I’m Sorry, I Promise!

Probably two of the most meaningless and misused words in the English language are “sorry” and “promise.” We want desperately to believe them when we hear them. We accept the apology and forgive. We accept the promise with renewed hope. Yet 99% of the time, they fall flat.
We know that if someone is truly sorry, then they will make every effort so that the same mistake doesn’t happen again. But then it does. And again, and again. We understand a promise to be a sacred vow between the hearts, souls, and spirits of 2 or more individuals, only to find out “promise” is just a word. A pretty word, yes, but just a word.
But words are powerful! And hope is a strong, courageous feeling. We want to believe and trust words like “sorry” and “promise.” In spite of the odds, in spite of the past broken promises and repetitious sorrys, in spite of the resulting feelings of betrayal and anger and bitterness and naivete that we experience when we believe just one more time… still… we believe.
I can’t anymore.
Not. One. More. Time.
So, friends, family, acquaintances, students, all of the people that I know and love, please save your “sorry” and your “promise” for someone else- I don’t need “sorry” or “promise” for anything, ever, anymore.

Gratefully inspired by the poem, “Sorry” by Ntozake Shange, poet

What All Will You Find on This Blog?

While the main focus of this blog is topics and issues related to academic writing, there is far more to life than school. I could no more write exclusively about academia than I could eat only vegetables – and I like vegetables! Variety is not only “the spice of life,” but critical to a well-rounded education as well.

So, in order to keep you (and myself!) from getting bored, I will periodically post about my “other” favorite writing and writers. I LOVE historical fiction and writing about the places where history and story intersect. I spent some painful useful time working in corporate America developing an aversion to badly written business documents, so I will periodically address the finer points of business writing for the benefit of readers currently caught in that setting.

And of course, I want to address YOUR needs and questions too. What problems or issues to YOU encounter in your daily writing tasks? If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it… out there somewhere! So ask away…

Why This Blog?

My hope for this blog is that it will provide an alternative for students, to prevent them from becoming trapped in the remedial course treadmill. Academic writing is a specific type of writing with precise rules. But contrary to most professors’ beliefs, it is NOT that difficult to master.

This blog will provide tips for better academic writing and information about tutorials and programs that are available for students learning academic writing. Ultimately, Strong Minds Publishing hopes to provide viable alternatives for students.

In response to the “remedial education” trend which is funding so many college programs at students’ expense, Strong Minds Publishing is in the process of developing a multi-media Academic Writing Prep program online. The course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the basic skills of academic writing and practice with the types of activities typically included on placement tests. The primary goal of the Academic Writing Prep program is to prepare students to place in English 101 the first time they take a placement test.

While the cost of the program is comparable to the cost of a college course, it is self-paced and can be completed in much less time than a 16-18 week semester. It can save students from being forced to take 2 or 3 extra semester-length courses, thus saving time and money in the long run.

Watch for details regarding this course on this blog over the next few months. The projected launch date is April 2, 2013! Stay tuned!

30-day Countdown to Nanowrimo!

With 30 days left until November 1st, I’m madly planning and outlining the story that has been haunting my brain for about 2 years. Each of the past two Novembers, I planned to write the story and get it out of my head, but each November found me busy- first moving my true love to southern CA to start a life together, and the next November actually marrying him!

So this is the year that I finally write Carlota’s Journey, a YA historical novel which will, hopefully, un-silence a voice that has been silenced for far too long! This month will be spent fleshing out a working outline, researching Chemehuevi culture, and refining my craft in preparation for the big event: Nanowrimo 2012!

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