not the animal-sacrifice kind.) They soothe my anxiety and boost my confidence much like my pitbulls reduce my nail biting and Pitbull’s songs increase my energy. I have a lot of rituals… My morning routine is a ritual. My bedtime routine is a ritual. Even my writing routine is … Read more

Conjunction Junction like has a function

Schoolhouse Rock is strong with me today If you’ve read my book (The Grumpy Grammarian’s Guide To Copy Editing For Copywriters), you know I’m not a fan of Valley Girl words in your writing. Totally. Whatever. As if. They make my skin crawl like I have prickly spiders running up and down my tattooed arms. … Read more

Perspective and impact

A copy edit tip inspired by a 9 year old Last week, I lamented over taking the perfect picture of my penny tree art. I was so bummed about not getting a great shot that I lost sleep and even considered hiring a professional photographer. Oh, silly Autumn — pictures are for kids. That’s right, … Read more