Friday, July 20, 2012

Can I Help You? I'll Try My Best!

         In my post Screamin’ and Kickin, I admit I tackled blogging reluctantly and without a clear focus. But through much soul-searching, I eventually settled on my purpose: to become the Erma Bombeck of the blogosphere. Rather ambitious, I know, but wasn’t it Robert Browning who said “...a [woman’s] reach should exceed [her] grasp”? Or as my Arkansas friend Denver puts it, “You should shoot for the moon if you want to clear the fence.” So while it might be a bit beyond my grasp to scale to the literary heights of Erma, that became my lofty goal: to offer funny, entertaining, and occasionally poignant insights into life.
            Then I hit a snag. I read (in a blog, of course) the purpose of blogging was to offer helpful advice and to provide links to more helpful advice. Oops. Other than the recipe for 3-2-1 Cake, I’ve dropped the ball in the helpful advice category. And for two good reasons. 
            First, I lack expertise in any one area. (I can just hear the voices of my family, friends, and adversaries rising in unison: “But that’s never stopped her before from giving advice!”) There’s a difference, however, between expert advice and one’s opinion. And well...yes...I’ve never been shy about vocalizing my opinion. But somehow it’s different when words are put in writing for perpetuity...or until my blog ceases to exist. Second, there are already millions of blogs out there, written by experts and offering information on everything from acne to zucchini. So while the world could certainly benefit from another beauty or gardening idea, it doesn’t need to come from me. I’m taking my cue from the blogs I enjoy most—the ones that entertain and inspire me. The ones that make me laugh and make me think. 
            But just to show that I’m not totally opposed to the helpful blog concept, I’m willing to compromise. Did you notice the links I provided in this post? And in the same spirit of helping, I’ve received permission from my amazing book club friends to share their insights and comments on the books we read. Perhaps this will help you in your reading selections. My book club friends are also talented cooks, so from each monthly meeting I’ll share a recipe that received rave reviews from our members.  
             There is one subject on which I consider myself not exactly expert but at least above average. If you ask me a question about grammar, I’ll do my best to answer it. And if I don’t know the answer, I’ll provide you with a link. :-)

16 comments:

  1. Can you please explain the difference between lay and lie and the past tense of both words?

    I'm serious:)
    Jenna

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh my gosh, Jenna. I didn't think anyone would take me seriously, but here goes!
    "Lay" means "to put" as in "I'll lay my book on the table." It always requires a direct object.
    "Lie" means "to recline" as in "I plan to lie in bed all day." (Of course, it also means to tell a big whopper, but I don't think that's what you're asking.)
    "Lay" is conjugated lay, laid, laid.
    I lay my book on the table. (present)
    I laid my book on the table. (past)
    I have laid my book on the table. (past participle)
    "Lie" is conjugated lie, lay, lain.
    I lie in my bed. (present)
    Yesterday I lay in my bed until noon. (past)
    I have lain in my bed until noon all summer long. (past participle)
    These last two sound strange because hardly anyone uses them correctly, especially when they're speaking.
    Hope this helps. It is the longest reply I've ever written. Next time I'll just give you a link! :-)
    And if anyone disagrees with this, feel free to let me know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a Masters in English and I still never get those right. So all my characters have to always be standing up.

      Delete
    2. Ha! Christine, you always make me laugh...AND inspire me. That is why I read your blog.

      Delete
  3. The purpose of blogging is to write what you want to when you want to. You're doing very well. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Heather! That is very liberating information.

      Delete
  4. I'm loving the your friend Denver's sense of perspective. I think he 'bout nailed it.

    Also--you're going to be featuring book club recipes? I'm going to have to step up my game.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, Denver is a never-ending soursce of Arkansas witticisms! :-)
    Your recipes are just fine. I use the recipes for crock pot tostados and speedy turtles all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The speedy turtles are definite hits around here, too.

      Delete
    2. Speedy turtles are only speedy if you can get someone else to unwrap 4,000 Rolos without eating them all.

      Delete
  6. If you're going to have a regular grammar post, I'd appreciate an explanation of further/farther. Can you give me a trick to remember the rule?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Not sure I'll have a regular grammar post, Brandi, but I'll try to help with this question. "Farther" refers to a physical distance; "further" refers to additional time, quantity, or degree. Sorry, I can't think of a clever mnemonic device. However, before I go one step farther, I will give the matter further consideration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I may remember this now! I'm further along in my understanding.

      Delete
    2. Farther has an "a" for "area," and further has a "u" because . . . um . . . you go to a university to get your degree?

      Oh, man. That was terrible. It may be awful enough to remember.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the help, Nicci!

      Delete