Archives for April, 2008
Bread and carbs. For all my natural food ideas, my dedication to eating Michael-Pollan-style—”Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”—I am a pariah. Obviously, vegetarians think I’m Doing A Terrible Thing by eating meat. That, I’m used to. But to have the carnivores think I’m a traitor, too—that’s just too much.
Why was the road crossed by the chicken? When a sentence starts with the thing being acted upon rather than the thing doing the acting, that sentence is in “passive voice.” For example, if you ask me where the hat is that you lent me, and I reply, “It got lost,” I have used the [...]
Yay! I found a new source for raw milk. Yesterday, I got my first two gallons, and that included a quart of rich cream. (There was more, but that was all I could easily ladle off. I got another pint of half-and-half, besides.) So, I decided to make butter.
It’s said that a good editor is like a samurai. Proficient with both the pen and the sword, he—can’t really call a samurai “she,” can I?—slices with precision, but without hesitation. And slicing is the first step in editing your manuscript.
An exasperated author I know once wrote back to me saying, “Yeah, everybody says that: ‘show, don’t tell.’ But I can’t figure out what they mean! How do I know which is which?”
When you sit down to write, anything you can get on the screen (or paper) is a victory. That’s not the time to worry about making sure you have a powerful beginning. Too much of that kind of thinking can keep you from getting anywhere at all.
When I’m looking over a manuscript that’s been submitted to me for publication, the first thing I do is read the first five pages. At that point, I might toss it, or I might decide to read more. Apparently I’m not the only editor to take this approach. Noah Lukeman is a successful literary agent, [...]
"There are two kinds of editors. One sticks in that wherever it will fit. The other kind takes it out. They’re both wrong." — P. T. O’Connor Woe is I is subtitled “The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English,” and I can’t describe it better than that. O’Connor solves many of the stranger [...]
"A merely good piece of description can be transformed into a memorable one by cutting away what disguises it." — T.R.A. Cheney Getting the Words Right is full of detailed explanations of how revision can improve a piece of writing. I’m especially fond of the first section, "Reduce".
Have you ever written something really powerful, then later, when you wanted to write, thought, “How did I ever do that?” You try to reach that level again, and… nothing.
The Chicago Manual of Style is probably the most relied-upon of all the style manuals, and is very comprehensive. It’s hefty, but worth picking up when you’re having trouble.
Oh, Yay! The Farmers’ Market is open, and there’s food! Real, honest-to-goodness local, seasonal food! I tried to be responsible; buying Basil is just silly. There will be tons growing in my own garden before long. But I couldn’t resist. It’s the call of the pesto, don’tcha know? And boy, was it yummy! The first [...]
Ok. I was gonna wait, but if you’re celebrating passover, you’ll just have to print this out and make them Sunday morning.
Oh, wow. Here I am thinking about whether to feel guilty for writing about sugar-free chocolate, floating along not worrying about all the food riots that have been happening lately, even wondering whether to post my pancake recipe, even though it’s passover (apparently I was a week off?)… But this little bit of news got [...]
I hope I haven’t given the impression that I never touch industrial food. Maybe I shouldn’t… I’m not sure. But there are industrial foods I eat to ease my transition to real food. One of those things is chocolate. And this chocolate is really amazing. No splenda or aspertame, no sugar, no candida yeast food, [...]
I should say right off that Chicken Makhani is one of the best foods ever created on the entire planet, ever. So my curries tend to resemble that dish a little bit. So if you like Chicken Makhani, I hope you’ll find this fish curry as yummy as I did. :) But I should warn [...]
Check out this excellent article by Rob Eshman on real food for passover, from Jewish Journal. I’m really happy to see someone in the “mainstream” world talking about real food, and why it matters. Here’s a little snippet, but really, click over and read the whole thing on Jewish Journal. During Passover, Jews are forbidden [...]