Archive for August, 2006

Writing Hint #5 Use apostrophes correctly

My daughters an English teacher in one of our state high school’s.

She emphatically claim’s to be an “apostrophe nazi.”

She goes around the staff room, office and staff office’s correcting the misuse of apostrophe’s in other people’s poster’s, notices and anything pinned up on the notice boards.

I’m thinking of never going shopping with her again – just in case she decides to go around correcting poster’s and advertising hoardings. That would be most embarrassing.

I recently came across this following hint regarding the use of apostrophes:

Use the possessive apostrophe in it’s place and omit it when its not needed.

One cant be too careful.

I hope my daughter never read’s this or she might find a few mistakes. At least she cant access this blog in order to correct it’s mistakes.

Oh dear – Ive just realised that she could leave comments about this post. Ooops.

I invite you to comment on the above text.

Can you find all the errors?

I think I have made 14 errors. But… I could be wrong!

Poem #7 Summer Storm

Summer Storm

The storm has passed

And the rain has stopped.

The oven-fresh earth

Smells most delectable –

I eat up airy mouthfuls of it!

All rights reserved.

Copyright 2006 Trevor W. Hampel.

I invite you to read more of my poetry here.

Where do you do your writing?

In the pre-computer days I used notebooks and a portable typewriter for my writing needs. It was slow and laborious and, not being a good typist, I made many mistakes. Because the typewriter was portable it meant I was not tied to a desk.

In the early 1990s I bought my clunky old Commodore Amiga computer. It was bulky and slow and took up a large area on a desk. What it did, however, was give my writing a huge boost. I could easily edit, correct, reprint and rewrite with ease. I fired the old computer up recently – and it still works like a charm. It was very advanced at the time.

Next came a series of desktop PCs. I was off and running with my writing, but I was stuck to a desk. While it was rather restricting as far as movement was concerned, that was a small price to pay for the power of a PC to assist my writing endeavours.

Early 2004 saw a new development. I bought my first laptop. I can now write on the move. I can write in the sun room if that takes my fancy. I still use to office quite a deal, but during the colder months I set up a table in the lounge room in front of the slow combustion fire. It gives lovely warmth – with the added bonus of having the television on to watch the football. In the summer months I can keep an eye on the cricket while I write. And when I visit my son in Sydney or my daughter in Clare, the laptop comes with me so I can keep writing whenever I want.

Where don’t I write?

  1. I haven’t been tempted to take the laptop into the bath with me.
  2. I certainly don’t take it into the toilet – though I sometimes have great inspirational ideas while meditating therein.
  3. I have taken the laptop into bed with me – but only once – and my wife was away at the time.
  4. I have taken my laptop into the garden but I don’t make a habit of it. I’d be too tempted to watch the birds, or snooze in the sunshine, or worst of all, see some job that needs my attention.
  5. I do not write while driving; it is not recommended.

This last one reminds me of a cartoon in the Weekend Australian Newspaper last Saturday. The drawing shows a writer tapping away on a laptop while his car is plunging over the edge of a cliff. An arrow from the caption points at the screen. The caption says:

“…and as I plummeted to my death, I wondered if perhaps I should have been concentrating on the road rather than typing this autobiography.


So – where do you do your writing?

Share your writing habits in the comments section below.

An intriguing idea

Until today I had never heard of author DBA Lehane. This author has a blog called Short Short Fiction.

On this blog the author takes the word of the day from and uses it in a short story.

Every day.

Such discipline and creativity is to be commended. I’m not sure that I could keep up the pace – or the pressure. He limits the stories to 500 words and warns that they are only a first and rough draft.

Why I don’t do mornings

I am not a morning person.

Never have been.

Well, actually, that’s not strictly true. I have had my moments, a few occasions when I arose early and went for a walk, or went birding (see my birding blog here). Often those occasions were when we were out camping in the Australian bush and the birds woke me up at dawn – or a stronger call urged me to commune with nature in the early rays of the day’s sunshine.

I did have a great few months of early rising in the latter part of last year. I was in training for a trek in the Himalayas in Nepal last January (read my Travel Blog here). I would rise daily at dawn and go for a 2 to 3 hour training walk. It felt great. It also helped my attempt on the approach to Everest (we got to within five days walk of base camp).

I am a great admirer of those who regularly rise very early and go for a walk, or do some gardening or write several thousand words before breakfast. (Yawn – just the thought makes me tired.)

Here is a short list of reasons excuses Why I Don’t Do Mornings:

  1. I am inclined towards laziness.
  2. I am a procrastinator.
  3. The bed is too comfortable, warm, cosy (whatever).
  4. The air outside is too hot, too cold, too windy or too wet.
  5. I lack the discipline.

Now for a list of Reasons I Should Do Mornings:

  1. So I can go for a walk.
  2. So I can go birding.
  3. So can combine 1 and 2 above.
  4. So I will feel better.
  5. So I will get more writing done.
  6. For my health (I’m trying to manage my recently diagnosed diabetes).

In the recent group writing project on ProBlogger one of the lists included an entry called Five Reasons Why Mornings Rock submitted by Health Hacker. The article has five useful suggestions on getting more out of life and leading a healthier lifestyle – just by getting up earlier in the morning.

On this site I also found another great article on depression – something that I have struggled with over the years. The link to this article is below. The article also had links to very useful articles about sleep and rising early. These appear on Steve Pavlina’s blog.

Even getting up a half hour earlier each morning would be very beneficial. That is all I need to get in some essential exercise. With spring just a few days away and the hot summer is only months away, the early morning is the best time for walking anyway. In this way I should be able to get into the writing earlier each morning.

I think I’ll try it.
Related Articles: