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1. I should have eaten more protein earlier today.

2. That’s a stupid comment, especially to start a blog with.

3. Don’t end sentences with prepositions!!

4. Don’t use so many !!!!!

5. Moving right along . . . . Having success one day doesn’t guarantee anything for the next.

6. Success means, well, finding an article that talks about exactly what you need to know.

7. Sometimes success means staying awake for the whole day.

8. “Staying awake” can be both literal and figurative, like “being stuck.”

9. When stuck in a rut, say, with a boogieman or woman bleating nonsense in your ear, it sometimes helps to say, “Well, heck, shot a billy goat.” (That’s what my mother would say. I don’t know exactly what that meant or if it helped her. It usually doesn’t me.)

10. When stuck in a rut, it sometimes helps to change one little thing. Such as? Visit a friend, for a week.

11. It doesn’t have to be a week, of course, but that’s what I just did. A very dear friend, not such a distance away, just away.

12. I love my family. (This is not a non-sequitur.)

13. Often when I think maybe I’ve stumbled onto a great idea for writing, I let myself thoroughly enjoy the feeling.

14. Sometimes a doubting niggle intrudes. “Won’t last, you know. Just because you have one good idea doesn’t mean you won’t screw it up tomorrow.”

15. Are those niggles inevitable? Do I have to listen to them? Will they come true anyway?

16. “Heck shot a billy goat!”

17. Punctuation. Gotta love it.

18. (The Curse of the English Teacher is that your brain never escapes from those indelible, demanding rules.)

19. Speaking of curses—recently, more often than I care to admit, I have to ask myself how to spell words, the most common ones, like “conniption” (is it two ‘ns’ or two ‘ps’?)

20. Oh, and another thing about punctuation and curses. The rules are not immutable. Just ask a modern-day book manuscript editor. Ask her, for instance, if words ending in “s” are made plural by adding a simple apostrophe (s‘) [This is the rule I learned. You probably did too] or an apostrophe and another “s” (s’s). (And does the period at the end of that sentence go outside or inside the parentheses?) ((Thankfully I changed the punctuation from quote marks (“) to parentheses () because quote marks are an even trickier question.))

21. (((And when you are adding . . . (see #5 above) to indicate time passing or a continuing, unspoken thought, or a passage left unfinished, do you add a space between each period like I did above, or do you simply use three periods without spaces….)))

22. [I’m not going to address the issue of how many periods to use and whether or not you need a last period to indicate the end of that particular thought or sentence.]

23. I may or may not have a few quibbles with my previous book editor.

24. Getting old has many, many perks. I’m not going to deny this. Sometimes, however, the truth is that one feels she’s forgotten more than she might ever have learned.

25. “Truth” – what an interesting word. It carries a great deal of weight. (“Interesting” is another one that is weighted with various meanings.)

26. I’m not entirely sure I want to go down that particular rabbit hole.

27. “Rabbit hole?” An allusion to “Alice in Wonderland,” a term often applied to mindless searching the internet, scrolling endlessly on Facebook, or following one reference after another until you’ve forgotten the original piece of information you wanted to know. What a horror show that can be!

28. Now that I’m thinking about it, wouldn’t “The Curse of the English Teacher” make a great horror show?

29. Thanks from the bottom, and the sides, and the top of my heart for reading this. Please feel free to leave a comment. Or not. I do love comments, however. . . . . …………

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