Friday, June 21, 2013

Grammar Day: Semicolons

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because even professional editors can use a second pair of eyes.

Grammar is a tricky subject. With all the rules and exceptions, how can a person keep track? I can't answer that, but I can help with little pieces here and there.

Today's Topic: Semicolons

This punctuation mark couldn't decide if it wanted to be a colon or a comma, so it became both!

Basic Rule: If the words on either side of the semicolon create complete sentences, you're using it right. Unless the sentences have nothing to do with each other.
He liked to dance. He danced all night. --> He liked to dance; he danced all night.
The second clause here wouldn't form a complete sentence, so is incorrect:
He liked to dance all night. --> He liked to dance; all night. 
Commas, not semicolons, are used with conjunctions (and, but, or... See previous post on FANBOYS): 
He liked to dance, and he danced all night. --> He liked to dance; and he danced all night.
These sentences aren't connected, so a period fits better than a comma.
He liked to dance. She ate the blueberries. --> He liked to dance; she ate the blueberries.
Any Exceptions? Semicolons can also be used in complex lists in place of commas. For more of an explanation, view this fun graphic.

I love to learn; let me know what I'm forgetting!

Have a grammatical question? Email me at to learn the answer - and have your question featured in an upcoming Grammar Day post! I'm here to help and encourage in any way I can.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Author Interview: Regina Doman

At the end of May, I had the pleasure of hosting author Regina Doman and her husband Andrew. Together they run a Catholic publishing company, Chesterton Press. It was a delight to learn from them and hear their insights on writing, publishing, and characters. Below is an interview with Regina.

Can you give short summaries of your books?

The Shadow of the Bear: The fairy tale: Snow White and Rose Red
In New York City, two very different sisters befriend a mysterious stranger on a mission, and in doing so endanger their lives.
Black as Night: The fairy tale: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Seven friars who work with the homeless in New York City take in a runaway girl, and become emeshed in a plot to destroy her.
Waking Rose: The fairy tale: Sleeping Beauty
When a vibrant young girl goes into a coma, the only person who can save her is a young man who thinks his problems exclude him from ever being a knight in shining armor.
Midnight Dancers: The fairy tale: The Twelve Dancing Princesses
Twelve sisters from a very strict family discover a way out of their house at night, and begin a dance with darkness, until a young soldier intervenes.
Alex O'Donnell and the Forty Cyberthieves: The fairy tale: Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
When Alex's dad finds a mysterious website that leads to sudden wealth and murder, his reluctant girlfriend Kateri must solve the case.
Rapunzel Let Down: The fairy tale: Rapunzel
When the son of a conservative, pro-life senator meets the daughter of a hardcore feminist scientist, their summer romance leads to disaster.
What genre are your books?

Young Adult, contemporary fiction.

Who is your books' audience?

YA. The largest portion of fans are Christians who share my beliefs, but that's not true of all my fans.

What first inspired your books?

GK Chesterton when he wrote in Orthodoxy (paraphrase), "The modern novel is about an extraordinary man in a dull, mundane world, and his adventures are always dull...but the fairy tale makes the hero an ordinary boy in an extraordinary world." I wanted my fiction to have that magic.

How long have you been writing, and why did you start?

It's a lifelong obsession. Still not sure why I started. I'm not stopping, though.

Where do you write most often?

On the computer. I write most of my books in the kitchen surrounded by yelling kids.

What are your 'author quirks'?

Em. Maybe those around me know better. I do know my eyes glaze over when I'm really thick into a book.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Keep on doing it. Write sacrificially (when you'd rather be doing something else). It's the only way the thing gets done.

What do you do when you lack motivation?


No, seriously, keep a schedule and make myself write something.

What do you most want your readers to know?


That their actions have significance, and their lives have meaning.

Regina, Andrew, and Jansina