Nine stalwart writers attended this meeting. To start, Rod read an article by Brian Klems from Writer’s Digest, dated August 7, 2012, entitled Which vs. That. Are the words interchangeable? Not really, but a simple way of determining which word to use depends on your sentence. If your sentence doesn’t need the clause following which or that, use which. If it does require the clause, use that. For example;
Our office, which has two lunchrooms, is in Cleveland. This sentence does not need the clause without ‘which has two lunchrooms.’ Remove the clause and it states, Our office is in Cleveland.
If written – Our office that has two lunchrooms is in Cleveland. The phrase ‘that has two lunchrooms’ is a restrictive clause because a part of the sentence (our office) depends on it. It would indicate that we have more than one office and one of them has two lunchrooms.
Thank you, Brian Klems!
I’ve made this error multiple times. I found the mistake most of the time, but I’ll wager it made it into print on more than one occasion.
Our FWA helps us with a multitude of information in their newsletter. One such article is What an Editor Won’t Do: The Myth of the Magical Editor. How often have you heard, “My editor will fix that.” Well, guess what? Your editor won’t fix that. Editors tell you if something is wrong, but you must fix it yourself. You pay an editor to tell you what’s wrong with your writing. If they fix it, they become a co-author. There are different types of editors. Research and find out what you need to be edited. Some writers refer to themselves as “Story Doctors,” and for a fee, they will help you rewrite your story, but even these writers only give you suggestions on how to write a sentence, paragraph, or section of your work.
Remember, you are the writer. You have a distinct voice, and other writers tell the tale differently. Is that what you want?
Okay, now on to the reading portion of our meeting.
I goofed in the last issue of this blog. I had Ernie Ovitz’s story taking place in Rome when they were in Nicomedia, the eastern capital of the Roman Empire. That one’s on me. So, this time, in Chapter 57, we return to Nicomedia, and Constantine is talking with his son, one of his most trusted Generals, Crispus. As the emperor tells Crispus of Licinus’ deceit, he orders Crispus to embark on a trip to Gaul to seek out treason.
Not only does Dennis Cathcart have considerable knowledge of reptiles and exotic plants, but he is also an experienced beachcomber. He shared some of his adventures with us in which he and his father spent hours walking the near-deserted beaches of Florida’s eastern coastline. Dennis tells of the ‘special mystique’ of the thin line of where the water meets the shore. What washes up on those beaches? Everything from fish, crabs, and driftwood to bottles, bits of history in the form of flotsam and jetsam. The power of the ocean can push entire ships ashore along with parts of old wrecks from previous centuries. Thank you, Dennis, for sharing your experience.
Don Westerfield took to the podium to read his poems. In Tracks, he tells of abandoned railroad tracks crossing the fields and hills that once carried tons of commerce to the people there. Now, the iron and wooden ties lie rusting and rotting in the hot sun and cold, no longer helpful save for guiding the occasional wanderer following a long-forgotten path. In My Father’s Vagabond Life, Don tells of his Father’s adventures during the hard times of ‘The Depression.’ Boxcars and Hobo camps, back roads and highways, fright, and comfort quenched the man’s thirst for life.
In our last writing, Gary Conkol told use of Bimbly, a skeleton that roamed across the land sampling the life of ordinary humans. As it turns out, Bimbly has toured five countries over nearly four hundred years. For the first time, our skeleton meets a group of homeless vagabonds who care for each other and accept him into their ranks. Upon seeing his reflection, Bimbly now sees a human with flesh for the first time in centuries.
“Gaia, Part II, is finished,” says Bruce Haedrich. Well, maybe, after all, there is still the editing, and we all know that will lead to some changes. But Bruce’s research is complete, and all the data is in. Gaia tells her story through Bruce’s hand. Look for Gaia on Amazon in the coming months.
James Kelly tells of a nineteen-year-old Lakota Sioux raised by the MacKenzie family who takes on the job of scouting and translating for a hunting party led by Teddy Roosevelt in Montana. Tremain meets the future leader of the ‘’Rough Riders,” and is favorably impressed.
We expected another of his great poems when Scott Anderson took the floor. However, he read the great Billy Collins poem entitled, The Lanyard. How many of us have made these simple braided items for our parents at summer camp? Look it up, and you’ll enjoy the irony.
That is my wrap of the meeting as I saw it. But then, I’m only one person. Others may see things differently. Remember that not everyone will agree with your opinions as you write, and you must respect that. We are here to write well and help others to do the same. We are not here to agree or disagree with the subject matter. So, until next time, KEEP ON WRITING!