Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 10th Meeting Report

A family matter took me out of town this weekend, so I missed my first Monday HWG meeting since moving to Vegas this summer. I was sorry to be absent! That won't stop me from putting up a newsletter, but it will be a bit shorter than the standard issue.


The annual Holiday party is NEXT MONDAY! It's a great event and family and friends are encouraged to attend. If you're not sure about where or when contact Jo Wilkins or Jay Yarbrough.

Yesterday's meeting was the last weekly meeting for 2012. We will meet again on January 7th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Albertsons grocery store on the corner of Horizon and College in Henderson. The following week (January 14th) we will meet at the Lutheran church on Tropicana at 6:30 p.m. This pattern of alternating meeting locations between Las Vegas and Henderson will continue throughout 2013.

Congratulations to Karlo O. for giving a copy of his poetry to a reader to check out, for the first time!
Congratulations to Kathleen M. for having two youtube videos of her singing with Andrea Bocelli.
Congratulations to Pat K. on having an article published in the Gypsy Chronicles blog.

And now we'll skip our usual "QUOTE OF THE NIGHT" (wasn't there to hear it, *sniff*), and "WRITING TIP" and go directly to an excellent ARTICLE by Amanda Skenandore:

Before I joined HWG, I thought I had a pretty good handle on passive voice. But reading in front of the group for the first time shattered that delusion. Red corrections filled my pages. Feeling about the size of a peanut, I decided I had better revisit English 101. 

Since then, I’ve read many books on grammar and self-editing to improve my craft. Some, like Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss, had me laughing out loud. Others were dry as unbuttered bread. The most recent book I picked up, The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier: How to Solve the Mysteries of Weak Writing, fell somewhere in the middle. 

Written by a professional copyeditor and proofreader, this short tome speaks to fiction and nonfiction writers alike. The author addresses seven of most common errors she’s encountered in her 20+ year career: passive voice, nominalization, vague –ing words, weak verbs, misplaced modifiers, super-long sentences, and wordy writing. 

Some parts of the book came off a little kitschy and the content was rather basic. I’d recommend this book as a quick refresher or to someone just starting out on their writing adventure. The work lacks the usual technical jargon, making it user-friendly but somewhat sciolistic. 

The “Weak Writing Rap Sheet” in the appendix would benefit writers of all levels, however. Here, in a concise chart, the author summarizes each common problem, describes how to identify in one’s own writing, and provides strategies to correct it. It’s a great revision reference. 

I have a long way yet to go before becoming an error-free writer (if such a goal is even attainable). In the mean time, my study continues. And books like The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier get me one step closer. 

The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier: How to Solve the Mysteries of Weak Writing by Bonnie Trenga is available at several of the Clark County Libraries and on Amazon.com.

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Upcoming Events & Places for Writers & Readers

At the Henderson Writers Group we support education and events around the Las Vegas Valley

Las Vegas Writers Conference

April 18-20, 2013

Annual Student Writing Contest

The Henderson Writers Group is serious about educating writers. We believe that our youth, specifically students, are the place to start. To further these efforts we have established this writing contest to award scholarships to the best of these budding authors.
See Website for details & submission guidelines.

Vegas Valley Book Festival


Clark County Nevada Libraries