Monthly Archives: March 2009

Confusing Words

I learned to speak and write English when I was about twenty-one years old so English has never been a language I use naturally. In fact, it is one of the most difficult language to learn — if you step away from the basics. It has a lot of subtlety, derivations from other languages, turn of phrases that are difficult to master. Prepositions, and their use, have been, and continue to be, a challenge. Some words are similar (lay, lie) others are grammatically confusing (their, there; its, it’s).

Confusing Words is a website that helps with those challenges. It boasts over 3200 words and their definition and use. Here is an example from one of my own confusion:

take to go with
bring to come with


Bring a covered dish when you come to the pot luck supper, but be sure to take your dish home with you when you go.
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Friday « Write Anything

[Fiction] Friday « Write Anything
[Fiction] Friday Challenge for March 27, 2009:
Setting: An office building – A secondary character says: “Look, somebody has got to make a decision.” Your main character offers a solution.

How To Play:
1. Check this page for the new challenge.
2. Write for at least 5 minutes.
4. On Friday, post it to your blog.
5. Come back to Write Anything and leave the link to your post.
6. Visit other’s posts and leave constructive comments.

Here is my entry:

Peter rolled his eyes. Lynne was always pushing, prodding, always in a hurry to get things done. It didn’t matter if everyone else wasn’t up to her speed. Instead of helping, her attitude created more problems, more antagonism. It had been exactly the same in their relationship and that was why –thank the Lord—he had been smart enough to get out of it.

That time, it had been him who had been in a hurry to make a decision. He still felt it had been the right one, even though working together made matters more difficult than they should be.

He wasn’t a fool; he knew everyone around the table knew Lynne and he had been involved, and almost serious, with each other. They knew the reason Lynne was so much in a hurry to get out of the meetings was because she couldn’t stand to be in the same room as he was. They knew that it was his own damn fault if the atmosphere at the office had changed from tropical to arctic.

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Book Review: Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry

Family Matters Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry

My review

Family Matters is troubling, tender, disturbing, and 100% Rohinton Mistry. The title has, of course, a double entendre: family is important, but events in a family have a impact on it. And that’s what happens in this book: a father’s past interferes with his children’s present. It changes the way they see him, care for him. It is also about the inevitable descent into old age and its concurrent loss of dignity and the helplessness of the old. It is about morality… and the power (and corruption) of money.

Here is a summary of the story from the publisher:

Set in Bombay in the mid-1990s, Family Matters tells a story of familial love and obligation, of personal and political corruption, of the demands of tradition and the possibilities for compassion. Nariman Vakeel, the patriarch of a small discordant family, is beset by Parkinson’s and haunted by memories of his past. He lives with his two middle-aged stepchildren, Coomy, bitter and domineering, and her brother, Jal, mild-mannered and acquiescent. But the burden of the illness worsens the already strained family relationships. Soon, their sweet-tempered half-sister, Roxana, is forced to assume sole responsibility for her bedridden father. And Roxana’s husband, besieged by financial worries, devises a scheme of deception involving his eccentric employer at a sporting goods store, setting in motion a series of events that leads to the narrative’s moving outcome.

The only disappointing aspect of the book is the epilogue, which, in my opinion, is totally unnecessary and detracts from the rest of the story. Nevertheless, a highly recommended read.

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How to procrastinate

I’ve used any of these tactics many times to avoid starting to write in the morning, including watching this video: Getting Started by Richard Condie, – NFB

I guess it’s a reminder of two things: if you don’t get started, you don’t get anywhere, and sometimes you might as well do something else (like going to Norbert’s) than sit around and be unproductive.

Thanks to Robert Runté for pointing me to the clip.

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