A Distant Dream . . . ?

1SatX2plus1 (1)It’s already been over four months since I got to visit Hawaii again.  It seems like a distant delicious dream.

Sometimes, you have to wonder if taking a trip and $pending the money for it is worth it.  You get there, de-stress for 10 or 14 days, or whatever, then you head back home—and the stress returns.  Threefold.  (I wasn’t even off the plane and there was an “urgent” message from my mother’s long-term-care home, which did not turn out to be urgent.  Needless to say, however, the BP had shot through the roof and I was triple stressed by the time I stepped out of the airport limo.)

1Sat6BI decided to take a look at my photos.  Yup, I was there.  It wasn’t a dream!  Yeah, now I remember.  It was hot and humid . . . and heavenly.

And how I wish I were back there again, de$pite the co$t!

The shots I’m sharing are typical, touristy ones, but they’re pretty good (I’m not a bad photographer, if I do say so myself).

1Sat7B1SatBPerhaps they’ll take you to a another realm—if only for a moment.  Away from the icy / snow-blanketed / frigid / foggy / cold / gray / bleak / wet / damp / lifeless place you may currently be residing in.  And if you’re fortunate to be living in Hawaii and similar climes, count your blessings.  😊

1Sat2BMe, I’m going to dream of warmer, brighter times . . . they’re just around the bend (I’m keepin’ the faith).

N = 1/2

N as in one-half the size of M . . . as in the em- and en-dash.

Last week, we reviewed the main reasons for using the em-dash.  It only seems fair to give the en-dash its due too.

The en-dash is the length of the letter “N” (the em-dash the length of the letter “M”).  It’s used to signify date or number ranges .

The findings represented data collected 1999–2003.

“Please read pages 493–567.”

The director expected 35–45 employees to attend the after-hours meeting.

It can convey “to” or “and”.

Lee took the Kingston–Ottawa bus.

The HR–IT session was well attended.

Use it in place of the word “versus”.

The gang went to the local bar to catch the Leafs–Senators game on the huge wall screen.

The Brady–Cleaver match was scheduled for nine that evening.

An en-dash can be used for scores or votes.

The college football game’s final score was 20–17.

Even though the votes were not all in, the governor insisted she had won: 29929–29833.

Use it for those lovely grammatical devices called complex compound adjectives.

The effects of the medication were long-lasting.

Marjorie, a part-time employee, was considered kind-hearted by fellow team members.

Hmm, there’s a thought for a future post: compound adjectives.

. . . But maybe I’ll just aim for something more fun (if not frivolous) next week.  😉


Actually, that’s em and em . . . not quite as delightful as M&Ms, those nummy little globular treats (I’m partial to the Minis myself).  😊

Time for another grammar/punctuation post—just a wee one, kinda like my Minis.

I thought I’d do a two-parter, the first being about em dashes and em spaces and the second about en dashes and en spaces.  Yeah, kind of a snoozy topic, but worth reviewing for us writers . . . since a few of us don’t necessarily use either correctly.  😊

“Em”, in a nutshell, refers to the width of the space—the same typographical width as a lowercase “m” character.  Typographical, by the by, is simply a fancy word for the arrangement/appearance of printed matter.

But while we’re [sort of] on the topic of typography—for those that might be remotely interested—the em space is utilized as a basic unit of measure for websites.  The default font size is set to ems; fonts on the page that are larger/smaller are delegated as multiples or fractions of said ems.  They can be used to create optical adjustments between elements or to avoid recurring spaces.  Put another way, to avoid hitting the spacebar several times to move a word or character, you can use an em space (with an appropriately sized scale) to literally shove the word (or sentence) farther along that line without repetitively pressing that spacebar.  Yeah, a bit of a mouthful . . . and earful.

The em dash has different punctuation functions.  When used like a comma, you can offer extra information (examples, details, explanations).  Used like a colon, you can provide explanatory clauses or descriptions.  The em dash can serve the same purpose as parenthesis, or brackets: to add additional facts or list items/details.

In Q3, the comestibles company—given it had just merged with a wine company—would be increasing its workforce and hours of operation.

The wide range of craft beers on the counter—ale, lager, stout, pilsner, and porter—brought smiles to the overheated guests upon stepping onto the pergola.

Hudson’s boutique officially opened on Friday and offered a vast selection of hats—fedoras, Panamas, trilbies, bonnets, caps, and bowlers.

Is spacing used with em dashes?  Not with books or journals.  Yes, with newspapers and magazines, and some websites (it depends on their practice).

An em dash (again, one em or “M” wide,) is used to communicate changes—sudden disruptions in thoughts or a [quick/unexpected] switch from one speaker/character to another.

As they stepped inside, Jerry looked around the dimly lit cabin with trepidation, but his best friend Arthur—he was excited.

“If you’d told me Marty was coming—”

“Hey! I had no idea he was coming,” Lee interrupted angrily.

There are other uses for the em dash, but these should do for now.  Too much information is—well—too much.  😉

As I often say, if you’re truly interested in learning more, the internet offers no shortage of information—rules and guidelines abound!

The Art of Self-Promotion

. . . is a true art . . . one I really really need to learn.

Of course, for me, it’s always a time factor.  And I’ve relayed the reasons too many [annoying] times.  😉  If I could have one full free day—heck, I’d settle for a free [full] afternoon—I might be able to do something.  But I’m constantly pulled in too many directions for too many reasons.  And I’m sure many of you are in the same boat, so you get it.

One thing I’m looking to do is a promotional trailer for the series.  I saw one recently by fellow author Janeen Ann O’Connell that had me envious; I’d love to see JJ, Rey, and Linda—the pretty private eyes from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency—“advertise”.

I’m sure Janeen won’t mind me sharing—have a look:


Cool, huh?  She did it through Flexclip (www.flexclip.com) and I took a quick gander at the site.  I like what I see, and I’m going to give it a go . . . I think, I hope, I think.

I have to confess, I get nervous re signing up for something.  Guess it’s an age thang.  Dang.

I’ll have to review it more and then, inevitably, for a few weeks I’ll go through the should-I-do-it-or-not hem-and-haw routine.  I suppose it’s the “fine print” that always worries me.  Am I going to be hit up for [serious] money?  The site says the free version of FlexClip is “free and voluntary, but you may be required to register and create an account . . . “.  But then they mention you may have to provide contact number, email address, and “other details”.  I suppose it’s par for the course with any site that you create an account on . . . but this ol’ gal, well, is an ol’ gal.  She leans towards leery—of anything.  <LOL>

Janeen spoke highly of FlexClip and her trailer cost her . . . $0.  So, once the hemming-and-hawing biz is over and done with, I’ll likely take a [real] deep breath and go for it.

On another promotional note, there are two more items available for The Connecticut Corpse Caper (Triple Threat Mysteries Book 1).

♥  A Matte Poster


♥  Playing Cards (Book Cover-Based)


Here’s to more goodies coming our way.  😉  The gals and I wish you an awesome week!

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