Calling Brilliant Internet Technicians

. . . . especially those familiar with MS Word 2003. 

A weird thing happens when I use my mouse wheel to scroll. This is something I’ve noticed before, but never thought much about it. 

You know how when you click the middle mouse wheel and hold it down, it will allow you to scroll either up, down, or sideways? Mine’s acting stupid. I don’t know if there’s a virus or other bug in my mouse, my keyboard, or in Word itself.

When I click the middle wheel, I get the normal little up/down arrow cursors (in this instance, they’re “cursers”), but I also get tiny squares of about 1/4″ and sometimes there are images inside them! 

I’m seeing fonts, numerals, the temperature (not my local temperature), partial words (even these: Twit & Trum). I don’t know where they’re coming from. I’ve tried to get a screen capture, but the moment I move my mouse, they disappear.

What really freaks me out is that some of these little squares are colored and consist of various face parts. The thing that bugs me the most is an EYE – a blue eye – looking at me! WHAT THE HELL!? I thought I was seeing things, until I checked with a magnifying glass.

Since then, these body parts have been ears, an eyebrow with half an eye under it, half a face with just an eye, nose, and mouth. There was even a face with the bottom half gone, just thick eyebrows, a brow, and the whole top part of a man’s head (which appeared to be bald or gray).

My son thought I was imagining these things, so he also checked with the magnifying glass, and we spent an hour or so googling MS Word & mouse problems. But we couldn’t figure it out. It’s unnerving to start a scroll and these things pop up occasionally. Only the face images are flesh colored; the letters and numbers are white on a black or dark blue background.

I feel like I’m being spied on, but how is it possible? I’ve even been able to get more than one of these things to stay a few moments so I could take a picture with my cell camera, but the images are too small and I’m unable to see what’s in them. I know a couple are just the one eye, and it appears to be the same eye each time.

For what it’s worth, here are the pictures, but they don’t tell much because they’re very small. You can see the mouse cursor arrows along with the little square thingees. 

0801171400 0801171404 0801171414 0801171413

Any ideas? I’m going nuts trying to figure this out. It’s like I have a ghost. Every one of these pictures had either letters, numerals, or face parts. Too bad they’re hard to see.



Celebrating my art

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post, and tonight’s may be shorter than usual. I just wanted to share a new book cover I created for the eBook edition of my Great Depression novel, Face the Winter Naked.

Although the book has been out a number of years, in both print and digital, and has been my bestseller all along, I was never satisfied with the cover art that I paid for. Yes, that cover fits the story, especially with the sepia coloring for the time  period. But it doesn’t tell what the story is about, just that it takes place in the Great Depression. To learn who the characters are, to experience with them their sadness, their fear, and their hopelessness, one must read the blurb and the book’s description.

There’s nothing in the old cover about some of the most colorful characters, specifically, the old hobo I call “the banjo man.” I missed him on the original cover. But the artist surprised me by putting my dad’s picture on that cover, and it made me jump for joy. My dad fit the setting, and, although this isn’t his story, I have to admit I gave my main character, Daniel Tomelin, some of Dad’s characteristics.

Daddy died when I was three, and my only memory of him was of Mini-Me sitting on his lap in a rocking chair while he sang and made up stories. So it was important for me to use his hillbilly mannerisms and speech, his musical and artistic talents—a cabinet maker by trade and a whittler for something to keep his fingers busy when he wasn’t strumming this or that musical instrument. I used what little I’d learned about Dad while growing up; but for my character Daniel, I took artistic license and stretched it a bit for the sake of a good story.

But through all these years, I could not get the image of George, the banjo man, out of my mind and my heart. I don’t know who he was. He just came from nowhere, or from deep in my subconscious, this sad human who represented all the tragedies of the Great Depression rolled into one man. The banjo man played a major role in Face the Winter Naked—I hope he survived, but doubt he did. During the writing, old George became real enough to me to outlast my original plot.

Last week, I designed a new cover for the Face the Winter Naked eBook—the original stays on the paperback edition—and I placed that old hobo in a prominent spot beside a railroad track with his banjo and a pack on his back.

As mentioned in my bio, I was born at the height of the Depression. My family was poor, but we survived. My eldest brother always said we were poor but we didn’t know we were poor. I suppose there’s a certain acceptance among children from that era. We received commodities from the county and charity baskets from church at Thanksgiving and Christmas. We ate beans, cornbread, and canned milk, and bathed once a week in a round galvanized wash tub—one tub of water to last through four dirty kids and two adults. That’s unimaginable now….

Today I celebrate a new book cover for Face the Winter Naked. I hope you like it, and also hope you’ll take the time to read about Daniel Tomelin, the banjo man, and the rest of the characters in the story. It is not a true story, yet in many respects, it is as true as I could make it.

Best FTWN-cover



(The new cover will update soon at B&N, Apple, Kobo.)

Peace and love,






Do angels have feathers?


Do angels have feathered wings? Do they even have wings? Common sense tells me they do not, and here’s why:

All matter vibrates. Everything in nature vibrates, even a stone. And the slower the rate of vibration, the more dense an object becomes. For example, a stone is dense due to it’s much slower vibration.  But in fact, a stone vibrates so slowly that it’s undetectable by the human eye. Remember the pet rocks that were so popular a number of years ago? Well, that’s because the word got out that rocks are alive because they vibrate.

But spirits are different. A spirit body vibrates at a very fast rate of speed, and the faster it vibrates, the lighter and finer that spiritual body becomes. It’s like a fan blade that spins so fast all you see is a blur. Or a hummingbird’s wings beating the air so fast you barely noticed what zipped past your eyes—was that a bumblebee? A leaf? Surely not a bird. Perhaps an angel?

I do not believe angels have wings, because as spirits, they are composed of much finer matter. Why would they need physical bird wings to travel through space and time? I think that at one time—after being visited by human-like figures—certain individuals thought  those human forms surely could not fly through space, so they gave them bird wings. Back then, in the history of our planet, humans had simple explanations for things they didn’t understand; simple ideas for simple minds. I seriously doubt there was any knowledge of physics as we know it today.

But spirits do not need wings to travel. The wings were added because humans would absolutely deny the ability of a spirit body moving through space. (And that space can be billions of miles away but the travel would seem simultaneous. As with thought transference—there is no distance through the ether.)

Meditation raises the rate of vibration in humans. Spirits abound in the physical world—but the average person can’t see them due to their higher vibrations.  Well, some folks actually do see them, but they call them ghosts. In my opinion, those so-called ghosts may actually be living beings who’ve managed to escape their material bodies temporarily through meditation, illness, or extreme fear. The faster our spirits vibrate, the easier it is for them to contact and visit the spiritual and Earth realms.

Conversely, a stone—which may once have been a finer body (or object); I don’t know—does nothing to raise its vibrations on this planet, so with its much slower vibratory rate, it simply sits and appears dead. For all practical purposes, that stone IS dead.

In the bible, the trinity is called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (ghost). But in yoga, the trinity is Body, Mind, and Spirit. Three bodies in one; the physical body, mental body, and the spiritual body. Three bodies that work together to create a whole. The mental and spiritual bodies (which are normally invisible to most people) may, under certain conditions, leave the physical body, travel to a distant location, then return to the physical, often with information not found in this world. Lucid dreams are often out-of-body experiences.

There, now, I’ve probably confused you enough. But think about it.




The Haunted Igloo
I launched my first book—a middle-grade novel titled The Haunted Igloo—at Butterfly Books, a local children’s bookstore in De Pere, Wisconsin. The event took place on a cold, blustery Sunday afternoon in November, and considering the title of my book, it was an appropriate birthday gift for this Halloween-born witch.
My youngest son and I had helped decorate the store windows with a hand-crafted igloo covered with cotton “snow” and sparkles, and a homemade dogsled driven by a life-sized Eskimo (Inuit) boy I had created from a moth-eaten fur coat from Goodwill, scraps of fake leather for mukluks, and a pantyhose head stuffed with old rags. With his torso, legs, and arms full of crumpled newspapers and his face drawn with a black marker, everyone said he looked like a real Eskimo boy.
The night before the Butterfly Books affair, I had participated in the St. Norbert College homecoming parade over the Fox River, through west and east De Pere, then back again. Fortunately, I got to ride inside the van with my hosts from the bookstore, but the poor little Eskimo boy—whom I had named “Chinook,” for the Eskimo boy in my novel—rode propped up beside my little cotton-covered igloo on the end of a trailer towed by the van. The wind tried to blow him over, and I thought he might tumble off the trailer a few times, but the next day, he was back in the store window standing behind his sled.
Newspapers had been notified that a local children’s author would be signing her first novel at Butterfly Books. The store had sent invitations and ordered a couple of cases of The Haunted Igloo. I don’t remember how many books I signed that day, but recall the long lines of autograph-seekers. Even the lady mayor of De Pere stopped by with her young son to get his book signed. Unfortunately, my wonderful editor from Houghton Mifflin, Mary Lee Donovan, declined the invitation due to a previous engagement. (I later met her in person at a children’s writers’ conference.)
In all, that was a fun afternoon, with treats at the front of the store—and a television set tuned to a Green Bay Packers football game! People milled around, eating cookies, drinking punch, watching the game, and wandering back to my table for questions and signatures. I recall a continuous line at the cash register.
Butterfly Books went out of business a few years ago. It was a sad day for many De Pere residents, but I’ll never forget that I was their very first author to sign books when they opened their new store.
My next book-signing for The Haunted Igloo also went well. The Waldenbooks’ manager at Bay Park Square parked me with a stack of my books at a table in the front of the busy store on a Sunday afternoon in December. I was lucky the book had hit the shelves in late fall, because the Christmas holiday drove sales that landed it on Waldenbooks’ list of Top Twenty Books in the Region. My first two book-signings, plus publisher sales to libraries, helped the book earn back my advance against royalties in less than three months.
During that signing, an employee from the microfilm company where I worked came up to me and said, “This is big time for us!” I couldn’t have been happier, for I had seriously doubted if any of my colleagues had believed me when I’d told them I wrote books when not running a microfilm camera.
After that, I sent out fifty letters of introduction to area schools and began traveling around to lecture students about reading and writing, and signing their copies of The Haunted Igloo. Teachers had read the book to their classes before my visits  and the kids were prepared with questions and cute drawings of their version of haunted igloos, Eskimos, and sled dogs.
The book turned out to be a lesson about the Arctic and, apparently, some children  had not yet studied that cold northern area of our planet where parka-clad people lived in snow houses, traveled by dogsleds, and trapped animals for food. Indeed, one talented child drew a picture of an igloo surrounded by telephone poles and electric lines. At one school, I was greeted with a display of miniature igloos built from sugar cubes, so I knew some classes were introducing that area to their students.
My setting for The Haunted Igloo was the Northwest Territories of Canada, but although I mentioned the location in the story, some people missed that and thought the book was set in Alaska. So my young readers not only enjoyed the book, but they also learned some geography and were introduced to the Inuit culture.
I carried my homemade Eskimo—Chinook—wherever I went, along with an armload of stuffed polar bears. On one occasion, my Siberian husky, Tokka, went to school with me and was a big hit with students and teachers. After I signed their books, the kids lined up for polar-bear hugs from a “real, live author.”
Although I lacked professional speaking skills, those were fun days, and those kids were a captive audience who couldn’t simply walk away and ignore my book. I truly enjoyed my school visits.
But alas, there were a few signings where nobody came at all, even after notices in the newspaper. How embarrassing it was to sit for an hour or more waiting for people to stop and visit (and buy a book, of course).
One of my favorite local bookstores was the Little Professor Book Center, whose manager generously provided books to take with me on consignment, and who was always willing to let me sign books in his store. Unfortunately, a couple of those visits were failures.
On one occasion at a Barnes & Noble store, my table had been set up a few feet away from a large television screen showing the movie Jurassic Park. When potential customers came toward me, their eyes were already focused on the show. The only visitor I had that day was a toddler who sat on the floor next to my Eskimo boy and tried to undress him while her mom watched the movie. What does one say or do in a case like that? I could only smile on the outside while feeling bad inside and thinking: sixty miles round trip, wasted gas, and not one book signed. But I kept a smile on my face and shrugged off my disappointment. I was a new author who lacked experience dealing with crowds, but I realized how lucky I was to be there at all.
But that’s often the way book-signings go. We win some and we lose some. Most of the time, I did sign books. But there’s one other time I’ll never forget.
I was at a small bookstore where a table had been set up in a small alcove near the front door. On the table was a stack of new books, my personally designed and printed business cards, brochures, and bookmarks, plus extra pens. But few people came through the door that day, and the ones who did weren’t interested in author-signings. Feeling a little stupid, I asked the store manager what I should do. I could not simply sit and twiddle my thumbs, smile, and nod while people walked right past me. The manager suggested I stand up and begin talking about my book and writing, about things authors do. So I tried that, and felt even more stupid standing there talking to myself. After a few minutes of that, I sat down again. And after another few minutes of inaction, I gathered my supplies, thanked the manager (who was really wonderful) and left the store.
That one was a real bummer, but all-in-all, most of my autograph sessions had turned out to be fun and profitable. The downers never kept me down for long, because I knew that, in the long run, this was what I had to do, win or lose.
(The Haunted Igloo and its sequel, Spirit Lights, are available as ebooks at most online retailers.)
Peace and Love.



Into the sun. . .


A great novel may be fiction, but it is based on universal truth and feelings: Everyone has felt sadness, pain, hopelessness, love, fear, and many other human emotions, but a great writer knows how to reach into your soul and bring these emotions to life.


My favorite novel, Giants in the Earth, by O. E. Rölvaag, has been called the greatest and most important pioneer story ever written. This classic novel was required reading in one of my high school English classes, and I’ve never forgotten it. So far, I have read this novel four times, and my emotions are stirred anew each time I turn a page .

covered wagon

I crossed the vast prairies of the Great Plains with Norwegian immigrants as they traveled into the sun by covered wagon; I lived with them and shared their loneliness and heartache as they struggled to build a life in a new country hundreds of miles from their homeland. I lived with them and got to know them, and love them. The emotions were true; the writing honest. At some point in the future, I’ll probably read Giants in the Earth again. I’ve already read the two sequels: Peder Victorious and Their Fathers’ God.

Peace and love.







Do all organisms have the right to reproduce and grow, and if so, do humans have the right to destroy them?

The term “all organisms” includes viruses, bacteria, cancer cells, and whatnot, all of which may be part of the ecosystem. I saw a headline recently that said scientists are trying to find a way to prevent cancer cells from reproducing. That got me thinking: If God created these various life forms for a reason—and God doesn’t make mistakes, right?—surely they were meant to reproduce. If they find a host body in which to reproduce, does that body have a means by which they can learn to tolerate one another?

Humans have learned to live with wild creatures by taming the gentle ones and using caution with dangerous ones. Dogs, wolves, and coyotes in the wild can live with fleas and lice—they may not like them, but where would they buy flea powder or dips in the forests? Then, of course, monkeys will eat the fleas they pick off their friends and relatives. So apparently, even fleas are useful.

I am wondering if the “fight or flight” response has anything to do with controlling the various disease-causing pathogens that attack our bodies: When fear and other strong, negative emotions overwhelm us, immunity often walks out the door, leaving it wide open for disease to enter.

Primitive humans used the fight or flight response to save their own lives. When confronted with danger, their bodies released large amounts of the stress hormone, Adrenalin, which provided extra energy to either stay and fight or flee to safety. If that was true thousands of years ago, chances are it’s still true.

But when harm appears today, either real or imagined, the average person feels sorry for himself and flees to his sofa to soak up more negativity from television programs or the evening news. But the extra dose of Adrenalin remains in his body and begins creating this or that ailment or disease, because its nature is to create. If one does not fight or flee from the danger, the Adrenalin creates something else in its host body.

The human body can often heal itself if we get our conscious minds out of the way … and use up that extra Adrenalin by becoming more active. In my opinion, these dangerous pathogens didn’t suddenly appear to wreck our bodies; they’ve been with us for thousands of years. Why does one person catch a certain disease and the next person does not?  Perhaps it’s because one worries and frets while his friend fights off the threat with activity, controlled breathing, and a positive attitude.

The following article explains how the fight or flight response works in our bodies, with ideas and instructions for protecting ourselves from disease. I hope you find this article helpful. Please share your comments.

Peace and Love,




Easter lily image

Today is Easter Sunday, so I think this post is appropriate.


A little background:


As a youngster, I attended three different religious denominations: the faith of my paternal relatives, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—RLDS (not Mormon), and, after my aunt and uncle adopted my younger brother and me, I worshiped in Pentecostal and Baptist churches.


I grew up going to church and Sunday school every week and was baptized by immersion at age eight, the age of accountability, I was told. My childhood was centered on the Christian religion. I memorized Bible verses and the Ten Commandments; I learned about Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, the birth and death of Christ; I said my prayers before bedtime and gave thanks for my meals, and I could recite the Lord’s Prayer from memory. All this, I believe, provided a well-grounded understanding of how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost operated in human lives, and what was required of us in order to someday reach heaven.


As an adult, I returned to the church of my parents, the RLDS, at which time I began to study and compare the various religions, including Catholicism. Each group insisted they were the only true church. But somewhere inside of me, I could not believe any of them were. While each group claimed to believe in and worship the same god, there were discrepancies which drove them apart. When someone is searching for spiritual guidance, which among the various “true” churches was the ONLY true religion, the one we could trust to save us from hellfire and usher us into heaven at some point in the future? Either they were all true, or none were. Why the bickering? After a time, I was pretty much done with organized, man-made religions.


Leaving much of that behind, I became acquainted with yoga, metaphysics, and parapsychology. With the expansion of my spiritual knowledge through an intense study of Eastern religions, transcendental meditation, mind-body connection, and other mental disciplines came understanding and clarification of how Mind, Body, and Spirit operate in our lives—Universal Mind (God, the power), Body (the Christ), and Spirit (the Holy Ghost). This trinity—one mastermind existing in three persons—combine to create the energy through and by which all life is created. The laws outlined in the Bible are immutable, unchangeable universal laws, and are there for our use on this plane.



Further study of how the subconscious works, through dreams and brainwashing, for example, taught me that communication via the subconscious mind (spiritual mind) is made possible by the use of images as opposed to the spoken words of a human language. Pictures are the universal language to communicate from the material to the spiritual plane.  Our subconscious understands our dream images more than mere human words, so these images are filed in our minds forever. 

Continue reading “DO NOT PRAY FOR ME”

YOU DON’T SAY: Grammar that makes me cringe

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. If you lose that, you’re nothing.” – Robin Williams




This is my little spark of madness: My work as a writer and editor demands attention to details, and whether I’m wrong or right, I am teaching grammar to those who—for one reason or another—have missed the grammar train when it stopped at their depot. I missed it the first time, the second time, and a few other times. My mind had retained little of the English lessons I studied in school, and for many years, I didn’t know that I didn’t know. It took the editor of my first published book, many years later, to wake me in time to hop on that train the next time it arrived. She taught me how to edit, to find and correct my mistakes.


I don’t recall exactly when it happened, but one day I realized that if I wanted to be a writer, I had to push myself to learn the basics of writing—grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, spelling, the works—because without it, I was nothing. I never considered taking a writing course, because I’m a trial and error learner. And even now, if I’m not quite sure of something, I absolutely stop what I’m doing and look it up. My little spark of madness has turned into a roaring inferno of pickiness that often gets me in trouble for correcting friends, family, and strangers online. It has become a lesson on how to make enemies and insult friends. But I can’t help it; it’s what I do. And if I’ve learned anything at all these many years of teaching myself, it’s that one must have a desire to learn, the spark that becomes a flame.


As one might expect from a grammar fanatic, I’ve been keeping a list of grammar faults that drive me nuts. I don’t know why these words are such a problem for people to remember, but I have a few ideas.


Cell phones and other electronic devices make it difficult and time-consuming to proofread and correct our mistakes. Some of us are too busy to care about grammar, and we make excuses. “It’s just Facebook!” we sputter. “It’s Twitter! WTF? Nobody cares about typos anymore!”—never mind they aren’t always accidental typos, but more often a lack of knowledge about correct usage.


Some folks do care. People who respect the written word care. We have the technology to send instant messages, but we don’t realize that by doing so, we become teachers whose work others may read and accept as gospel. But we’re all responsible for getting it right, because a simple misspelled word or mislaid phrase can morph into a grammar centipede with many legs—the more we see something written incorrectly, the more we tend to accept it as fact, and given the massive audience of social media, our grammatical sins may then reach out in all directions to enter the minds of those who think they know, but do not, those who probably missed the grammar train time after time after time.


I wonder if today’s students simply aren’t taught enough about the basics of grammar. Are teachers spending adequate time drilling the lessons into our children’s heads? The growing opinion seems to be that if we make mistakes, we have machines to fix them. But those machines don’t work by themselves; it takes human minds and hands to operate them.


Except for learning to read from the famous Dick and Jane books in first, second, and third grades, I don’t recall studying much else. (This was toward the end of the Great Depression, when some poor children were lucky to see the inside of a school.)




It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I began to take a real interest in my high school English classes. But after I graduated, married, and got busy raising a family, the desire to put those lessons to use was just not there.


Then, at some point along the way, I remembered that I had wanted to write. So I wrote some poetry, then a Frankenstein’s monster I proudly called a novel. I found a publisher and sent the “book” out over the transom … and all six pounds of typing paper came back with a very nice rejection letter. What I had produced was badly written. Yet, I didn’t know how bad it was, and I didn’t fully realize the importance of getting it right. I had heard that if you wanted to publish a book, an editor at a publishing house would clean up the mistakes for you. That may have been true at one time, but certainly not when I began writing.


I wish I still had that first novel—its title was “Forgive My Ashes,” and a few months after it was rejected, I burned the damn thing one flaming, smoking page after another. It was nine years before I attempted to write another novel, but this time I learned that writing a book is more than just typing page after page of tripe.


And speaking of learning the basics of writing in school, I don’t understand how some people can graduate from high school and be admitted to a university without a basic understanding of the rules of grammar. Yet it happens. How do those people even get OUT of high school without knowing, let alone get INTO schools of higher learning and eventually graduate still not knowing?


I had a friend who worked in a high-powered company, earning good money, but who graduated from college without knowing that grandfather, grandmother, grandchild, for example, are each written as one word. To my friend, they were Grand Father, Grand Mother, Grand Child, etc. There are other examples, but these are enough to send my detail-oriented, OCD-picky author’s brain to a mental institution! Anyone who has ever read a book that mentioned grandparents should have at least learned by osmosis how to spell those familiar words.


In my educated but humble opinion, people who make a lot of grammatical errors may not read enough. I have instructed students during school visits to read, read, read! Because by reading, one gets automatic lessons in writing, sentence structure, plotting, punctuation, and spelling. Whether they realize it or not, they are learning by repetition; by seeing the written words enough times that it automatically soaks into their mind.


Grammatical blunders seemed to have increased after word processors came into common use. Typing on a word processor at 120 wpm allows us to type errors faster than we can spot them. And when we read from a screen, our eyes tend to zip ahead and we often fail to catch those mistakes. Spellcheckers are a big help, but only if one actually bothers to use them. Even so, they can’t catch everything. On the other hand, writing our stories on a pad of paper forces us to pay attention due to strong eye, hand, and mind connections.


Here is a short list of hair-pulling grammatical sins that make me cringe:


Wrong: If we would have been asked, or if we would have gone.

Correct: If we had been asked. If we had gone.


Wrong: I would of gone with him.

Correct: I would’ve gone with him.

Would’ve is the contraction for would have, but to our ears it sounds like would of.


Wrong: Noone (OMG, I hate this one!)

Correct: No one is two words.

Users may assume this odd word is like anyone or someone, so surely it must be noone.


Wrong: Will you go with? May I come with? Etc.

Correct: Will you go with me? You may come with me.

With whom? I always ask myself. This is an incomplete sentence commonly used in Wisconsin, and maybe other places I’m not aware of.


Wrong: I have less clothes than Mary.

Correct: No, you have fewer clothes than Mary.

The simple rule is to use less for singular nouns and fewer for plural nouns. The Chicago Manual of Style recommends using the “singular or plural” framework. (For lack of a better example, Cindy pays less rent for her apartment and she has fewer visitors.)


Wrong: He graduated college. (No no no, he did not graduate college!)

Correct: He graduated from college.

The verb graduate means to raise gradually by degrees or stages. If you graduated college, you raised the building, not yourself.


Wrong: He has alot of friends.

Correct: (Two words.) He has a lot of friends.

May be confused with allot or allotment, which means to give something to somebody as a share of what’s available or what has to be done.


Wrong: She stood at the podium.

Correct: She stood at the lectern.

A lectern is a reading stand and a podium is a stage or platform. Thus, a lectern stands on a podium and the reader stands behind the lectern to read or speak.


Wrong: Now and again.

Correct: Now and then.

These examples are sometimes used both ways, but generally they mean from time to time; once in a while; occasionally. Now and then we go off to the country.


Wrong: Hun or Hunny

Correct: Honey or Hon (a term of endearment)

I am not a Hun. A Hun is a member of a warlike Asiatic nomadic people who invaded and ravaged Europe in the 4th–5th centuries: derogatory, informal, slang, a reckless or uncivilized destroyer.