Wittier Word Weavers

Writers' Club of Whittier


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Adding Twitter Followers

twitter-312464_1280As an experiment, I decided to try to boost the number of people following me on Twitter. I wanted to see how difficult that would be and what effect it would have.

It turns out to be tedious and time-consuming, but not really difficult. If you follow people, they’re likely to follow you back. If you follow lots of people, you end up with lots of followers. I boosted my followers from under 100 to over 1000 in about a month.

Whether there’s any value in having ten times as many followers is an open question.

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Wild Strawberries and Broken Dreams

Uncanoonuc Mountains. Photo courtesy HockeyPuck

Fifty summers ago: For years I had a recurring dream of returning to my childhood home in the outskirts of Goffstown, New Hampshire, a small town in southern New Hampshire. We had a house with rose-covered trellises, a fireplace, a full attic and cellar and two barns. When you looked out the kitchen window, you saw the Uncanoonuc Mountains, two wooded hills whose name translates Breasts of a Beautiful Maiden. That’s where the sun came up. Over the breasts.

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Romance and Facebook

This is a repost of something I wrote 7 years ago, shortly after I’d gone back to school to study journalism.

Photo by Leo Postovoit

Photo by Leo Postovoit

I’m trying to catch up with the new social networking tools because I’m told they’re a goldmine for journalists. But mining is hard work, and you never know if or when you’ll strike gold. I posted and twittered for quite a while before I found anything glittery. Continue reading


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Grammar? Get over It


grammar-389907_1280I studied grammar 
in school, and it stuck. I remember when to say “me” and when to say “I,” and what’s more, I can tell you why. I learned the parts of speech, I studied tenses and cases, and I diagrammed sentences. I even studied Latin which, we were told, would improve our grasp of English. Now I’m finally working on the fulfillment of a lifelong dream; I’m writing a novel. You’d think I’d be an avid proponent of the study of grammar, but… not so much. Continue reading


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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

81WO-Yv80BL._SL1500_Gone Girl is Gillian Flynn’s third book, a New York Times bestselling psychological thriller about the suspicious disappearance of a housewife and her husband’s attempts to find her. It was published in 2012, with a movie version released in October. If creepy, self-involved psycho-thrillers are your thing, I heartily recommend this book, but if you’re looking for a traditional mystery or a straight-up thriller, you may want to give it a miss. Continue reading


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Finding Good Mystery Books

IMG_2038How do you find a good mystery?

I raced through all of Sherlock Holmes as a kid, and then, suddenly, I was done. Doyle was dead and I’d read all the Holmes stories he had written. After that, it was the Father Brown stories by G.K. Chesterton. Some time later I went on an Agatha Christie binge. I read her books over lunch in a department store dining room, surrounded by old ladies. It was perfect. Any one of them might have been another Miss Marple, slicing chicken and sipping tea while she considered who might have left Joanna dead in the greenhouse.

But sooner or later every mystery reader must face the same quandary: How do I find the next wonderful book? Continue reading


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My Friend the Exclamation Point

PunctuationMy daughter hated first grade. She started out behind in reading, and the work required to catch her up made her miserable. She had extra reading homework every night, and she was pulled out of class every day to work with a tutor. Her teacher saw her reading skills improve dramatically and was happy with her success, but I saw the other side—the tears at night, the stomach aches in the morning, and the refusal to go into bookstores or libraries. Tina never made it to the Christmas break; I withdrew her from school. Continue reading