Grace's Mosaic Moments

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

INDEX to Grace's Writing & Editing Blogs

Hailey, Riley & Cassidy laying their handmade cards at the Pulse Memorial
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For the latest update of my blog index, I decided  should take the time to redo the format from top to bottom. I also discovered that I had not updated since I moved last year, so an overhaul was long overdue. Hopefully, the following revised index, divided into WRITING, EDITING, and SPECIAL TOPICS, will help you find articles that will be useful. Having reached the age and experience of "grande dame," I enjoy the opportunity to pass along some of what I've learned since I started writing in earnest in 1991. For the latest in tech info, forgetaboutit, but when it comes to the nitty gritty of putting words together . . .



Formatting a Manuscript - May 9, 2011
Nuts & Bolts, Part 1 (grammar, punctuation) - May 16, 2011
Tab conversion (from manual to auto) - June 5, 2011
Nuts & Bolts, Part 2 (punctuation, helpful books) - June 16, 2011
Using Italics - February 15 & 22, 2014
Using Capitals - April 12 & 19, 2014
Manuscript Format for the 21st Century - May 6, 2012
Writing No-No’s - May 28, 2012
Point of View - June 18, 2012
Attitudes Toward Point of View - Feb. 20, 2016
Playing with Tags - March 19, 2016

What you need to discover about your characters - Oct. 15, 2012
More questions about your characters - Oct. 29, 2012
The Rest of the Story - Nov. 5, 2012

Character Development (3 parts) - Nov. 7, Dec. 5, 2015 & Feb. 6, 2016

Dictionary for Writers (5 parts) - Feb. 4 - April 7, 2013

Layering - June 30, 2013
Dangling Participles - July 7, 2013
Show vs. Tell - July 21 & 28, 2013
Treacherous Words - Aug. 11, 2013
The Difference a Word Makes - Sept. 1, 2013
“Modern” Punctuation - Sept. 15, 2013
Questions to Ask Yourself - Oct. 13, 2013
Third Person vs. First (2 parts) - May 31 & June 8, 2014
Rule-Breaking (3 parts) - June 21 - July 5, 2014

WRITING WORKSHOP (9 parts) - Dec. 6, 2014 - June 28, 2015
[covers Ideas, Fresh Twists, Research, Title, Names, Opening & Hooks, Plot, Goals, Motivation, Conflict, Setting, Characters, Narration, Dialogue, Pacing, Point of View, Transitions, Mechanics, Self-editing, & Questions to ask yourself before declaring your work “finished.”]

WORLD-BUILDING series (4 parts) - Dec. 28, 1013 - Feb. 1, 2014
   [a look at the problem of creating a whole new world]

I Ran Spell Check, I’m Done, Right? (self-editing) - July 2, 2011
The Final Steps (self-editing) - July 14, 2011

From the EDIT THE BLASTED BOOK series:
Intro to Self-editing - April 1, 2012
Should You Hire Help? - April 28, 2012
Anatomy of an Edit - Aug. 5 & 19, 2012

Editing Scold - Dec. 14, 2013
More on Editing - May 3, 2014
Editing Examples (4 parts) - Aug. 8, Aug. 23, Aug. 30 & Sept. 13, 2015
Misused Words (2 parts) - Oct. 4 & 25, 2014
Copyediting Challenges (7 parts) - Aug. 29, 2015 - Oct. 31, 2015 + April 3, 2016

Reminiscences of Controversies (3 parts) - May 13 - May 26, 2013
     [a look at writing controversies over the past 2 decades]
Guideposts for Critiquing - Jan. 28, 2011
Writing Mistakes, Near Misses & Just Plain Strange - March 4, 2011
Shortcuts for Writers (ASCII codes) - March 18, 2011
Rules for Romance - Sept. 18, 2011 & Oct. 16, 2011
How Not to Write a Book - Dec. 20, 2012
Branding - Bah, humbug [writing multi-genre] - Jan. 21, 2013
How Does Your Novel Grow? - April 28, 2013
Word Perfect to Indie Pub - Nov. 27, 2013
Questions Fiction Writers Should Ask Themselves - Oct. 13, 2013
How Not to Write a Book - April 4, 2015
On Being a Writer - Aug. 22, 2015
The Tricks to Track Changes - Jan. 16, 2016
Running Off at the Keyboard (rant) - Feb. 13, 2016
Why I Love E-books (2 parts) - May 21 & May 29, 2016
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Thanks for stopping by,


For Grace's website, listing all books as Blair Bancroft, click here.
For a brochure for Grace's editing service, Best Foot Forward, click here. 

Friday, June 17, 2016


Memorial at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, Monday & Friday (below)

The Friday night news showed people there at midnight, with many candles burning. 
Orlando Weeps

Orlando Strong!

 This has been a week that will stick in our minds forever. Like where we were on 9/11. And to add to the grief and disbelief, the 49 who died at Pulse nightclub were not the only tragedies here in the last seven days. 

Tragedy Number 1:  Last Friday night, June 10, 2016, a man I can only describe as a "nutjob" drove from St. Petersburg, FL, to Orlando for the express purpose of killing singer, Christina Grimmie. And while she was signing autographs at the Plaza in East Orlando (where I have attended a number of performances, including those by family members), he did just that. He shot and killed her. 

Tragedy Number 2: The killing of Christina Grimmie would have been the featured headline for several days, except on Saturday night (early Sunday morning), something worse occurred. Something so heinous, so inexplicable that we're still trying to plow our way through all the ramifications. But when I went to church on Sunday morning, I hadn't heard the news. Members of the choir passed along the information that "20" were known dead in a massacre at a nightclub. I asked, "Where?" and was totally shocked when the answer was, "Downtown." 

Here? In Orlando? Yes, we knew Orlando, the resort capital of the world was a top target, but that meant the theme parks, sporting events at the Amway Center or the Citrus Bowl (now Camping World Stadium), not a gay nightclub in the heart of downtown Orlando. The attack truly came "out of the blue."

By the time church was over, the death toll was 50 - soon reduced to 49, as no one wanted to count the shooter. (Several days later the newspaper revealed that his body had been kept separate from the victims even in the morgue. Not because of any orders or protocol, but because it seemed the right thing to do.)  

On Sunday afternoon people waited in lines four hours long to give blood. So many, in fact, that some were asked to come back in a month. All told, 3500 units of blood were donated. Police, fire,EMTs, doctors, nurses were all superb. And the 53 wounded were also aided by the fact that our number one regional trauma hospital was practically across the street. The media also deserve special mention. Local TV and newspapers did an incredible job, receiving many compliments for the way they handled the challenge. My favorite local TV station was "live" for around 20 hours from the time the news first broke, and The Orlando Sentinel has put out a special section every day this week, providing the many details that TV can't provide. It's safe to say that everyone involved stood up and met the challenge, and I'm proud to call this area home.

As detailed news reports began to come in later in the week, we learned that police went into that dark club, filled with bodies lying in blood, calling out, "Who's alive?" And dragged out everyone who answered, even while the shooter was barricaded in a bathroom, until the police used a tank to ram through a wall, shooting Omar Mateen while managing not to shoot the hostages he was holding there.  

All in all, we are doing our best to remember not just the victims but all the heroes among the survivors and first responders.  Most of us are doing our best not to remember the hateful man who shot 103 people. And yet . . .

On Wednesday of this week I attended a memorial service at my church here in Longwood, twenty miles north of downtown Orlando.  The priest (Episcopal) delivered an emotional memorial - he actually cried, and then we took turns reading the names of the dead. There was music, including "Amazing Grace," and just as the service ended, the priest said, "I apologize for leaving out one name. Omar Mateen." All I can say for myself - and I expect for others as well - is that I admired him for practicing the forgiveness he preaches, but it was hard, really hard, to accept. I could only hope that hate-filled Mateen was aware that he was being remembered in a Christian, Protestant church service! And that if he weren't already dead, he'd choke on it! 

On Thursday, President Obama and Vice-president Biden came to Orlando and spoke to all the relatives of the dead. They laid 49 white roses on the memorial that's sprung up on the grass in front of the Dr. Philips Performing Arts Center. The Florida governor, the Orange County mayor, and the Orlando mayor were also present. On the same day, the first funeral was held. 

Tragedy Number 3:  As if we hadn't had enough sorrow, on Sunday night, a two-year-old boy, Lane Graves from Nebraska, was wading in ankle-deep water in Disney's Seven Seas Lagoon when an alligator dragged him into the water and drowned him. His body wasn't found until the next day. This was a preventable accident. Disney is now posting alligator warning signs, which should have been in place since Disneyworld opened. Every Floridian knows not to go into fresh water in Florida at night. But people come here from all over the world who haven't the slightest idea that alligators live in every body of fresh water in Florida, and that they are most active at night when it's feeding time. So shame on Disney for not wanting to scare the tourists!

Although sorrow grips us for all for these tragic deaths, our heads are high, our determination strong.  We embrace love, not hate. (Well, at least we hold our heads high and try not to return hate with hate, but I'm afraid most of us are having a hard time stifling the anger.) There's no doubt, however, that we remain


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My apologies for my blog not being updated on schedule. Major computer problems kept me offline for the last two weeks. Hopefully, now resolved by a new computer, where we're very much in the first stages of getting to know each other! Hopefully, next week my semi-annual index to all my Writing & Editing blogs since 2011.

Thanks for stopping by.