To comma, or not to comma

LOTR CommaOh, Boromir. My poor, doomed-to-die fantasy hero. Yeah, one does. And by the way, you forgot a period at the end of your sentence.

Even non-writers are non-shy about expressing their opinion over comma placement. But nothing is quite so galvanizing as the dear old Oxford comma. Now, before I make a whole lotta friends, let’s make sure we’re all talking about the same comma.

Ox·ford com·ma

noun

a comma used after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items, before ‘and’ or ‘or’ (e.g. an Italian painter, sculptor, and architect).

— Google search results

When you go straight to the source, the Oxford Dictionary defines it as: “A comma used after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items, before ‘and’ or ‘or’ (e.g. an Italian painter, sculptor, and architect). Also called Oxford comma.” It also states that it’s “an optional comma before the word ‘and’ at the end of a list”.

Alright, now that we’re on the same metaphorical (and digital) page, I’m going to be honest—and brace myself for a wave of unfollows.

I don’t typically use the Oxford comma.

Before you start throwing veggies at your screen, hear me out. I’m writing from the perspective of a digital copywriter.

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Instant Self-care for Writers

Self-care matters, even to LOLcats

Self-care is all the rage these days.  And there’s no shortage of tips and tricks about super-awesome strategies for creating a super-awesome you and keeping your new super-awesome you running like new. And those are all grand ideas.

What I sometimes struggle with is that much of it either won’t work for me or isn’t feasible right that moment. Let’s face it, sometimes you need to feel better now. Like right now.

Go for a walk and reconnect with nature? I live in Seattle. The weather doesn’t always invite you outside. Go to the spa? Yeah, I’ll just tell my boss that I’m leaving work in the middle of the day for a massage. He’s awesome, truly, but no. Just, no.

So, I’ve come up with my own list of instant self-care tips for those of us who need immediate assistance.

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How to Survive a Book Buying Ban

Empty Inside LolCat

It’s been 6 weeks since I went on a book buying ban. This is the longest I have ever stuck to one of these bans; I usually cave after one week at most.

During these past 6 weeks, I’ve been reading what I have, and I’m about to finish my eighth book. I’m focused on the book in my hands, and I’m even finding books in my stash that I’d forgotten I had. Kinda like getting new books without buying them.

It’s been nice. But not easy.

I’ve had to develop strategies and coping mechanisms.  Continue reading

Writerly Quotes #1

writerlyquotes

If you’ve been around since I first started Rubber Ducky Copywriter, you’ll know that I collect quotes. I used to start every blog post with a quote. I have a page of quotes here on this blog.

Quotes are snippets of wisdom from people who, I think, have achieved more than I. Insight in a few words. Perspective in 30 seconds or less. More than that, quotes are a way of stepping outside of our own minds and into someone else’s, even if it’s just for a moment. A new way of looking at things.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.  Continue reading

Happy National Rubber Ducky Day 2017

happynationalrubberduckyday

January 13 is National Rubber Ducky Day! It’s rare that I use exclamation points, so yes, this is exciting!!

Now, I could share a bunch of rubber ducky facts such as they were introduced in the 1800s as children’s toys.

I could cheer them for their charity work because they’re used in rubber duck races all over the world to raise money for worthy causes.

I could applaud them for the impact on research—thank you, Friendly Floatees, for helping oceanographers learn more about how ocean currents move.

If you’re wondering what they have to do with writing, I could share that there are actually two schools of thought the correct spelling (“rubber ducky” vs. “rubber duckie”); the debate rages on.

And if you’re wondering how on earth this post could help you be better at what you do, I could explain the method of problem solving called “rubber ducking” which involves talking out your problem with, you guessed it, a rubber duck. (It’s common in software development, but I’ve found quite helpful in real life, too.)

From the 2007 Rubber Duck art installations created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman to the chart-topping, 1970 rendition of Bert and Ernie’s “Rubber Duckie” hit, there’s an endless encyclopedia of rubber ducky facts, figures and trivia I could share.

Giant Rubber Ducky

And I do in some of my previous posts:

Happy National Rubber Ducky Day! (2013)

Happy National Rubber Ducky Day 2014

Happy National Rubber Ducky Day 2015!

Yes, I missed it last year because I’m terrible. My flock will never let me forget it.

If you’re interested, feel free to check them out. However, I’d like to take this year to share why I love them so much.

They’re adorable. It’s hard to look at a rubber duck and not smile inside.

They’re accessible. Unlike hot-ticket-toys, rubber ducks are easy to purchase.

They’re friendly. I have yet to read about a rubber ducky biting someone.

They’re discreet. Chances are your rubber ducky won’t post pictures of you in the bathtub.

They’re diverse. Thanks to the latest advances in toy-making tech, you can find a themed ducky for almost any occasion. And they come in different sizes.

They’re affordable. Buying a standard rubber ducky usually won’t break the bank. Plus, some come in sets.

They bring out the child in you. ‘Nuff said.

But there’s a bigger reason I love rubber ducks.

I buy only those rubber ducks that represent something special in my life.

My first rubber ducky belonged to my beloved puppy, who passed to the Rainbow Bridge several years ago. When I bought it for her, I was hoping that it would make her baths less stressful on her. I was wrong.

100_0078I have another that commemorates my move to Seattle. The one on the right I bought during my first trip to Europe. A group of small duckies mark my getting married. Several that are gifts from loved ones. My rubber duckies mark vacations, anniversaries, loved ones, major life moments.

When I’m surrounded by my flock of special squeaky sweeties, I’m surrounded by memories that make me smile both inside and out.

So, happy National Rubber Ducky Day! I hope you have a good one.

Your Ducky