Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the month “September, 2014”

Cee’s Which Way: Can Turtles Read?

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge

 

This sign makes me chuckle every time I see it. Can turtles read?

Do they have PDAs (personal digital assistants) in which they record important dates?

How do they know that they should cross the road only between May and August?

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Speaking of turtles, have you seen the video of the turtle teasing the cats? You can see it here:

 

 

Introducing Kathryn Ross, Performance Storyteller, and her New YouTube Video

Meet my friend, Kathryn Ross. If you are a home schooler, you will enjoy her forthcoming book described in this YouTube video.

Janice Heck Writes

KathrynI count among my friends Kathryn Ross of The Writer’s Reverie.

Kathryn, Performance Storyteller, is passionate about literature, history, and biblical truths, giving performances to both home and public schooled children in the Southern New Jersey area.

Dressed in the clothing style of her time frame, she dramatizes her stories and brings them to life, much to the delight and wonder of her audiences.

Kathryn’s words describe her work:

I’m Kathryn Ross, an Enrichment Artist with a passion to bless and inspire others to a life more abundant and purposeful in all good things and beauty.

I share such treasures through the power of dramatized storytelling, blogging at The Writer’s Reverie, publishing my works through Pageant Wagon Publishing, hosting teatime hospitality retreats, and exploring handcrafted creative arts through Cameo Impressions at Etsy.

My love of God and Biblical values also permeates the original literature and history programming I write and perform for varied audiences as Pageant…

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Serial Commas, Parallel Structure, and Zombies for Hire

Zombies teach about parallel structure and serial commas in this post!

Janice Heck Writes

In Serial Commas and Compulsive Behavior, serial comma (aka Harvard Comma and Oxford Comma) combatants duked it out over correct usage.

On my scoreboard, the serial comma won, hands down. But journalists, Brits, and Aussies don’t all agree with me.

A Bigger Problem: Parallel Structure

But a major underlying issue compounds the serial comma problem: parallel structure.

To be grammatically correct, both serial commas and parallel structure must be right in your writing.

Constance Hale, author of Sin and Syntax: How to Craft wickedly Effective Prose (1999), reminds us of the danger of not books on writing - Hale 001understanding parallel structure and appropriate punctuation:

Some of the most hilarious errors in English result from phrases that aren’t properly tracked. If you don’t know what you’re doing, phrases will deliver you straight to The Danger Zone.

Want to avoid errors with serial commas and parallel structure and keep June Casagrande’s nasty old grammar snobs from picking on your…

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Cee’s Odd Ball Photo: Baby in a Carriage?

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge

Janice Heck photo

Street performer in Venice

 

Cee’s Fun Foto: Wheels at Disney

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Wheels…Photos taken at Disney World, Orlando, FL.

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Silent Sunday 9-4-14 Read

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESGirl Reading, Photo Janice Hecksilent sunday

Apostrophe Atrocity: On The Marquee at the Shore

Janice Heck Writes

Heavens forfend! An error on the marquee down at the shore.

Contractions photo - Janice Heck

The contraction stands for two words: Let us. Using the contraction form, it should read “Let’s…”

Oh well, the heat must have gone to someone’s head!

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Serial Commas and Compulsive Behavior

Janice Heck Writes

Academics and journalists duke it out when it comes to using serial commas in sentences.

Serial commas (aka the Oxford comma and the Harvard Comma)

…come before conjunctions (most often before and, or)

…when used in a series (or list) of three or more words, phrases, or clauses in sentences.

Commas in series, graphic

What are the colors in the American flag? The academics write it this way:

The American flag is red, white, and blue.       (with serial comma)

American flag

The journalists (along with the Brits and Aussies) favor this writing:

The British flag is red, white and blue.       (without serial comma)

British flag

The Battleground

Turns out there is a long history of wordy disputes between these two deeply-rooted warring camps.  Lynn Truss, a Brit and author of TrussEats, Shoots & Leaves, traces the conflict back hundreds of years and advises,

Never make the mistake of getting between these two groups, especially when the…

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One Tired, Tarnished Writing Tip…with Six Twists

Janice Heck Writes

Read.

That’s It. That’s the tired tip.

Read.

Probably the most common piece of advice given to wannabe and novice writers. The advice is generic…read, read, read.

Yes, and then . . .?

What does reading do for our writing?

Pat Conroy, author of My Reading Life (2010), suggests this:Conroy My Reading Life

Now when I pick up a book, the prayer that rises out of me is that it changes me utterly and that I am not the man who first selected that book from a well-stocked shelf.

The unstated purposes of “read, read, read” for writers are

  •  to explore all genres of writing,
  •  to identify qualities in writing that appeal to us as readers,
  •  to emulate those fine qualities in our own writing, and
  •  ultimately, as Conroy suggests, to internalize our reading so we change and become better persons ourselves.

How can you read more, high quality writers without spending a fortune…

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Daily Post Photo Challenge: Dialogue in Pictures

The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Dialogue

Imagine the dialogue between two sisters in the garden.

Grounds for Sculpture, Trenton, NJ, Janice Heck Photo

A lovely afternoon for “Two Sisters” at the Grounds for Sculpture, Trenton, NJ

 

Knitting in the garden, Janice Heck photo

Perhaps they talk about a knitting project the younger sister will soon begin.

Perhaps they talk about the lovely flowers in the daughter's hat.

Perhaps they talk about the lovely flowers in the sister’s hat.

Janice Heck photo

Perhaps they talk about the lovely garden setting.

Or perhaps they talk about other secret matters.

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This sculpture is a 3-D rendition by J. Seward Johnson, Jr. of Pierre-August Renoir’s “Two Sisters” painting. The sculpture can be seen at Grounds for Sculpture, Trenton, NJ.  It has been called “Family Secret” in a few sources.  Here is a view of the original which can be seen at the Art Institute Chicago.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Two Sisters, 1879

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Two Sisters, 1879

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