BUT is a hurtful word: what writing lesson can we learn from dressage?

Have you ever noticed how the word “but” can rip the positivity out of the words preceding it in whatever you’re writing …at the expense of your poor readers who may suffer from its nasty negativity?

why the word BUT can be unnecessarily negative

Dressage: Easy? Sure. Like threading a needle blindfolded is easy.

Being a weirdo, when I’m not writing in here or for my own books or my clients’ books and blogs, guess what I do in my spare time? I write. And none of this namby-pamby keyboard or touch screen stuff. This is hard core handwriting on paper with a pen, cramped up in a car or sometimes in a drafty little wooden shack with a leaking roof in pouring rain and no heating. In mid-winter. Sheer masochism? [Read more…]

Have a great Christmas!

Every good wish for a peaceful, restorative and happy Christmas from me and the crew here at

How To Write Better

Christmas greetings from How To Write Better with Suzan St Maur

Holiday best wishes to our equid friends too…

Suze xx

 

How to write about The Queen … of horses

“Canadien Horse?  Never heard of it,” said the magazine editor down the phone to me, “but write it up and we’ll have a look.” I had just read an article about the breed in an obscure Canadian historical magazine and had fallen in love with these tough, hardy, talented “little iron horses” as they’re known.

Article about the Queen's horse

HM Queen riding her famous horse “Burmese”, given to her by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1969. Burmese was ridden by the Queen at every Trooping the Colour ceremony from 1969 to 1986. Many thanks for this image to Leonard Bentley.

Being Canadian myself, I was particularly enthused at the thought of introducing British readers to a Canadian product that’s lot more interesting than maple syrup, lumberjacks, or Toronto’s CN tower which once earned itself the dubious accolade of being “the largest free-standing erection in North America.”

I was also fascinated to learn more about what I imagine is, if not the only one, certainly one of the few North American “native” breeds not descended from horses left behind by the Spanish. [Read more…]

Pony jokes for daughters (and you may need them too)

Pony-mad children are gathering momentum for the northern hemisphere’s equestrian extravaganzas as schools close down for the summer.

Funny jokes about ponies

What’s the difference between a pony and a banana? Have you ever tried to peel a pony?

As most parents and other adult relatives/friends will know, such activities breed very high levels of adolescent hormones and resultant stress, anxiety, petulance, tantrums, sheer bloody mindedness and more: mainly, if not almost exclusively, amongst girls.

And these can cover a very wide range of disciplines, even within the pony confines. For example: [Read more…]

Boyfriends or ponies? Key differences, for teenage girls

Does your teenage daughter love ponies, boys, or both? With the school holidays imminent in the northern hemisphere, teenage girls in many countries will be weighing up this major dilemma.

To help them, and to help parents help them, here are some, er, useful tips…

Boyfriends or ponies? Key differences, for teenage girls

Ponies do not normally get big problems with zits

Why ponies are better than boyfriends

Ponies’ feet and shoes usually don’t smell, unlike a boyfriend’s stinky socks and trainers [Read more…]

25 written tips for wannabee pony owners…

With the summer holidays looming in the northern hemisphere a number of children (mainly little girls) will be winding parents up to get them a pony. For the benefit of uninitiated parents, I wrote this advice to help you understand what you might be letting yourself in for.

written tips about owning a pony

It will not be a good guard animal – ponies are wimps.

Much as your child’s first pony might look like a fluffy German Shepherd Dog or a very large cat, be warned…

Before you buy or borrow a pony, read the following:

[Read more…]

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