Tuesday Two

Write a story with only two sentences. Use the photo for inspiration if you wish.

Photo by Jorge Salazar on Unsplash.

Tall, light brown, multi-level buildings crowded together in New York.

Monday Muddle: lapse, laps

laps: (n. plural of lap) the horizontal area created by your thighs when you sit down; the circuit of a track; movement around a track (v. to lap) to move more quickly around a track than someone else so that you are a lap or more ahead of them

Lapse is a singular noun. The plural is lapses. A lapse of time is a length of time, usually used to indicate the amount of time that something happened differently than before, or the space of time between two events. The adjective “time-lapse” is used to describe a video or a series of still photographs in which some of the sequence is removed. This allows a slow process to be viewed more quickly. To time laps is to record how long it takes to move around the track. 

Wednesday Writing

What brings you joy as a writer?

One of the things that brings me joy is supporting other writers. The whole purpose of what I post on Mondays is to help writers to write more clearly. One of the other things I like to do is read advance copies of books to either give feedback or to be able to help promote books during launch week. This is launch week for Sarah Ray Schwarcz and her middle grade novel, “Game over, ShrinkWithers”.

“Game Over, ShrinkWithers” sounds like it might be just about a game, except that the future of the Earth is at stake. Jenny and Branch and their parents have to work together to solve dilemmas and get themselves out of precarious situations. If they lose, the Earth will lose too. But it isn’t easy, because as Terrence will tell you, “We don’t know everything about everything.” The book is packed with action and suspense, and the brilliant imagination of Sarah Ray Schwarcz. Your middle grade readers are sure to love it, but if you don’t have any of those, don’t let that stop you from enjoying it too.

The cover of a middle grade novel, "Game Over, ShrinkWithers", by Sarah Ray Schwarcz. The cover shows two children standing hand in hand on a grassy hillside overlooking hills and valleys filled with evergreen trees.

Tuesday Two

Write a story with only two sentences. Use the photo for inspiration if you wish.

Photo by Nick Dunn on Unsplash.

Two kangaroos and two small children are on a white sand beach with turquoise water and mountains in the background.

Monday Muddle: into, in to

Monday Muddle: into: (preposition) indicates movement in relation to something else; tells you where; to the inside of, to the interior of; also used to indicate transformation Examples: She went into the house. The acorn grew into a mighty oak tree. in to: (adverb + preposition OR part of infinitive) most often seen when "in" is part of a verb phrase Example verb phrase: gave in Example sentence: He gave in to the peer pressure.

Note: I have seen people suggest that if you can replace “in to” with “in order to”, you need the space. However, “in to” is NOT interchangeable with “in order to”. There are contexts in which “to” can be replaced with “in order to”. But if you have a verb phrase that includes “in” (e.g. gave in) followed by “in order to”, you would need to have the word “in” twice. If we continue with the example of the boy who gave in to peer pressure: “He gave in to avoid being bullied further” MEANS THE SAME AS “He gave in in order to avoid being bullied further.” In both cases, the “to” is the beginning of the infinitive. If you had replaced “in to” with “in order to” the meaning would change. If you say “He gave in order to avoid being bullied further”, it would mean the boy gave something to someone for the purpose of avoiding further bullying. What he gave is not specified, but it was possibly his lunch money, or the answers to his homework. Giving to avoid bullying DOES NOT MEAN THE SAME AS giving in to avoid bullying. He might be giving in to the pressure to take drugs or to steal something. (In those cases, “giving in” is not only not the same as giving, but actually means taking.) So “in to” cannot be replaced by “in order to”, but if the “to” can be, you know you need the space.

I know this is a bit of a brain twister. Please ask any questions you have, and let me know what I need to say more clearly.