Welcome back to Red Pen Tidbits (click for a full table of contents)! Last time we looked at a few of those tricky commonly confused words. This week, by special request from Erika Beebe, we'll dive into verb tenses and how they affect our writing. What exactly are we talking about here? We're all aware of the basic verb [...]
Welcome back to Red Pen Tidbits (click for a full table of contents)! How has your practice with coordinating conjunctions gone? I hope it was wonderful! This week, we're looking into four pairs of commonly confused words. Sometimes it helps to have some way to remember them, so I'll offer up mnemonic devices when I can! What [...]
Welcome back to Red Pen Tidbits! We took a dive into three steps for using pronouns and antecedents correctly. I hope you've been practicing! This week, we're focusing on commas with coordinating conjunctions. Don't worry, I'll try to make this as painless as possible! This post is also part of the Author Toolbox Blog Hop. Feel free [...]
Welcome back to Red Pen Tidbits! Last time around we looked into the proper ways to use me, myself, and I. That little tidbit leads us into this week's discussion about pronouns and their antecedents. We'll look at _ steps for understanding them and getting them right (see the pronouns there?). Are you ready? Step [...]
Darkness. I was surrounded in darkness again. The small, narrow room disappeared with the sun, leaving me as cold and lonely as these prison walls. Why did they arrest me last night? Why did they lock me in this tiny cell, devoid of windows and filled with spiders?
Welcome back to Red Pen Tidbits! Last time we focused on the topic with the most votes (those tricky one or two word combos). This week, we'll discuss the second topic with the most votes: how to use me, myself, and I correctly. This post is also part of the Author Toolbox Blog Hop. Feel [...]
Oftentimes we're writing merrily along when we suddenly stop in the middle of a word. We know exactly how to spell this word, so the trouble lies elsewhere... Is this supposed to be one word or two words?
Here we go again with a little Red Pen Tidbit! Last time we looked at the variety of uses for apostrophes, and before that was our introduction to grammar and usage. This week, we'll explore a few tricks to remember the difference between who and whom. Who Whom Who will be joining us today? What exactly are [...]
Welcome back to Red Pen Tidbits! I introduced this new series last week with an overview about grammar and usage. Every first and third Thursday of the month we'll look a little closer at some aspect of grammar or usage. This week, we'll check out apostrophes! I don't know about you, but sometimes when I [...]
Welcome to my first post in the "Red Pen Tidbits" series where we will make mistakes and break the rules! Sort of. What are you talking about? I have taught English for several years from 6th grade up to 12th grade, and I love it. One of the moments I enjoy the most are when [...]
“Don’t tell me we went the wrong way.” Logan growled like an angry tiger and kicked the air in front of him, which caused him to trip over a hidden root and fall on his face. He started to yell, but nothing came out. Instead, he looked up and stared at the trees.
Welcome to your crash course in phrases of the dependent variety! Do you feel like you're at school, yet? Don't fret, there's no test. This time. Let's start with the basics: What is a phrase? A phrase is a word or group of words that expresses a single concept within a sentence. It is dependent, [...]
A book review -- your opinion about a book based on evidence from it. We've seen them on Amazon and Goodreads. We may have even read a few... but are we writing them, too? Wait? Writing a book review? I can't do that. I don't know how to do that... Please don't ask me! Please! [...]
He took a deep breath. “Your dad was a wicked one when he tried to turn you back down the aisle instead of giving you away.” He laughed. “You pulled him instead to make sure he gave you away, though.” He paused. “Strong-willed, your father. Too strong-willed to stick around here, so I couldn’t even watch you grow up.”
Earlier this week I was asked what it takes to set up writer's notebooks in the classroom: cost, time, content, etc. I shared why I use them in my post last year (The Wonderful World of Writer’s Notebooks), but this post is dedicated to the logistics. (You're welcome, Jeffery Frieden!) To start, let me say that [...]
At the end of last month, I entered a short story into my first ever public contest. The Blank Page Challenge is a brand new contest for writers to try their hand at creating a story using a picture prompt. Each story is read by a panel of judges, and then they choose the top three to [...]
Back in August, I posted about the changes I'd made to Writing Goals for the Classroom. I also mentioned that they'd probably change again (and hopefully improve) based on student feedback and personal growth. Well... It's time! We've adjusted the format from the first six weeks quite a few times, so I'll walk you through each [...]
What? Is that even a word? It sounds like a word that would get your mouth washed out with soap if you say it in front of your mother. Is it one of those words?
Absolutely not. It's a beautiful word that inspires beautiful writing. Epistolary writing is...
Based on the prerequisite portfolio you submitted, you are expected to score well in all areas. However, we are a little concerned about your entry in the Criminal section...
When I was a student in middle school and high school, life was simple: go to class, write down the assignment, complete the warm up, listen to the teacher, take notes, read the assigned passages, answer the questions, turn in your work, and repeat tomorrow. Was every class like this? Didn't any class use other [...]