um, sigh.

Ha ha.

Let’s talk about writing style.

I used to write for a living. I went to college on scholarships won by my writing. I have won awards since college for my writing. I used to edit books for living. I used to edit professional technical writing for a living. I grew up with a grammarian. I know writing.

I know good writing. I know bad writing. I know correct writing. I know incorrect writing.

And I know that what’s acceptable and appropriate for various audiences and types of writing.

For this and my other super casual blogs, I prefer to write in a super casual style. That includes sentence fragments. Like this. Or this. That includes sentences that start with And and But. (Ahem) That includes typing out things I would say if I were talking to you. Like “um.” or “Hm.”

It’s not indicative of my brain rotting away because I read Facebook. I promise.

It’s because, in these blogs, I prefer to write as though you (the reader) and I are just chatting. And when I chat with friends (not so much with enemies), I use “um” as a dramatic device. I say “uhh” and “hm” and “wellllll…”  And so I type it out. Yes, I do. Gasp. Shock. Horror.

And it’s totally ok. Casual writing is absolutely allowed to break the rules that govern more formal writing. I promise. There are no rules like “Never use sentence fragments” for casual blogs. I mean, on occasion, I might even end a sentence with a preposition. Note, even uber casual writing should still use correct punctuation, including using commas where appropriate. Jus’ sayin’.


(I am, of course, only talking about my writing. Of course. Only me.)



I really really wish I could carve out more time to write, and to blog here. I do manage to get updates made on Teddy’s page, and on our school blog, but that’s not really writing so much as it is record-keeping, other than the occasional actual written piece. It just doesn’t happen, though. Between Teddy and school and Wallypop/Boulevard Designs/LemonDrops/Boulevard Farm and household stuff… I just don’t have time – or, more particularly, energy – for something that’s as monumentally unimportant as sharing my thoughts on world affairs. I hit the end of the day, and if I have any extra energy left, I spend it doing more fun stuff with the kids before bed. Something that’s infinitely more important.


I’m trying to get better at blogging here regularly. First, the writing exercise will be good for me. My writing skills have slipped in recent years because I just don’t do it often enough. I have no plans to re-enter the workforce, but I’d still like to keep my skills up near the top of my field (though I’m sure as heck not going to bore you by keeping my up technical writing skills, too). Second, thinking and writing about something other than kidney disease will also be good for me. 🙂 My big problem right now is that I think about or think through a good blog post, but before I have a chance to sit down at the computer, it’s gone. I used to keep a running list in my phone so I could jot down thoughts as I had them – I clearly need to get back into that practice. Another problem is that by the time I have a chance to sit down and write, whatever idea I have percolating is no longer timely. I’m just going to forget about being timely and chime in on current affairs whenever I have a chance.

And it’s been great to observe that, since I’ve started writing here again regularly, a few old friends have gotten inspired to start writing in their blogs more, too. 🙂

Curious as a Cat meme.

1) Describe a “Hah! I told you so” moment you had recently.

I have a six year old. I think “told you so” at least a dozen times daily. “Careful, you’re going to whack your finger with that.” “OUCH!”  and so on.
2) When was the last time you visited a library? What for?

Tuesday. After school story and craft, plus our weekly visit to exchange the 30 or so books we’re done with for the 30-40 books I’ve had reserved for me. Yep. I’m THAT library patron.

3) Have you ever called the police or rescue squad to rescue an animal?

Yes. Several years ago, we heard a car slam into something in front of our house. We thought it was an accident, but we didn’t see any wrecked cars, but we did hear some odd noises. Turns out, someone had ran into a rather large stray dog, which was lying in the street. We didn’t want anyone else to run him over, nor did we want to leave him there, but we didn’t know what to do. So we called the police, who handled off duty animal control calls at that time. They were both dog owners, and just super upset that someone would hit and run a dog. Wrapped him up in some of our old sheets, and took him…somewhere.
4) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.

I wonder if I should have bought another bale of hay when it was on sale.

Thursday Thunks

In a meme mood.

1. It became officially summer on Monday. What’s your favorite part of winter?

I like quiet nights when all the sounds are muted by snow. I like going out to the kitchen in the middle of the night and watching the snow fall on our quiet street. It’s very peaceful. (And then some drunk guy inevitably comes barrelling down the road, completely ruining the moment.)

2. What was your worst summer vacation ever?

Oh, gosh. I don’t know.
3. Kimber’s husband just got the dream job that he’s hoped for. So a big shout out to her and Anthony! Tell us about the best job that you ever had.

Once, I got super lucky and got to be Mommy and, on top of that, to work for myself. That was pretty awesome. 🙂
4. Who is probably talking a load of crap about you right now?

I know someone who almost definitely is, but my general opinion on people who talk crap about me is that I really don’t care. If it makes you feel better about yourself or whatever, then I’m glad to be of service.

5. An alien appears and offers you the opportunity to repeat one year of your life. You will still know everything that you know now. He explains that no matter what you do differently, when you are returned to the present nothing will have changed. What year would you pick and why?

Any of the three years I was in college. I really enjoyed the freedom and, being a super loser geek, I also really enjoyed the classes. I don’t think I’d do anything different. Just enjoy it.

6. Name three things you have on you at all times. Explain why.

Wedding ring. It’s just always on.    Knitting. I don’t necessarily ALWAYS have it with me, but 90% of the time, I do.     Genna. I pretty much always have her on me.

7. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?

Just this month.

8. If you could have everyone in the blogosphere read just one of your posts, which post would you pick and why?

Hell, I don’t know. Something from several years ago, I’d guess. Back when I had more functioning brain cells. I was much more lucid then.

9. I recently read that the music industry continues to decline at an alarming rate. In the last year it said the sales of Michael Jackson’s and The Beatles’ music are the only artists who sales continue to climb. The article stated that the two are holding up the industry. Have you bought a CD or mp3 of either artist recently?

Hell no.

10. What radio ad right now do you find so annoying that you’d rather have a tooth drilled than hear it again?

Scruff McGruff, Chicago Illinois, 60652

11. Berleen walks into a bar on a hot Minnesota day. At the bar sits a priest, a rabbi and a minister. A ten foot duck walks into the bar right after Berleen. What drink do you think Berleen orders?

Cold Duck. Isn’t that a beer or something?

12. There is a knock on your door. It can be anyone in the world. Who would you want it to be?

My dad.

13. What would be the worst entertainment or sporting that you could be forced to watch?

Race car driving.

Letters I’ll Never Send Meme

Letters I’ll Never Send: Dear Movie Director

Dear Movie Director,

Are you seriously that uncreative? Can you not find any good writers in the world? What is the deal? It seems like 75% of the new movies this year are either re-makes (Karate Kid) or sequels (Iron Man 2). This doesn’t mean that I’m not looking forward to some of these movies, but it might be nice to have something completely new and original to watch, too.