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S. A. Slack

S. A. Slack

I'm a writer of mysteries, fantasy, and children's books. I reside in the city of the famed Alamo and River Walk, San Antonio, Texas. I'm currently working on a YA fantasy set in a world of unique magic.

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SHADOWED IN THE SPRINGS, I have read a lot of mystery over the years and S A Slack is right up there in style, story-line, and yes, keeping you guessing. -- An Intrigued Critic
“VYOLET, WITH A “Y”, a delightful fantasy, quickly grabs the readers’ attention and draws them into the exciting realm of Asterdon...Slack has the wonderful ability to transport a reader from the comfort of their recliner to a foreign environment using only words. Debra E., published author

ABC’S of English

ABCs of English: Semicolons

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A semicolon creates a connection between ideas when they are related. While a period implies a full stop and a new idea, a semicolon tells readers that the two statements they are seeing are connected, without a writer having to use a conjunction like and, but, for, so, etc.
Semicolons take the place of a mass confusion of commas and also make it so that we don’t have a bunch of short, irritating sentences running around. Good writing depends on having a variety of different sentence styles. Semi-colons become very important when you understand this!
A semicolon has a few other utilitarian uses too. Let’s explore this punctuation mark and take the mystery out of it.

Use it when you are making a list, and the list items already have commas.

— I’ve lived in Los Angeles, California; Denver, Colorado; New York, New York; Miami, Florida; and Seattle, Washington.

ABCs of English: Apostrophes

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How many times have you read someone’s status update on a social media site and wondered about their egregious use of that little hash mark at the top of the writing space–the apostrophe? Lately, it seems that people strew them about like leaves in fall! Let’s lessen the confusion and have a quick refresher on the subject.

An apostrophe serves three purposes:

  • It shows possession.
  • It shows where letters have been omitted, as in a contraction.
  • It shows a plural only where otherwise the plural would be confusing to a reader.

Possession

  • The cat’s whiskers are long. (One cat has long whiskers on its face.)
  • The cats’ whiskers are long. (There are more than one cats sitting here, and they all have long whiskers on their faces!)
  • The cats had long whiskers. (No apostrophe needed; the thing owned noun is not immediately following the one who owns it noun.)

Omission… Continue reading

ABCs of English: Quotation Marks

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Quotation marks are inverted commas that are put around a word or set of words to show that someone else has said, is saying, or will say them. In American English, the standard is to use the double quotation mark ( “words” ) for identifying a speaker’s words, although technically, single ( ‘words’ ) and double quotation marks are interchangeable.

Periods and commas always go INSIDE the quotes. (American English)

— He said, “Don’t stop.” OR “Don’t walk,” he said.

Question marks follow logic. Is the question part of the quote or not?

— She asked, “Do you love me?” (Inside the quotes because she asked the question.)

— Do you agree with the quote, “Haste makes waste”? (Outside the quotes because the whole statement is a question and the quote itself is not a question.

If the statement is a question, AND the quote is a question, use… Continue reading

ABCs of English: Using Commas, part 2

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For our second lesson in my ABCs of English series: commas again! I guess these little punctuation marks are pretty important to writing, aren’t they? Commas seem to be fairly self-explanatory, but when I do my editing work, I find that many people–from authors to students to a wide array of professionals–just don’t understand where commas are meant to go. In this section, we’ll delve just a little deeper into how the little guys work.

 

If you are not sure if two adjectives need a comma between them, try putting an “and” in between:

— He is an experienced, attentive lover. (Yes, because you can say “experienced and attentive.”)

— They stayed at an expensive summer resort. (No, because you wouldn’t say “an expensive and summer resort.”)

Commas surround phrases that interrupt the flow of the sentence.

— I am, as you can see, too busy to chat.

Test… Continue reading

ABCs of English: Using Commas

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Hello! My name is Kristina; I’m a writer and editor. I love everything about my native tongue: English, but it often seems that, as students, we aren’t taught the rules of our language very clearly. Well, English doesn’t have to be that complicated, and hopefully I can help clear up a bit of the mystery for you guys. Every Wednesday, I’ll stop by with a short note dealing with a certain part of grammar or punctuation, some spelling tips, or other ways to help you polish up your language skills. Don’t worry, I promise to make it fun, or at least quick! And if you have any questions you’d like me to tackle, always feel free to ask.

First lesson: Commas. Easy, right? 😉

Commas separate adjectives.   –She is a tall, thin woman.

Commas separate a list of three or more nouns.   — Please… Continue reading

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