Spices Of Life From Your Kitchen Shelf

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

7 Writing Fіхеs fоr thе Міstаkеs thаt Вrаnd Yоu аn Аmаtеur

Вusіnеsswоmаn strugglіng tо wrіtе рrеsеntаtіоn Оftеn, wrіtеrs аsk mе іf І саn rесоmmеnd а соursе fоr іmрrоvіng уоur wrіtіng. Моst оf thе оnеs І’vе sееn аrе рrеttу рrісеу.

Іt sееms lіkе fеw wrіtеrs wаnt tо usе thе mеthоd І еmрlоуеd tо іmрrоvе mу wrіtіng — wrіtіng аt lеаst thrее аrtісlеs а wееk оn dеаdlіnе fоr 12 уеаrs.

Fоrtunаtеlу, І’vе fоund а shоrtсut.

Rесеntlу, І hаd а сhаnсе tо сhаt wіth wrіtіng рrоfеssоr Веn Yаgоdа, whо’s рut оut а nеw bооk, Ноw tо Νоt Wrіtе Ваd: Тhе Моst Соmmоn Wrіtіng Рrоblеms аnd thе Веst Wауs tо Аvоіd Тhеm.

Іn dесаdеs оf tеасhіng wrіtіng studеnts, Yаgоdа fіnds thе sаmе wrіtіng еrrоrs оссur оvеr аnd оvеr.

Whаt аrе wе dоіng wrоng? Неrе’s а lооk аt hіs ‘hіt lіst’ оf соmmоn wrіtіng еrrоrs:

Wоrd rереtіtіоn. Yаgоdа sауs thіs іs thе соmmеnt hе wrіtеs mоst оftеn оn sсhооl рареrs. Wе аll hаvе lіttlе wоrds wе tеnd tо оvеrusе — mіnе’s “rеаllу” — sо bе оn thе lооkоut аnd сut thеm оut.
Сut thаt оut. Нunt аnd kіll fіllеr wоrds suсh аs “thаt.” Іf thе sеntеnсе stіll mаkеs sеnsе wіthоut іt, thаt’s а sіgn thе wоrd shоuld gо.
Ехtrа рrероsіtіоns. Іf уоur wrіtіng fееls сhорру, соunt thе numbеr оf рrероsіtіоns уоu’vе gоt іn а sеntеnсе, аnd thеn trу tо сut thе numbеr nеаrlу іn hаlf, Yаgоdа аdvіsеs. Рrероsіtіоns аrе а wеаk раrt оf sреесh, аnd thе mоrе thеу сluttеr uр thе sеntеnсе, thе dullеr іt іs tо rеаd.
Wоrd usе. Тhеrе аrе а lоng lіst оf thеsе, suсh аs аffесt/еffесt, lіkе/suсh аs, уоur/уоu’rе, аnd whеthеr іt’s hеаrtу оr hаrdу, bаbу’s оr bаbіеs. Іf уоu аrеn’t surе whісh іt іs, fіnd оut. Тhеsе smаll gаffеs tір оff аn еdіtоr thаt уоu’rе nоt а рrо.
Fаkе quоtеs. Quоtе mаrks hаvе а wау оf рорріng uр аrоund рhrаsеs whеrе thеу dоn’t bеlоng, аs іn: Тhеn іt gоt “hоt аnd hеаvу.” Rеmеmbеr, quоtеs bеlоng аrоund thіngs реорlе sаіd.
Ѕеmісоlоns аnd раrеnthеsеs. Раrtісulаrlу оnlіnе, thеsе рunсtuаtіоn mаrks dоn’t wоrk vеrу wеll. Ѕеntеnсеs shоuld bе shоrt, nоt strung tоgеthеr wіth sеmісоlоns, whісh mаnу wrіtеrs dоn’t еvеn knоw hоw tо usе рrореrlу. “Іf уоu fееl lіkе usіng а sеmісоlоn,” Yаgоdа sауs, “lіе dоwn untіl thе urgе gоеs аwау.” Аnd іf уоu ореn а раrеnthеtісаl рhrаsе, bе kіnd еnоugh tо rеmеmbеr tо gіvе us а сlоsіng раrеnthеsіs, tоо.
Соmmа соnfusіоn. Yоu’d thіnk wе соuld mаstеr thіs sіmрlе ріесе оf рunсtuаtіоn, but mаnу wrіtеrs wіll sрlісе twо sеntеnсеs tоgеthеr wіth оnе, оr іnsеrt соmmаs whеrе thеу dоn’t bеlоng, sоmеtіmеs сhаngіng thе sеntеnсе’s mеаnіng. Оthеrs оmіt соmmаs whеrе thеу’rе nееdеd. Арраrеntlу, rеlуіng оn оur gut іnstіnсt оf whеn іt fееls rіght tо usе а соmmа іsn’t wоrkіng. Lеаrn thе rulеs — аnd whеn іn dоubt, аsk аn еdіtоr whаt thеіr рublісаtіоn’s stуlе dеmаnds.
Ѕtаrtіng аnd еndіng sеntеnсеs wіth рrероsіtіоns. Тhіs іs mоrе ассерtаblе thаn іt usеd tо bе, раrtісulаrlу еndіng wіth а рrероsіtіоn, but dоn’t оvеrusе. Аnd іf уоu stаrt а sеntеnсе wіth а рrероsіtіоn lіkе thіs оnе dоеs, dоn’t рut а соmmа аftеr thе іnіtіаl рrероsіtіоn. Тhаt’s јust sіllу.
Ѕubјесt/vеrb dіsаgrееmеnt. Rеmеmbеr, а sіngulаr nоun nееds а sіngulаr vеrb. Dоn’t lеt mоdіfуіng сlаusеs соnfusе уоu. Yоu саn’t sау, “А buсkеt оf wоrms wеrе оn tор оf thе bеnсh.”
Іdеntіtу сrіsіs. Іf уоu’rе usіng а рrоnоun suсh аs “hе,” mаkе surе thеrе аrеn’t twо mеn іn thе sеntеnсе аnd а соnfusіоn аbоut whісh оnе уоu mеаn.
Міsрlасеd mоdіfіеrs. А fаvоrіtе оf mіnе frоm hіgh sсhооl Еnglіsh іs, “Runnіng dоwn thе hаll, mу јасkеt саught оn а lосkеr.” Yоur јасkеt dіdn’t run dоwn thе hаll bу іtsеlf, sо dоn’t dо thіs.
Rаndоm саріtаlіzаtіоn. Тhіs іs а раrtісulаr рlаguе іn busіnеss wrіtіng, whеrе mаrkеtеrs tеnd tо stаrt wrіtіng thаt thеу аrе Dіrесtоr оf thе Lоgіstісs Dіvіsіоn. Оf соursе, rаndоm аll-сарs wоrds оnlіnе dеnоtе уеllіng, thоugh nоt еvеrуоnе sееms tо knоw іt.
Воld/undеrlіnе/іtаlісs. Тhеsе аrе оvеrusеd bу wrіtеrs tоо lаzу tо buіld thе еmрhаsіs іntо thеіr рrоsе. Yаgоdа’s rulе іs nоt tо usе bоld unlеss іt’s а hеаdіng. Whеn уоu wrіtе оnlіnе, bе раrtісulаrlу аwаrе thаt undеrlіnе usuаllу dеnоtеs а сlісkаblе lіnk. Dоn’t usе іt fоr аnуthіng еlsе — уоu’ll јust соnfusе уоur rеаdеrs.
Fіхіng thе рrоblеms

Ноw саn уоu соrrесt уоur bаd wrіtіng hаbіts? Тhеsе wrіtіng gаffеs аrе рrеvеntаblе іf уоu fоllоw thеsе sіmрlе stерs:

Rеаd. Тhе mоrе wе rеаd mаgаzіnеs, bооks, аnd nеwsрареrs, thе mоrе wе іntuіtіvеlу sоаk uр nuаnсеs оf thе lаnguаgе. Yоu саn іrоn оut а lоt оf уоur wrіtіng еrrоrs fаіrlу раіnlеsslу thіs wау.
Rеаd іt аlоud. Ѕо mаnу рrоblеms соmе tо lіght whеn уоu rеаd уоur оwn wоrk оut lоud. Dо уоu hаvе tо tаkе а brеаth іn thе mіddlе оf а sеntеnсе? Іt’s рrоbаblу tоо lоng.
Lооk іt uр. Іf уоu аrеn’t surе whеthеr уоu shоuld bе usіng аffесt оr еffесt іn а sеntеnсе, lооk uр thе dеfіnіtіоns. Dоn’t bе lаzу.
Сlеаn іt uр. Rеаd bасk thrоugh уоur wrіtіng tо рrunе оut ехсеss vеrbіаgе аnd rооt оut рunсtuаtіоn аnd wоrd-usаgе рrоblеms.
Dо nоt rеlу оn sреll-сhесk. Аutо-соrrесtіng рrоgrаms wіll іnsеrt еrrоrs оr lеаvе wrоng wоrds.
Dоn’t bе vаguе оr wоrdу. Rооt оut unсlеаr vеrbіаgе аnd rерlасе іt wіth shоrt, сlеаr sеntеnсеs.
Usе а stуlе guіdе. Νоt surе іf уоu shоuld bе wrіtіng thе stаtе nаmе оut оr usіng аn аbbrеvіаtіоn, оr whеthеr tо sреll оut ‘реrсеnt’? Тhе Аssосіаtеd Рrеss Ѕtуlеbооk іs thе mоst соmmоn fоr nеwsрареrs аnd mаgаzіnеs, whіlе Сhісаgо Маnuаl оf Ѕtуlе іs thе gо-tо fоr bооks.

Monday, November 20, 2017

3 PART NOVELLA -By Andre' Hartslief

  • This strange story did not happen to me, and with all the fake garbage floating around on the Internet, like a cyber version of flotsam and jetsom, It will be a hard story to sell as the truth. But, what if something incredibly mindboggling really happened to you, I’m sure you would want to be taken seriously, at least by your best friend?
    Well, my best friend at the time, told me this strange tale and she wanted desperately for me to believe her, I believe her! Margaret, (not her real name), is a freelance Chartered Accountant and regularly does the books for smaller, country businesses. One particular day, she was driving along Bridgeville, Delaware, her latest assignment at the time. She had just passed the unique welcome signage at the entrance to the town of Bridgeville which declares:”If you lived here, you would be home now.”
    Bridgeville is a small town in Sussex County, Delaware. Margaret started three days earlier and was settling into the generally uneventful even somewhat lackluster, albeit vital aspects of bookkeeping. She has just stopped at the unguarded rail crossing at the town limits, waiting for the light to change, when she noticed a strange fog, directly ahead of her. As her car approached the fast-spreading fog, the air in her 1999 model Honda Ballade suddenly become noticeably colder, having spent many years of car travel, she instinctively reached for and turned on the fog lamp switch and then her finger settled on the heater demister dial and slide control and soon the effective heater/demister kicked in and warmed the air to a comfortable level.
    Visibility was down to about 4 meters in front and around her car. Fortunately, it was less than a kilometer to the business district. Her car had gone another 25 meters when she noticed the engine splutter, her eyes momentarily settled on the array of custom Smith’s gauges, the fuel tank was full and coolant level was normal… Suddenly the engine switched off completely and the foglamps died. In the dim light, inside the fog, she tried to re-start the engine but it would not turn over. She decided to get out and walk the remaining few hundred meters to the C.B.D. so, pulling up the parka’s zipper, she started walking towards town…

  1. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

                                                          PART TWO

The tarred road makes weird, muffled clip-clop sounds under her 1/2 heeled Gucci Business shoes. She has walked for about 25 minutes and should have reached the town, by now. Yet it is eerily quiet and dark. Kneeling down to see if she is actually still walking on the tarred road and not along some side dirt-road. She realizes that she is still on the main road, so what the heck is going on? she wonders.
As she gets up, she notices a blue painted old garden gate and a picket fence at the roadside. This is weird she thinks since she doesn’t  remember seeing any houses along the road to the CBD on any of the previous days.
She walks up to the gate and feels the ice cold metal against her hand as she swings it open. Directly ahead she sees an old house with some lights shining dimly through the windows. She cautiously mounts the wooden stairs and knocks on the door. As the door swings open, she notices a middle-aged, medium built woman in a blue printed paisley dress. With a warm smile, the woman asks what the problem is as she gestures for Margaret to come inside.
Inside it is warm and cozy, the crackling pine cone fire in the fireplace adds to the feeling of security and comfort. Margaret tells her about the sudden strange fog and her car’s loss of power and asks about making a phone call to her work in Bridgeville. The woman replies that she has no phone but will have one installed just as soon as her Harold is back from the war front.
Margaret thinks it an odd choice of words, words, she had last heard her mom use, when she was talking about her father who served in the second world war as a sailor stationed at Pearl Harbor. She assumes that the woman’s husband is probably a middle-aged, high ranking officer presently serving in Dessert storm or perhaps in Afghanistan. The woman suggests that Margaret waits for the fog to clear and offers her a cup of hot herbal tea. For a while, they sit quietly drinking a refreshing cup of Chamomile infused black tea. Emma Greer, the name of her benefactor, brings in a heaping plate of warm freshly baked ginger cookies and tells Margaret to try them…

                                                 PART THREE

Margaret thanks her and bites into a ginger cookie. She is instantly transported back to a time when her late mom had baked these very same ginger cookies, many years ago, they were her favorites when she was a kid and she shares her own childhood memories of her mother Carrie.

“Carrie Wallace ?” the woman asks. Her mouth full, Margaret nods and explains that Wallace was her mom’s maiden name. Suddenly, Emma gets up, excuses herself and disappears through a doorway. A few moments later she is back, clutching a small blue velvet jewelry box. She sits down and searches for something through various trinkets inside the box. She asks Margaret where her mom grew up. “Redding, Shasta County, California,” Margaret replies. Finally, as Emma finds what she is looking for, she asks:”Could anyone ever visit Redding and not drop in at Jack’s in 1743rd. California street? Margaret nods in agreement.
“I know some people that have been visiting Jack’s eatery since the 1930’s,” Emma replies. "Harold and I dined at Jack’s one rainy evening in 1940. We’d happened upon it quite by chance. It was packed with customers, some were spilling out the door, but we noticed an empty table in the back and quickly slipped inside and sat down at the table, unchallenged. We were attending the Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire show “Shall We Dance” at the Cascade Theatre when we noticed Jack’s  place. Even with all the rain, it was filled to capacity."
                                     JACK'S EATERY "REDDING"-1950's
People were sitting on some of the bar stools and also in the booths; we could barely hear each other talk that night. We were greeted by a charming young waitress who mentioned that had started working there as a teenager, she pointed to her 18-carat gold brooch with the name “Carrie”, Jack, the owner had personally bought it for Carrie Wallace for being the “Waitress of the year.” “Jack’s menu is short and take note that the mushrooms come out of cans.” Our waitress Carrie said. “We ordered some of Jack’s famous steaks. They arrived sizzling hot and with a unique crust. It was easy to see why Jack hasn’t changed the steak recipe since 1930. They were absolutely wonderful!” Margaret tells Emma that her mom had mentioned the brooch Jack had given her but that it was lost one rainy night, long ago, in 1940 when she had to leave Jack’s early.
At this point, Emma opens her hand, revealing a gold brooch with the name Carrie, then speaks:“I just knew I was going to find a way of returning the brooch to Carrie somehow.”  When Emma and Harold left Jack’s that night, Emma saw Carries’s brooch lying in a puddle of rain in front of the eatery. Emma immediately recognized it as belonging to Carrie. They tried to find her, driving up and down several streets looking for Carrie when Emma finally told Harold to stop driving around in circles and that they could return it to Carrie when they go for a repeat meal, unfortunately, Harold was drafted a few weeks later before they could drive out to Redding again. Emma hand’s Margaret the brooch. Margaret is completely dumbstruck as she clasps the trinket tightly in her hand. “My mom, Carrie, has passed away,” she mumbles. How on earth can this be happening to me, Margaret wonders?

Emma seems completely oblivious to the passing of the past many years since World War 2. “It’s still misty, out,” Emma remarks. “I suggest you stay the night, not much daylight left anyhow, I’ll prepare the spare room for you. Emma says and leaves the room.
Shocked, Margaret check’s the time on her watch, it’s 5:00 pm! Where has the day gone, she wonders, as she notices the worsening fog outside. The room Emma has prepared for her is clean and cosy, on the bed is a brightly colored patchwork quilt with white tassels at the corners and next to the bed, is an old-fashioned wooden bedside table with a lamp with a frilled cloth shade, It is turned on, and it is the only light source in the room.
At the foot of the bed, there is an old-fashioned Dolly Varden dresser, covered with an ornate crocheted cloth spread over its surface and a piano stool covered in pink velvet. and in the far corner, there is an old nut-brown chest of drawers. Margaret says goodnight and closes the door, in her hand, she clasps her late mother, Carrie’s 24-carat gold brooch
Still mystified by the strange turn of events, she puts on the pink cotton pajamas Emma had loaned her and slips between the crisp linen bed sheets under the colorful quilt and turns off the lamp. Soon she is fast asleep…
Margaret is suddenly aware of being icy cold and tries to pull up the guilt when she notices she is sitting bolt upright and as she opens her eyes, she is shocked out of her wits. Not only is she fully dressed in her own clothes from the day before, but, she is also sitting with her butt, squarely planted on the line running down the middle of the main road. All of the industrial scenery from the previous days had returned and there was no sign of any houses. Her car was parked in the middle of the road, where it finally broke down, a few meters away, the day before. The sun was beating down on her head and there was no trace of the weird fog! She had held on to the brooch all the time and now slowly she opened her hand…
There it was, the same 24-carat gold “Carrie” brooch, Emma had given her.
Totally shocked, she gets up and walks back to her car. Seated behind the wheel, Margaret inserts the ignition key and turns it. Instantly the engine fires up then settles down to a familiar fine-tuned purr.
When she arrives at work, the staff greet her as though she has not missed a single moment, let alone a whole day. When she asks the factory manager how things had gone with the new price adjustments she had adjusted the day before. He looked at her with a puzzled stare. “What do you mean, we are only doing them today, when we open our doors, don’t you remember?”
She asks him what the date is, It is the 19th of October 2000, the same day she left the motel for work It is the same day. But what about the fog, Emma, and her house? And where did this brooch come from?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Hello, My name Andre’ Hartslief, I believe that In life, there are no justified resentments.

So, we as the advanced species, need to learn to emulate the animal kingdom by getting past blame.In removing blame from our lives, we take a firm stance against assigning responsibility to anyone else for what we are experiencing at any given point. 
Silence is a good place to start, for in silence we discover our oneness and also the Creator’s indivisibility. We need to urgently make conscious contact with the Almighty and one way is to embrace silence in the face of adversity and another way is to write about it on VIRILY.COM. 
Opening a channel where all who need spiritual solace can read and be comforted. If you have a selfless passion to assist and advise other like-minded individuals, you will be welcomed by a vastly growing community of likened individuals and a friendly, highly responsive staff like Natalie who will assist and guide you in ways of reaching a maximum readership for your "special brand" of content. 
”Old legends fade while new giants emerge in our world of sobering truths and eternal hope.” One such place is VIRILY.COM 

Friday, November 3, 2017


One of the dangers of living in our breakneck culture is the need for speed. 

The fast pace of life keeps our minds very busy, it then becomes easy to ignore your body when it's trying to tell you something. 

Many of you have long lost the ability to connect the dots of how you feel with regard to the foods you eat.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

7 Ways To Avoid Giving Up

The global birth rate is bursting at the seams and not only for the obvious reasons like wonton lust!

In spite of what doomsday prophets are shouting, people are living longer healthier lives than at any stage in human existence. Taking just one reason from the many other complex reasons, medicine in less than a decade has quadrupled in quality and availability. So then, why are there more suicides than ever before?

If you would say that stress is also at a premium level you and 9 million others who know this, would be right. Just looking at teen suicides attributed to "Exam Stress" is at a global high. 

On a global scale, suicide is the second highest cause of death in the age group 15 to 34 and in this group, it was found, that men are 4 times more likely to kill themselves. "For reasons we don't fully understand, some people reach such depths of despair and pain that they begin to believe that they would be better off dead," said Dr. John Campo, the chair of psychiatry and behavioral health at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. 

In my short video below, I address 7 genuinely helpful ways to help "defuse" negativity and boost your self-worth to where it ought to be, in a state of joyful acceptance of where you are at this present moment and which will instantly unlock the imaginary, yet frighteningly realistic 'shackles of hopelessness and despair. Yes, dear friend, the ultimate truth regarding fear, is your perception of a given situation. The only real fear in life is fear itself. Change your thinking and you win!

This is hard for anyone suffering from this "con-dition" to understand, unless, you have, like me, already been there and escaped. Once you realize that there is only one thing we all have absolute control of, we can choose how we are going to react to any bad situation life has dealt us, we can collapse into a bottomless pit of despair or we can turn it around and methodically help the next person escape to a state of joy!