August 24

SEPTEMBER 1

September 1.

That is the goal.

On September 1, I plan to send my first query out in 11 years. I was 15 the last time I tried to get published and the world has changed since then. Most agents are taking or even requiring email queries now. This may be a good thing, because I spent a small fortune on stamps, and envelopes when I was 15. Now it’s just a click of the button. The Writer’s Market and other sources I used to help me find agents doesn’t appear to have as much of a selection as it used to. Their may be other changes that have occurred but that I am not immediately aware of.

What hasn’t changed is the anxiety. The constant question of “Is the book really ready?” Of wondering if, once you send it off, “Will I never find someone who loves my baby?” Those fears have made me delay, find reasons to keep editing my book, to improve on it, but NOT send it in. I need to get over these nerves and the best way to do that is to send out that query letter. Right?

September 1 is the goal.

I have the first half of my story checked for grammar, and spelling issues. I have the second half to work on. I have the query letter written, a draft of a synopsis done, and a long list of agents to query. And September 1 is right around the corner.

December 26

June Casagrande and Grammar

June Casagrande has a unique take when it comes to teaching Grammar to writers. She is the autthor of the weekly syndicated “A Word, Please” grammar column that runs in Southern California, Florida, and Texas. She runs the GrammarUnderground.com grammar tips website.  She has worked for the Los Angeles Times’ community news division as a reporter, features writer, copy editor.  She currently copy edits Special Sections of the Los Angeles Times and teaches copy editing online for UC San Diego Extension.

 She has also published three books, Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies, Mortal Syntax and It was the Best of Sentences, It was the Worst of Sentences, and I’ve read all three.

My all time favorite is Grammar Snobs.  I found it years ago, found it funny and informative. If memory serves, Grammar Snobs does focus more on AP style rules than any other style, but the lessons in it are helpful, make rules easy to remember and often funny.

Casagrande does mention her book Grammar Snobs a few times in Mortal Syntax.  Mortal Syntax doesn’t have the same amount of humor in it as Grammar Snobs, but it remains an informative reference guide on rules and usage, such as “I could care less”  or “I wish I was taller,” or “I rifle through my desk.”  She explains why it is or is not correct and if their are better alternatives to the usage presented.

It was the Best of Sentences, seems to lose all the humor that Casagrande had in Grammar Snobs. But the book is an effective source for any writer who wants to improve their writing skills.  On several occasions, Casagrande would start on a grammar lesson that I felt I grasped well, but she’d introduce the topic in a new way and twisted my way of looking at the concept; a different way of looking at without changing the way I knew it work. This book focuses on the sentence structure used, but you’re not having to diagram sentences.

Every lesson in all three books are told in short vignettes, making it ideal for a busy writer who has only a few minutes in line, a few minutes in the bathroom or a few minutes in the car to read. An entire lesson could be read in that short time.  The books are organized in a way so that they are great reference books.

I recommend all three books to anyone who does any type of writing.  Casagrande can make learning writing rules entertaining, and easily entertaining.  They’re all fairly cheap books to purchase as well.