Tag Archives: writingtips

MICHELE SAYRE: WRITING INSPIRATION BULLOCKS

Please Note: This article is reprinted from the original post on January 12, 1019,

WRITING INSPIRATION BULLOCKS

Michele Sayre

I’m sure there is someone out in this world who would love to slap my mouth shut for putting those three words together in today’s blog title. But sometimes, I feel like all I see when it comes to writing is finding the motivation and inspiration to write instead of complete works of writing instead.

So in response to all that glorious writing motivation and inspiration, I say this:

You don’t have to write.

I know you may feel like if you don’t write your brain is going to explode or all your wonderful ideas and stories will just die with you and take a few million years to regroup from the stardust of your demise. But that’s not going to happen because you felt like you had to write, but because you went out and wrote then edited the crap out of what you wrote till it shined like a clean toilet.

I write despite all the bullshit that comes along with it. But I refuse to be all high-and-mighty and lofty and say ‘I have to write’. No, for me it is a conscious choice to park my butt and write the words and edit the crap out of them before I share them with the rest of the world.

For me it’s never been about having the need to write, but wanting to do it. It’s wanting to see the words hit the page, wanting to push myself to sharpen them to the brightest points, and hearing their truth not just inside my head, but with my own ears, too.

I know I don’t have to be in the perfect mood to write. I know my mind can be a mess and most of all, I know it doesn’t have to be set in a certain way. I can write in a flying-hot good mood, or in a dark and cold pisser of a mood. And I can always edit until I get it to where it flows the way I want it to. I don’t have to kill my darlings but instead, keep at them until they make it out of the jungle of my mind.

I don’t need a room of my own, or a lot of time, either. And as for the thoughts that question the worth of my words and whether they’re good enough for others to see, bullocks to them. I know someone out in the world won’t like me and what I write, but I’ve kept on going despite being told that in more variations than I care to admit to. Every day I feel like I’m learning more and more how to kick that crap out of my way even when it keeps coming into my path.

So if you’re looking for any writing inspiration from me I’ll tell you one thing: write because you want to, and never mind the bullocks that come along with it.

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Please visit Michele Sayre’s website:
https://michelesayre.com/

WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: HOMONYMS, HOMOPHONES, and HOMOGRAPHS

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author and WU! admin Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

HOMONYMS, HOMOPHONES, and HOMOGRAPHS

People often mix up the terms homonyms, homophones, and homographs. Although these terms are similar and have an overlap, they have specific meanings. This should help to keep them straight.

Basically, homonyms sound the same and have the same spelling. Homophones sound the same regardless of spelling. Homographs have the same spelling regardless of how they are pronounced. And all of these words—homonyms, homophones, and homographs—have different meanings regardless of spelling or pronunciation.

Basically, if they sound the same, they are homophones. If they are spelled the same, they are homographs. If they are both spelled the same and sound the same, they are homonyms. Please note that there is an overlap of these word groups. And please also note that some dictionaries and sources use the word homonyms to mean all of these.

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Homonyms are words that both sound the same and also have the same spelling, but mean different things. Examples: bark and bark, bat and bat, lie and lie, pen and pen, ring and ring, tire and tire. Since homonyms sound the same, they are also homophones, and since they are spelled the same, they are also homographs.

Examples:

  • ball (a round toy for play or sports) / ball (a formal party)
  • bark (a tree’s outer layer) / bark (the sound a dog makes)
  • lie (to recline) / lie (to tell a falsehood)
  • right (correct) / right (opposite of left)
  • rose (a flower) / rose (past tense of rise)
  • tire (to grow fatigued) / tire (part of a wheel)

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Homophones are words that sound the same but may or may not have the same spelling, and they mean different things. Examples: blew and blue, do and due, eight and ate, know and no, plain and plane, right and write, threw and through. Homophones are pronounced the same no matter how they are spelled.

Examples:

  • ate, eight
  • bear, bare
  • break, brake
  • cell, sell
  • dear, deer
  • flower, flour
  • for, four
  • grate, great
  • hear, here
  • mail, male
  • plain, plane
  • pray, prey
  • right, write
  • see, sea
  • site, sight, cite
  • tale, tail
  • there, their, they’re
  • week, weak

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Homographs are words that are spelled the same but may or may not have the same pronunciation, and they mean different things. Examples: bass and bass, bow and bow, dove and dove, tear and tear, read and read, lead and lead. Homographs are spelled the same no matter how they are pronounced.

Examples:

  • bow (decorative ribbon) / bow (part of a ship)
  • content (what is contained inside) / content (satisfied)
  • dove (past tense of dive) / dove (a bird)
  • lead (to be a leader) / lead ( a metal)
  • minute (60 seconds) / minute (tiny)
  • tear (salty fluid from your eye) / tear (to rip)

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Basically, homophones sound the same, homographs are spelled the same, and homonyms do both (sound the same and spelled the same). And even though the words sound and/or are spelled the same, they have different meanings.

Helpful Hint: All three words start with “homo” which means “same.” The endings help define what they mean.

—phone means “sound,” so homophones have the same sound, regardless of spelling.

—graph means “written,” so homographs are written or spelled the same, regardless of pronunciation.

—onym means “name,” so homonyms sound the same and are spelled the same.

Note: Some words fall into more than one category. Also, in some dictionaries, homonyms can be used to refer to all such words in general.

Bark and bark are in all three categories: homonyms (sound the same and spelled the same), homophones (sound the same regardless of spelling), and homographs (spelled the same regardless of pronunciation).

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Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

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I hope you find this helpful. These tips and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: KANGAROO WORDS

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

KANGAROO WORDS

kangaroo word is a word that contains a similar word or synonym inside.

For example, the word aberrant contains errant inside it. Below are a few more examples.

Examples:

  • Allocate — contains the word allot
  • Charisma — contains the word charm
  • Feast — contains the word eat
  • Observe — contains the word see
  • Prosecute — contains the word sue
  • Rampage — contains the word rage
  • Truthfully — contains the word truly

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Please look at the chart for many more kangaroo words.

I hope you find this interesting and helpful. These and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!: CAPITONYMS

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

CAPITONYMS

capitonym is a word that changes its meaning, and sometimes its pronunciation as well, when it is capitalized. These words generally mean one thing with a lower case letter, and another thing when they are capitalized.

For example, rich (lower case) usually means wealthy. However, Rich (with a capital “R”) refers to a man’s name. Below are a few more examples.

Examples:

  • Bill — a name short for William / bill — an amount to be paid
  • Carol — a woman’s name / carol — a hymn or Christmas song
  • March — the third month of the year / march — a style of walking
  • Nice — a city in France / nice — kind or pleasant
  • Turkey — a country / turkey — a North American bird

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Please look at the chart for many more capitonyms.

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I hope you find this interesting and helpful. These and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: CONTRONYMS

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

CONTRONYMS

English is a fascinating language and can sometimes be confusing — even one word can mean different things.

contronym is a word that has opposite or contradictory meanings, and the meaning of the word is determined by the context.

Antonyms are different words with opposite meanings, but a contronym is one word that can mean contradictory things.

Examples:

  • Bolt — means both to secure something (bolt it down) and to flee and leave (he bolted)
  • Clip — means both to fasten (clip these pages) and to cut and detach (clip a loose thread)
  • Dust — means both to add or sprinkle with fine particles (dust the cake with sugar) and to remove the fine particles (dust the furniture)
  • Fast — means both quick (he moves fast) and stuck or made stable (hold fast)
  • First degree — means both most severe (first-degree murder) and least severe (first-degree burn)
  • Garnish — means both to furnish or add to (garnish on food) and to take away (garnish your wages)
  • Overlook — means to monitor or supervise (overlook someone’s work) and to neglect or fail to notice (overlook an error)
  • Seed — means to plant seeds (seed the garden) and to remove seeds (seed the peppers)
  • Trip — means a journey (take a trip) and a stumble (to trip on a rock)

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Please look at the two charts for many more contronyms.

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I hope you find this interesting and helpful. These and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!: I, HE, SHE, THEY versus ME, HIM, HER, THEM

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

I, HE, SHE, THEY versus ME, HIM, HER, THEM

People often mix up when to use the words I, heshe, and they, or me, himherand them. They are different parts of speech and there are specific times when they should be used. This should help to use them properly.

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I, He, She, and They are subjects in a sentence. Ihe, sheand they are used when doing the action — I, she, he, or they do something. If it’s the subject and doing the action, use Ihesheor they.

Examples:

  • I went to the store.
  • She threw the ball.
  • He is working on our house.
  • They took a trip to Hawaii.
  • I want to buy a new car.
  • She drove around the block.
  • He loved his job.
  • They studied hard for the test

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Me, Him, Her, and Them are objects in a sentence. Mehim, herand them are used when receiving the action — something is done to or for me, him, her, or them. If it’s the object and receiving the action, use mehimheror them.

Examples:

  • The birthday cake was for me.
  • The ball was thrown to her.
  • Give the book to him.
  • The party is for them.
  • That dress is perfect for me.
  • Let’s give this to her tomorrow.
  • The speech was given by him.
  • The poem was written for them.

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Helpful Hint: If multiple people are in the sentence and it’s not clear, such as Kevin and I, or Maria and me, remove the other person’s name to see which would be correct.

Examples:

  • Kevin and I went for a walk. (I went for a walk.)
  • David and she went to the park. (She went to the park.)
  • Give that to Maria and me. (Give that to me.)
  • The cake is for Donna and her. (The cake is for her.)

***

Basically, if it’s the subject and doing the action, use Ihesheor they.

If it’s the object and receiving the action, use mehimheror them.

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Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

***

I hope you find this helpful. Many grammar tips and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: SIT, SET, and SAT

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

SIT, SET, and SAT

People often mix up the words sitsetand satAlthough these words sound similar, they have different meanings and uses. This should help to keep them straight.

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Sit is a verb that means to be seated or to rest on your butt. It is intransitive, so it does not take a direct object. You can sit, you can tell someone to sit, and you can give a command to sit. The past tense of sit is sat. If you mean to be seated, then use sit.

Examples:

  • She always sits in front of the TV.
  • The cat loves to sit in the sun.
  • Please sit in the recliner and relax.
  • He will sit at the head of the table.
  • I have been sitting here for a long time.
  • Please have everyone sit wherever they are comfortable.

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Set, when used as a verb, means to place or put. It is transitive which means it takes a direct object. You set something down. The past tense of set is also set. If you mean to place or put something down, then use set.

Examples:

  • Please set the book down on the table.
  • I set the phone down an hour ago and can’t find it.
  • She will set a date for the wedding.
  • He set the bag down on the floor.
  • I will set the keys on the end table.
  • She set the document down in front of him.

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Sat is the past tense of sit. If you mean you were seated, or want the past tense of sit, use sat.

Examples:

  • He sat on the couch all afternoon.
  • She sat there too long and fell asleep.
  • The dog sat on my lap and licked my face.
  • Everyone sat around the table and started eating.
  • They sat together on the porch and talked.
  • He finally sat down when he got tired.

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Note: There are other uses of “set” (the sun will set, a set of dishes, etc.), but those are not mixed up with sit or sat, so those meanings are not addressed here.

If you mean to be seated, then use sit.

If you mean to place something, then use set.

If you mean the past tense of sit, then use sat.

He decided to sit after she set the food on the table where they always sat.

***

Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

***

I hope you find this helpful. These tips and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: ADVICE versus ADVISE

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

ADVICE versus ADVISE

People often mix up the words advice and advise. They are related, but these words are different parts of speech. Hopefully, this will help to use them correctly.

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Advice is a noun that means an opinion or recommendation. The “ice” ending is pronounced like the word ice. To make advice plural,it would be words of advice or pieces of advice (advices is not a word).If you want a noun, use advice.

Examples:

  • She always listened to her mother’s advice.
  • He gave his brother good advice most of the time.
  • The advice she received was not always the best.
  • He did not want to receive advice unless he asked for it.
  • The teacher gave advice as to how to prepare the homework.
  • She gave advice to her daughter before she started a new job.
  • He found that most people did not want his advice.
  • She did not ask for his advice and refused to listen.
  • The best advice is not always followed.
  • He finally decided to take the advice of an expert.

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Advise is a verb that means to recommend, give counsel, give a suggestion, or give information to someone. The “ise” ending is pronounced like the “ize” in size. If you want a verb, use advise.

Examples:

  • He always would advise people to read the contract before signing.
  • She advised her daughter to bring a sweater in case it got cold.
  • Please advise her of her options.
  • He hesitated before advising his students.
  • She advised them as to the best way to handle the situation.
  • I would advise everyone to listen carefully.
  • He advised me to stay home since it was raining.
  • The doctor advised her to lose weight.
  • It is generally advised to pay all your bills on time.
  • He advised her on which car to buy.

***

Hint: Advice ends in “ice” which is a noun.

Basically, if you want a noun, use advice.

To make advice plural,it would be words of advice or pieces of advice.

If you want a verb, use advise.

You can advise someone by giving them advice.

***

Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

***

I hope you find this helpful. These tips and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book.
Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: STATIONERY versus STATIONARY

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

STATIONERY versus STATIONARY

People often mix up the words stationery and stationary. Although these words sound the same and there is only one letter different, they are different parts of speech and have different meanings and uses. This should help to use them properly.

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Stationery is a noun meaning paper for writing letters, or writing items such as paper, pens, cards, and envelopes. If you mean paper for letter writing, use stationery.

Examples:

  • She bought new stationery to write her thank-you notes.
  • His grandmother always sent him letters on lavender stationery.
  • She loved writing letters on her new stationery.
  • He went to the stationery store for new pens.
  • She could not find paper and went out to buy new stationery.
  • Hotels often provide complimentary stationery.
  • My mother always used pink stationery with matching envelopes.
  • I still have a lot of unused stationery in my desk.

***

Stationary is an adjective meaning not moving, immobile, or unchanging. If you mean not moving, use stationary.

Examples:

  • He stood stationary, afraid to move.
  • The accident happened when she drove into a stationary car.
  • He loved exercising on his stationary bike.
  • The hurricane seemed to be stationary and stayed in one place.
  • She hoped her income would increase, but it remained stationary.
  • The population of the city remained stationary for many years.
  • He sat there stationary when the boss came in.
  • She told her children to remain stationary while she put away the laundry.

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Hint: Stationery contains e as in envelope, and both stationery and paper contain er.

Stationary contains a as in stay, parked, or at rest.

If you want a noun meaning paper to write letters, use stationery.

If you want an adjective meaning not moving, use stationary.

She sat stationary in one position, as she wrote a letter on her new stationery.

***

Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

***

I hope you find this helpful. These tips and more grammar tips and tools are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book.
Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!: COUNSEL versus COUNCIL

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

COUNSEL versus COUNCIL

People often mix up the words counsel and council. Although these words sound the same, they have different meanings and uses. This should help to use them properly.

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Counsel can be a noun meaning advice or guidance, or a verb meaning to give advice or guidance. It can also mean a legal adviser or lawyer. If you are referring to advice or guidance, use counsel.

Examples:

  • He went to the elders for counsel.
  • She counseled him about how to proceed.
  • Good advice and honest counsel can often help.
  • As charges were pending, he needed to find good legal counsel.
  • He wasn’t sure what to do and he asked for her counsel.
  • Although her parents gave good counsel, she ignored it.
  • Part of her job was to offer counsel to those who needed it.
  • His counsel said he would appeal the case.
  • He didn’t know what to do and asked for counsel.
  • She counseled the students about choosing a college.

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Council is a noun meaning advisory group or meeting, or a group of people convened for advice or consultation. If you are referring to an advisory group, use council.

Examples:

  • The council meets every Wednesday.
  • If you have a problem, bring it up at the next council meeting.
  • She loved going to the council meetings.
  • The council will decide on the matter.
  • He asked the council to meet so they could discuss the issue.
  • She wanted to consult with the council before deciding.
  • The council members took a vote on the matter.
  • The city council decided to delay taking action.
  • She wanted to be president of the student council.
  • He rushed in so he would not miss the town council meeting.

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If you mean advice or guidance, use counsel.

If you mean an advisory group, use council.

The school council gave good counsel to the students.

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Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

***

I hope you find this helpful. These tips and more grammar tips and tools are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book.

Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/