Welcome to The Bump House

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Mash Up

Hey All,

I will be doing the mash-up over the weekend. Have a great one.

Happy Writing,


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Dear Blog Buddies,

I apologize for my absence today. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend tomorrow either. However, I will play catch up & take care of my homework tomorrow evening. See you then.

Happy Writing,


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sentence Crimes

I've been thinking a lot lately (I can hear you when you snicker), with all the loverly good contests & all, about the rules. Opening sentences, opening paragraphs, first pages; I think that pretty well sums up the nightmares of late. So, as promised, 3 more gems of wisdom from the pages of Clark.

(Misdemeanor) Passive/Aggressive is NOT a Bad Thing - Clark states, "use passive verbs to showcase the 'victim' of action." The active verbs tell us who does what; while the passive verbs tell us who is on the receiving end.

Ex: Jodi ran every other Tuesday. (I sense a theme!)
Ex: It is a known fact that a woman in want of tennis shoes must be in search of a run.

(Felony) Adverb Abuse is Criminal - Adverbs are to verbs as icing is to cakes. (I think I just channeled the SAT; ugh.) The point, an adverb should be used to contradict the verb - not to repeat it. Twisting it up is key.

Ex: Jodi ran quickly.
Ex: Jodi ran ploddingly.

(Capital) The ING of Death - Too many -ings spoil the sentence & the paragraph. Control is required along with the well-placed zing of -ing to create the writer flourish.

Ex: Jodi was running, jumping and hopping through the puddles of her day.
Ex: Jodi ran, jumped and hopped through the puddles of her day.

Ah, the lament of sentence structure leading to life sentences for the writer. Again, my poor sentences do not do the advice justice. But hey, artistic license & all (shrug). And remember, if ya can't do the time, don't commit the sentence crime.

Happy Writing,


Monday, February 14, 2011

Building Blocks

This week I am covering Roy Peter Clark's Writing Tools. Today, I want to look at some sentence structure basics that impact pace, meaning & connotation.

Subject/Verb Dichotomy - First the noun, then the action. What follows is the subordinate clause to create a "right-branching sentence."

Ex: Jodi ran, her heart pounded in her veins as she threw branches from her path.

The action is in the first two words; what follows comprises what the writer wants the reader to feel about the 'run'.

Ex: Jodi ran in measured steps to the beat of a song pulsing in her ears and to her feet as they glanced the pavement.

Alignment & Emphasis - Clark suggests the placement of strong elements at the beginning & the end with the weaker bits sprinkled in the middle.

Ex: Jodi ran, her heart palpitated as she mounted the steps & entered her son's school.

Yep, her little heart is a-racin', but placing the emphasis on the son & his school at the end brings new meaning, urgency & level of feeling. The action sets the tone; the ending stretches the tension. The middle gives the connective information that helps the reader identify with Jodi's emotional state.

Activation - Active verbs = action performed by subject. 
Passive verbs = the action happening to the subject. 
Connective verb = a form of to be.

Ex: Jodi ran.

Ex: The grocery cart ran into Jodi.

Ex: That grocery cart will hit Jodi if she doesn't get off her phone in time.

Sheesh, poor Jodi ran a marathon of emotional & other crises. I do freely admit that these sentences leave chunks to be desired, but I hope, ** (fingers crossed), that I got the meaning across the ether. 

Happy Writing,


Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Mash Up - What's the Word?

Congratulatories - Simon Kewin received a nod from the Spilling Ink Anthology - another week, another victory!! The Golden Eagle finished her novel - 1st draft in cooler!!

In Other Blogs - Roni Loren discussed karma, the teen self, some updates & answers. Lynda R. Young posted a great homage to Bob (her inner editor), clear words & some crusading. Erica turned pitching coach this week - curve balls for the sag/drag. Jayne engaged in some wandering with great photographic evidence. Gabriela Lessa looked at first sentences & double lives - contests & friendly responses.

The Cerebral Lunchbox draws some interesting conclusions from Assassin's Creed - 7 items that cross & run the gamut. Karen Gowen covered social media fluency ('tis another language, dontcha know) & contest update. Nicole MacDonald got her heat on & then raided the fridge - surprises, guest blogging & a sex scene. Deanna Knippling posted Part 4 of her failing gracefully series - letting go of the controls. Pamela Turner introduced sword fighting (techniques, relations, etc.) & celebrated accomplishments.

Erin Kane Spock had some sex talk, some awards & some Valentine's blahs - well she did contract a head cold, but not before she gived me an award - Thank You, Thank You Erica & feel Thera-better soon. Holly Ruggiero created a beautiful cappuccino - don't know whether to slurp or simply admire, certainly don't want to blow - for this, the heart holiday. Iggi & Gabi had updates on conferences, NYC events, a GREAT letter to Facebook & still had time to open the YA Cafe. Milo Fowler discussed his writing process, its evolution & the effect Write1 has had. Jeffrey Beesler's week consisted of essentials - writer essentials; filling the toolbox.

Jennifer Lane joined the Follower Love Hop - giveaways & new friends. Julie Musil introduced her friends, Cliff & Hanger - great read, as always. Katie Anderson talked Paris & hair - they do go together. Kristina Fugate introduced Who is Saint Giovanni? - free stuffs, good reads, giveaways. KK Brees caught up with reviews, POD discussion & more S/G love.

Lisa Potts is on a crusade - Platform Building, no Spanish Armada or world domination intent necessary. Clarissa Draper dropped some Petechial Hemorrhage on the blog, scaring ourselves & E-book advice. Jennifer Shirk, hostess with the mostest, held a Superbowl party complete with recipes & discussed writer training. Michelle Teacress took us on a tour of the Wonder Bread factory & The Door Within. Summer Ross investigated Metamorphosis; latest in her series.

Elizabeth Spann Craig covered social media - promo & sales, GPS & advice, character identification & mini-vans & longhand v. type-hand. Allan Russell talked in candid strides about crossroads & support. Francine Howarth discussed confetti (how not to use it) & sensory realism. Madeleine reviewed some micro-fiction, perfect poetry, habitual haiku & her upcoming contest. Jennifer Becton chimed in with the contract, head lops, NYTimes Bestseller & romantic letters.

Terri Tiffany pondered advice giving & post rushing; same gates, different approaches. Olivia Herrell introduced her new novel soundtrack - life on The Dark Side of the Moon. Leigh Moore went sausage wild & then bit off some revision wisdom. The Alchemists illuminated the Rhythm & the Blues in the writerly life. The Blood-Red Pencil covered boredom, an tip invite, 10 methods of productivity, stepping away from the monitor & head hop avoidance - a new dance craze making the circuit.

The Muses, aka - Angela & Becca, have a new Twitter account & some mystery in the thesaurus. Candyland introduced the easy outline method, editing in Hades & randomness - a great balance of poignancy & reality. The Old Silly talked care, Botswana & cookie love. The Writing Bug engaged in hopping, NCW conference updates & weekly review. Jules jumped out of the bedroom (great story & twist), a call to followers & epiphanific pain.

Jody Hedlund investigated editing the contracted book, boring blogging avoidance & when not to jump. Maggie Stiefvater dealt with live chats & Branson snow. Write1Sub1 requisitioned some pants, a little plot & Heinlein's law. Writer Unboxed conscripted uncompromising revision, the love, sleep answers, question writing & Kristina McMorris for round 2.

Hostings - Joanna St. James opened the Interrogation Room to Angelina Rain - there's a giveaway in it for ya; Indecent Encounters. Pat Stoltey turned her blog over to Debbie Hardy author of Stepping through Cancer: A Guide for the Journey. Lydia Sharp wrangled Audrey Lockwood, author of Olympus Gate, into the blog - journeys & advice. The Write Question interviewed Faith Hickman Brynie, author of Brain Sense. Janet Fox brought along a new voice; Joy Preble, author of Dreaming Anastasia & Haunted.

Reviews - Jenn had a beautiful review of Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Patillo Beals - non-fic teen introduction to Brown v. The Board of Education. Donna Hosie reminisced on No & Me by Delphine de Vigan -a new love. Elliot Grace touched with Roland Yeomans' The Bear with Two Shadows. Becky Wilson covered Age of Odin by James Lovegrove.

Agent Blogs - Mandy Hubbard had an announcement, a goal & a wish list - looking for manuscripts in all the writer places. Scott Eagan waxed on baggage, guts, query quandaries, likeable characters & road manuevers. Jessica Faust introduced an unhappy client with q&a therapy, subjectivity points, the holiday gift list, agents on a train & speed dating: Author Edition. Janet Reid planned her great snow escape - pics, GPS, locationness. Nathan Bransford cut cable, made some realizations, investigated book buying habits in re: eReaders, talked Gatsby & round up the usual suspects. Kristin Nelson talked kids & conferences, quick & easy & all that glitters is not Hollywood. Rachelle Gardner covered publishing terminology 102, definitive publishing info, village idiot migration with Davey Jank & DIY publishing.

In a week of words, I have learned tremendous amounts from all of you & I thank you. Next week will be an interesting cacophony of I might have a new yob & balance beams. Have a marvy weekend. And, enjoy the slide into Hallmark Holiday - choco-flower-cardy-licious. Ooh, new wicky word - L.

Happy Writing,