The Words You Can Never Spell: A Writer’s Lament

When you make a living as a writer, you need to have a few things figured out. Where you’ll get your next job is less important than knowing the fundamentals of grammar and spelling. Still, I make typos here and there (who doesn’t?) and I feel like a hypocrite when I go all grammar police on people then make mistakes myself.

The other day, I was talking to some writer friends on Twitter and discovered that, no matter how polished a writer you are, there are still going to be words that trip you up. I was trying to type “significant” and it kept coming out as “signficant” Grr! I always miss that “i.”

So I asked my followers what words always leave them wondering how on earth they get away with writing anything at all! Here’s a few examples:

  1. Experience.
  2. Descent and Decent
  3. Though, Thought, and Through
  4. Episode
  5. Talk
  6. Silhouette
  7. Bureaucracy
  8. Judgment

Do you know how long it took me to type those words? Forever! I think there’s a commonality between some of these, but I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe a lot of vowels? “Though, Thought, and Through” are understandable because the only difference between them is a “t” or an “r.” Homophones are also understandable because English is, like, hard.

Just as I did on Twitter, I’m turning the tables over to you. What words can you never seem to spell on the first try? Which ones leave you scratching your head and hitting backspace? Which ones do you mangle so badly, even spellcheck can’t lend you a hand?

Please share in the comments and I’ll add them to the list above. Thanks!

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Weekly Writing Inspiration: May 3, 2013

I’m a little bit late getting around to this post this week but I’ve been a bit busier than I anticipated. Still, there is inspiration to be found everywhere and I want to take a moment to share that with you.

  1. New clients. Oh how I love the sweetness of getting a new client! It’s exciting. It’s full of potential. Things haven’t gone horribly, horribly wrong. Not that I’m saying things typically go wrong with my clients, but the thrill of new prospects keeps me focused and engaged in my work. All of my work. Old projects and new.

    writing inspiration

    Source: Alan Cleaver

  2. Taking risks. Going out on a limb. Plunging off the precipice. However you want to phrase it, embarking on new things is exciting. This is sort of related to number one on this list but it doesn’t have to do with clients per se. It’s more about my own efforts to expand my business and brand. Sorry for the vaguery, but I’ll offer more details as I have them. In short: I’m excited.
  3. Awesome talks that are awesome by Neil Gaiman. Seriously, stop what you’re doing and watch this video right now I’ll wait. Did you watch it? If you did you should be filled with a warm fuzzy sensation that spreads from the top of your head, down to your fingertips and out through your toes. This sensation is likely caused by microscopic kittens twitching their whiskers. The video is from a commencement address Gaiman gave at the University of the Arts in 2012. It’s called “Make Good Art,” and it’s actually being released as a book soon. I may need to buy this. 

And off we go into another weekend. What’s inspired you this week? Anything I should know about?

Weekly Writing Inspiration: April 23, 2013

I thought I’d start a new thing here on my writing blog. What’s inspiring me this week? We’ll start out with a handful of things and see how that goes. I may cut back on these or increase them depending on what my life is like at the time. But this week, I’m inspired by:

Writing inspiration

Coffee + blogging = a good morning

  1. 1/2 caf Americanos. Just enough caffeine to kick my rear in gear but not so much to leave me a jittery mess
  2. YouTube videos by Google engineer, Matt Cutts. Learning so much cool stuff. Yes, I’m that nerdy.
  3. Moving forward on projects. After stagnation on a few big projects, they’re finally moving forward again and I’m feeling really positive about them. There is actual measurable progress. Which is awesome.
  4. New routines. I’m developing new routines and plans for my blogs, which is seriously exciting. I’ve blogged forever but never consistently enough. If I want to advise people on how to “market their brands” and “increase search engine traffic” and all of those other buzzwordy things, I need to actually do it myself. It’s more work, yes, but it can only yield positive results. And dammit, I find that inspiring!

That’s all for now. I’m going to try to make this a weekly thing, as I’m sure there will be at least one thing that inspires me each week. And please feel free to share what’s inspiring you this week, whether it’s something someone said to you, a particularly fun thing you did over the weekend, or a quote you read online, I want to know!

Health and Fitness Writing & Content: It’s Sort of My Thing

When I started freelance writing back in 2004, I scraped together projects however I could manage. My first article sold was actually never published. It was about Irish step dancing. From there, I had articles picked up by a few online publications, then print like ePregnancy. Unfortunately, that magazine folded. I did some more print work for Cat Fancy and Critters USA, which was awesome. Several articles appeared in international publications as well.

However, around 2007 I needed to increase my income substantially. I was moving out of my parent’s house and couldn’t just rely on writing for magazines to pay the bills. At that point, I’d done a few content projects here and there. I wrote ebooks and press releases and all of that. Just not as much as I do now.

In fact, for the past five years, I’ve spent most of my time writing web content, SEO, and doing work for companies like crafting white papers and company bios. Still, I never lost my love for the editorial style and it pleases me greatly that my work has once again shifted toward writing for publication.

I already blogged about my gig with Fit-Journey.com, which is exciting and allows me to really stretch my creative writing muscles (see what I did there?) but I’ve neglected to mention my work for other fitness and health sites.

As a contributor to Demand Media, I write articles for several sites including The Nest, AZ Healthy Living, The Bump, eHow, and Livestrong. I will be writing about this more in the future, but I just wanted to mention it now since these articles take up a significant portion of my workload. In fact, I went on a pinning rampage on Pinterest the other day and found I’d written over 500 articles for Livestrong covering health and fitness, beauty and skincare, credit/taxes, and business. Isn’t that nuts? All this time, I was worried I didn’t have enough content to share with you all but I was obviously mistaken!

As I move forward in this niche, I was wondering if any of my readers had preferences as to the subject matter I covered? Is there any area of health and fitness that you would like to see more attention paid? I’m always looking for new angles to cover so feel free to share!

New Contributor to Fit Journey

197345_257590267709483_1812477838_nGood news, ladies and gents! I was just contracted as a contributor to Fit-Journey.com. I’ll be writing eight articles a month for the site, covering the gamut of health and fitness topics from workout info to food ideas to lifestyle tips.

You can check out my latest article here:

5 Reasons NOW is the Time to Get Healthy

I’ll be posting snippets of articles as they’re published in the future. I’m excited to be writing about health and fitness. It’s a niche that is near and dear to me because it marked the beginning of my writing career. Thanks to Julia for the warm welcome to the team!

“Revenge is a Star in the Sky” Published in Bards and Sages Quarterly

THUMBNAIL_IMAGE2013 has been a slow year for me publication-wise but I’m pleased to reported by flash tale, “Revenge is a Star in the Sky,” appears in the April issue of Bard and Sages Quarterly alongside several of my writing friends, which is pretty cool. Here’s an excerpt:

She looked at the darkened sky that lay beyond her bedroom window. The stars mocked her with their twinkling. She lifted an eyebrow. I’ll grow up, I’ll get over it, she thought, smirking. Her eyes fell on one star in particular. It shone brighter than the rest and she knew why. She would make them pay.

And I have a treat for you, dear readers. Want to buy a copy? Go to the following link:

https://www.createspace.com/4229437

Then enter this code at checkout to get 10% off the print price: AK3ENESC

Dear September (Or, Now That You’re Five Months Old)

It’s your mom here. You don’t know me by that name yet. I don’t think you have any sort of name for me other than the outstretch of your arms, the grin on your face when you see me, and the furious way you stick out your tongue when you’re near my breasts. You know me as these things now at five months old. I know you by your brownish, blondish, reddish hair with the bald spot in the back. I know you by the way you grunt in your sleep and “eh, eh, eh” when you’re getting frustrated, or want to be held, or are getting hungry, or have a dirty diaper (or, or, or.) Funny. When I used dictation software to write and you make that “eh” sound, the computer writes it out as “or, or, or.”

I know you by your deep blue eyes and long lashes, a combination that is bound to make some boy or girl fall in love with you one day. I know that you like to nap without any pants on and that you’d much prefer to be hanging out in your diaper than deal with any pesky clothes. I know that you think it’s hilarious when Daddy runs your hand over his goatee and when I nibble your fingers and toes. You blow raspberries all day long and love the sound of your own voice, making new noises that test the range of your vocal abilities.

I know how warm you feel tucked in my arms. Already, you hang off my lap when I feed you. Just five months ago, the entirety of you fit on my lap, folded into the length of one arm. Now you’re big and getting bigger. I’m starting to understand how fast time rolls past us. While we’re caught up in the day-to-day struggles, trying to snatch as much sleep as we can, we forget to stop, breathe, and look. You’re growing up already. You’ll always be growing up. The thought of it fills me with pride and a bittersweet pang of letting go. One day. One day, I’ll have to let you go from my protective arms.

But not today. You are my sweet little baby. You’re perfect as all babies are perfect. You’re healthy and covered in rolls. Your thighs and neck are areas your dad and I love the most.

Most of all, you fill me with such joy. I want to hold you close and treasure you. Already, you want to get going. You want to explore. When you were born, you were pushing away from my chest, trying to lift your head. You were so strong. Still are. You’re trying to learn how to crawl now that rolling is no big deal. You want to move to everything you can, touch everything, put everything in your mouth. You’re my little explorer, fighting to capture the entire world all at once.

I’m just trying to keep up and trying not to let the damage of my past affect our future. I want to be a good mommy. I want to be someone you look up to, not run away from.

But those are concerns for another day. Today, I celebrate hugging you, kissing you, and discovering new ways to make you laugh and wave your arms in glee.

Love,

Mommy