Florida beach condominiums need serious work. One condominium building collapsed and suddenly people [insurance companies] are paying attention to a problem that has been "building" for decades. The Florida building boom really took off after WW2, and for a long time there has been inadequate oversight of building on land that is itself artificial. That's … Continue reading GREEN BANANA


Yesterday morning I was reading the Brevity blog, one of my favorite sites. Jeanne Bonner explains "The Obituary We All Need (To Write)" citing the one she wrote for her father. At 250 words it utterly failed to capture her father, the person he was, the parent, the complications of their relationship, her grief at … Continue reading PARAPROSDOKIAN, EXERCISE #5


I began writing this on Tuesday, three days ago, and you won't read it until Friday morning. It was a chilling, damp morning but we walked north to the headland, zig-zagging back home. We spotted the little shore birds on our way north, found sea glass walking both directions (35 pieces by the time you … Continue reading #3 of TEN, TIMES CHANGE


2. The monster sentence. Begin with a simple short sentence—“I baked bread”—subject verb object—and then turn it into a “monster sentence” of at least 100 words. This exercise is straight out of Stanley Fish's playbook. Use every trick you know to ensure that the sentence is grammatically correct and not a run-on, use long dashes … Continue reading #2 EXERCISE: DEBRIEF


On Wednesdays, the local coastal alarm system broadcasts a cow mooing. This is followed by a man explaining it's only a test. It's impossible to ignore, sounding loud even inside the house. The system exists to warn about potential danger, especially tsunamis. During a genuine emergency, we would first hear a siren and then receive … Continue reading [no] EVACUATION


Writing Good Nonfiction Sentences… one exercise each Friday. First the necessary introduction. NOTE: several of these exercises are inspired by How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One by Stanley Fish, Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin, and other sources. A good essay has a goal—to convince, delight, enlighten, instruct, warn, or to review and question. … Continue reading #2 of TEN SENTENCE EXERCISES