A substantial niche of the publishing industry known as “enthusiast” titles, automotive magazines are excellent sources for learning how to write concise, comprehensive, and entertaining reviews. Every month, Road and Track and Car and Driver run multiple reviews of new cars—each piece describing the vehicle’s concept, place in the overall market, fit, finish, features, handling, price, and value.
You Don’t Have to Be a Virtuoso
Received wisdom has it that successful writers are gifted geniuses, rare specimens endowed with rare talents. An hour spent in any library or bookstore will prove how wrong this is. You don’t have to be a virtuoso to enjoy a rewarding career as a writer. You don’t even have to be a very good writer to succeed. You simply have to be competent and consistent.
Quirky Characters and Characters with Quirks
Historical upheavals and gut-wrenching personal conflicts aren’t the only kinds that keep readers turning the pages. Almost as important are small-scale conflicts— for example, political differences between friends or lifestyle differences between relatives.
Feet, Feat, Fete: The Deceptive Allure of Spell-checking
Feet, feat, and fete: English is riddled with homophones, words that are pronounced alike but are spelled differently and have different meanings. In this case: your pedal extremities, an achievement, and a celebration—all concepts so wildly divergent that it would be difficult to mistake one for the other, unless you are relying on your word processor’s spell-check function to make sure you have used the right one.
Pandemic Observations the New Normal of Staying In
It has been three months since bars and dine-in restaurants closed, gyms and movie theatres shuttered, and we were ordered to stay at home as much as possible.
How the Planet has Changed, One Tree Planted
Jellyfish and dolphins in the Venice Canal. Sheep in an empty McDonald’s parking lot. Waddling penguins – in Simon’s Town, South Africa. Goats, deer and coyotes roaming major cities.
It Started with Toilet Paper
It starts with folks converging on local grocery stories, Costco, Walmart, and Target. What disappears first? Toilet paper. Seriously!
Jo March Had to Sell Her Hair, But She Still Has More Money Than You
Jo’s entire story arc makes for an interesting exploration of how little has changed in the lives of writers between the 1860s and today and could serve as an instructional guide on what lies ahead for aspiring writers. By Melissa DeVrieze.
Email Pet Peeves
Nothing makes me nuttier than a co-worker who shows up at my desk and demands, “Did you read my email?” When asked this question, I try not to grit my teeth, pause to a count of 2, smile, and say, “Why, no, I have not. When did you send it?”
25 Things I’ve Learned in the Desert, by Carol Dove
There is something fun to do every day: Horseshoes, soaking in natural pots, aquacise, cribbage, dances, quad rides, Mexican train, bingo, poker, line dancing, or fellowship.