Category Archives: Ampersand’s Writing Tips

In which Ampersand, the Office Cat, lends his feline omniscience to questions of grammar, style, punctuation and other minutiae

Finding the markets without losing your mind

My first-year university roommate had worked at Trenton Air Force Base as a file clerk for the summer. Military regulations required that hair be worn above the collar, so Lynn had to learn to put her hair up. “They told … Continue reading

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What Editors Want

Among my writing friends I have several who have a lot of experience as journalists, writing for newspapers and magazines. I’ve learned a lot from them about writing non-fiction for periodicals. The most valuable thing I’ve learned is what editors … Continue reading

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Not exactly a couch potato

For the last few years, since I started working on my writing seriously, I’ve been writing mostly in one of two places. I’m either at my desktop computer in my office at home, or I’m in the Sault Ste Marie … Continue reading

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By the numbers

How do you write numbers in literature? It’s a point on which I’ve argued with quite a few people.  I’ve heard all the arguments from the journalists, who say you write out one through nine, but use numerals for anything … Continue reading

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The binge is over

The March writing binge is over, and while I didn’t get my project completed, that was mainly because I let five or six essential pieces of writing at home. I’ll get them today and finish this sucker. All the same, … Continue reading

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The weight of water

A couple of years ago I read a murder mystery, the solution of which depended on the fact that the guilty party had moved an aquarium from one room to another. The author didn’t specify the capacity of the aquarium. … Continue reading

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Words, words, words

Thanks to a couple of days in the pottery studio, and the responses of some friends, I’ve calmed down considerably and lost most of my jitters. I also had a look at the calendar for September and realized that I … Continue reading

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