Showing posts from August, 2022

Stories With Barbara: Old Friendships Change

 It's been a while since I posted a video of me reading one of my stories, so I've put one together for you today. This was going to be a quick recording, and I decided to record several only to discover I failed to attach my microphone. LOL! So I re-recorded this one at least. I promise to record some more soon. Meanwhile, this is an essay I wrote several years ago and published in The Petigru Review, Vol. 7 . If you've ever reconnected with a childhood friend and not had it go well, you might relate to this one. If you enjoy it, hopefully you'll check out my other stories on my YouTube channel.

To Exclamation Point or Not To Exclamation Point?

Do you remember in grade school when you learned about the impact of the exclamation point? Teachers told us to use it when someone shouts. Over the years, the exclamation point has danced across pages and texts and emails with interesting patterns, but there are rules to using this stand out punctuation. When I teach business or email writing, I stress the need to steer clear of the exclamation point. Why? People feel yelled at when you use it in business correspondence. Yes, an emoji can soften the blow, but emojis in business? Not a great idea, although even that is changing. I learned a few years ago that exclamation points are accepted, in fact expected, in text messages. They don't convey the negative tone that happens in an email. Take a quick gander at your text messages. Odds are they don't include punctuation, unless you're texting with someone from my generation. We tend to use proper structure and punctuation. But you will find ! instead of periods or commas. I

Passing the Reins of Leadership

Some of our members at a book launch Last month, I stepped down as the leader of my local South Carolina Writers' Association (SCWA) chapter. For ten years, I led this critique group, and for two years prior to that, I served as co-leader. Last month, one of our members asked how it felt to not prep for running the meeting. My response? "Wonderful!" I loved leading this group, and I plan to still participate, but I need to devote more time to my writing as opposed to running the chapter. That role became much more time-consuming when we moved to virtual meetings instead of in-person. I'm thrilled to say that two members have stepped forward to run the meetings, and the woman who has assisted me in the last two years agreed to continue, and actually expand, her role. I'm very thankful to them and their willingness to accept the reins of leadership! Whether in-person or virtual, my chapter has been the core of my writing tribe. We teach, encourage, and cheer for ea