Vex Hex Smash Smooch

Making merry

So, you’re looking for the perfect gift for the language lover in your life? Look no further than the book jackets above and to the right. LOL. Seriously, though, I’ve been thinking about a gift I could give my readers, and came up with something novel. Purchase a copy of Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch along […]

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Holiday Jollies!

I love reaching new readers, so I’ve come up with a special offer on my books through December. Buy a copy of Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch or Sin & Syntax from me, and I’ll send a bonus copy of either one to you.

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What a scene!

Place looms large in all the work I do—whether in travel writing (when I’m trying to capture the essence of another country or culture), or in narrative journalism (when I often begin with a scene to draw my reader into the story), or even in Facebook status updates (when I try to sketch a place with a few poetic images). Want some tips on writing scenes?

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Exploring the world of verbs

Were the folks at W. W. Norton plotting a secret joke when they decided to publish the paperback edition of Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch on Columbus Day? By way of celebration of this event, I might start by jamming for the first verbs I associate with the Italian explorer: imagine, cajole, persist, dare, sail, lead, explore, discover, colonize. (And I will end by offering a free copy in exchange for some pungent verbs.)

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Free verse, free verbs

A friend sends some lively coinages by John Clare (1793-1864)—described by poet Robert Hass as “a poet-peasant naturalist among the Romantic poets.” This leads me to reflect on the nature of English and our love of neologisms–whether Clare’s soodle or today’s google.

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My crush on verbs

How can a person write a whole book just on verbs? Is she crazy? If not, then why has no one else done it before her? When I looked into it, I found a market ripe for an entertaining book on action words. But that’s not why I wanted to write “Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch.” I just had a lot to say about getting tense and being moody, about static sentences and dynamic ones, about the much-maligned passive voice, and about all those myths out there about language generally.

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