Grammar reminders

Sometimes, I get stalled when I hit certain words while drafting. I know that I shouldn’t, but these two get me every time. Blond(e) and the various conjugations of Lay/Lie. “They” say that you can practice these words and get comfortable with them. So comfortable, that those issues will slink away into some dark place where they grow into little gremlins, like abstruse language. Well, “they” can be right sometimes. I decided that I should write a quick blog entry to pacify “they” and hopefully decrease my stalled attempts at usage. Little gremlins, I have my eye on you.

Blond vs. Blonde

This French origin word can give me such a hard time. The rules to remember are as a noun the ‘e’ version of the word indicates a female. i.e. The woman is a blonde. Drop the ‘e’ for the male noun. The masculine version of the word can be used with indefinite gender or generalization. We can get away with using the non-e version of the word as an adjective to either a male or female noun that it describes. However, the general rule should follow the same usage as the noun.

  • Blonde = Fair-haired female
  • Blond = Fair-haired male or when we are really not sure of the gender

The Lay/Lie Fiasco

The really hard part with lay and lie, I think, can be attributed to the fact that they share words across different conjugations. Take a look at what I mean.
Lay – Transitive verb (that means it needs an object)
Conjugations : Lay, Laid, Have Laid, Laying
I lay the gun down.
Lie – Intransitive (something or someone moving on their own or already in position)
Conjugations : Lie, Lay, Have Lain, Lying
The gun lies on the ground.

And to just mix it up a bit:
Lie – To tell an untruth
Conjugations : Lie, Lied, Have Lied, Lying

Grammar Police


I love this. I was filling up the tank and noticed this signage in the window of the fuel station. Have you noticed anything like this around? Let me know via the comments below.

Two Things and a Little More

I sit here, staring at the screen -wondering just how I should really start this story. I have more than one beginning and believe that a new one might be in order. I like to read about other people’s ideas on writing. I like what Orson Scott Card calls the M.I.C.E. quotient. Check it out here. Read his books as well. They are pretty good.

Well, two things come to mind. Of course, I don’t know what they are. “Two things” is just something I like to say when I don’t know what I am about to say anyway. I think that’s because, surely, I can come up with two things before I get on to the next sentence. And guess what? I have thought of two things. Sex and music. Which are completely unrelated to the plot or characters in this story. OK, Great! Now, how is that going to help me in this pursuit to find the girl. Not MY pursuit, but Mike’s pursuit. He would be the protagonist of this story that I am writing. I am not intentionally writing this story to be a typical romance or mind-bender story of the power of music. This story is about a man who desperately needs to find a lost girl who through a functional mystery of life he knows he can find. The only catch is he knows he cannot find her alive. Throw in a miserable foe that has the girl and his only ambition is to get his lost love back -from the grave- in any way that he can. Consumed with this desire and his grandfather’s Creek magic; he will do anything to get her back. Even if it costs the girl her life.

Because I am so productive, I ‘wasted’ a little time this afternoon and read a few blog posts. A couple that you might want to read:


Books I have recently read and want to talk about:

Jessica Alter is starting a new series with a different spin on the supernatural. The Cryptid Series. She is applying a scientific approach the to subject with some really interesting characters. The first book read well with a definite feel that it is a setup book for the series. Jessica is a talented writer and you should read her work.

I just finished Ransom Riggs “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.” It took me a little over a day to read the book. It has a little over 350 pages with some real nifty pictures. I liked the book and plan on reading the next two in the series. You might want to check it out as well.

Don’t forget that I have a Twitter and Facebook accounts. I say some pretty ridiculous things there on a fairly regular basis.

Happy writing and reading.

Vietnam 1968

It just seemed all kinds of wrong.

Matterson looked at this picture every night. I watched him through the cloud of mosquitoes. He caressed her hair, mumbled some sweet nothing, kissed the photo, and tucked it back into a pocket in his fatigues. I never asked him about her. I probably should have. I don’t even know her name.

After he stepped into a spike board, I took the picture from his pocket. There is still a smear of his blood on the back. I don’t look there. I just caress her hair, mumble something sweet, kiss her softly, and put her in my pocket.