Enjoy your Thanksgiving USA, in this extraordinary year

One way or another 2020 has probably been one of the weirdest years in the USA’s history since you dumped all that tea into Boston harbour.

Without wishing to get political or name names, I must say that – from my own personal point of view – I’m delighted for you guys that your political future finally looks more stable.

Now all we all have to do is to work together to beat down the COVID pandemic so we can all get on with ‘normal’ lives, and restore the rest of the world’s political sanity that has been absent for some years.

And by the way, while you’re here have a look at this, er, funny and irreverent article I wrote about the US Thanksgiving way back in pre-Trump days…

All that is to come! [Read more…]

Why writing is our new comfort food

.
Do you ever wonder what’s going to go schiz next before we break out the virtual bubbly and sing Auld Lang Syne on Zoom for December 31st this year?

Assuming an earthquake hasn’t chopped off and sucked the United States down into the Gulf of Mexico leaving a comfortable isthmus between South America and Canada to use for amicable trade arrangements at last?

why writing is our new comfort food

At a time when flying pigs and unicorns seem not only normal but mundane, simple activities like writing are comfort foods to feed our inner souls.

Or assuming that the World Health Organisation hasn’t turned out to be a group run by aliens from another galaxy who take pleasure in watching us all shrivel up from evil viruses so they can take over and mine our few remaining natural resources?

Or assuming that Vladimir Putin and XI Jinping don’t turn out to have been conjoined twins (having then had a little culture-defining cosmetic surgery) who secretly plan to turn their countries into Ruschina and dominate the universe? [Read more…]

Working and writing from home? A veteran’s tips for Corona times

As the novel Corona virus pours increasing amounts of poisonous snot all over our daily lives, equally increasing numbers of workers are considering (and some are obliged to) work from home.

COVID-19 EPIDEMIC: After you’ve washed your hands and sung Happy Birthday for the 18th time today and fought the best of three rounds in the grocery store to nab a roll of toilet paper, read this article. It will cheer you up. A bit.

I have been working from home since the Ming Dynasty and am still alive (and solvent) to tell the tale. If you look on Google there is lots of serious and very valid advice about working from home. But here, on the other hand, is some slightly less serious but a damned sight more pertinent advice straight from the coalface. Enjoy.

New to working from home? Here’s the knickers-off reality …

How to dress
Many advisors who regularly drive their kids to school in scarecely-camouflaged pyjamas and slippers insist that for you to feel genuinely that you are going to work now you’ve been asked to do so at home,  you should wear your normal work clothes even when hacking at your laptop from your kitchen table which still is cluttered with last night’s Chinese takeaway detritus. This is utter b*llocks. [Read more…]

How to write with a tomato

Do you do Pomodoro? Yes, it’s Italian for tomato, but also it’s biz-speak for a productivity-increasing method. We writers like to think we can use methods like this to crank out the words faster. (Or do we?)

Pomodoro for writers

It’s named after a timer that looks like a tomato. Not exactly romantic, but it has caught on.

So we asked business admin expert Jean Weir to give us the skinny on how this technique works. And then we asked some other writers what they think about writing with tomato …

Over to Jean… Sz 

What is the Pomodoro technique from a writer’s point of view?

[Read more…]

An English writing grammar fiend walks into a bar…

You may think you’ve heard all the jokes about ‘A xxxx walks into a bar,’ but I guarantee the majority of you won’t have heard all of the following. English language lovers will adore them and even grammar fiends and fascists might crack a smile.

horse in bar

A horse walks into a bar. “Why the long face?” asks the barman. “I’m a horse.”

I have tried to find the original author but it seems these have been circulating on the internet for some time so have become embedded in the ‘anonymous’ category as far as I know.

If any of you know otherwise, please let me know on suze@suzanstmaur.com and of course I will accredit the right people.

In the meantime I thank my good friend and fellow business networker Anne Bryant for flagging this up to me on my Facebook page

The ultimate writing about ‘walking into a bar’ – bar none

A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite. [Read more…]

Should we ladies write swearwords? Discuss.

Well, f**k my old boots and call me potty-mouthed, but I swear. I swear when I speak and I swear when I write. How about you other ladies? (Or if you want to be PC, “women?”)swearing by women Many of us “gals” the wrong side of 40 grew up believing that if Daddy stubbed his toe and said the F-word we would smile and tut-tut sympathetically, but if the same happened to us we would be told that swearing is unladylike and deserving of chastisement — not an ice pack and analgesia.

Unladylike? An ancient word?

[Read more…]

css.php