I’m voting for coherence

Urban Foodlink has a good blog post about the conservation district election. You might want to take a look, and then swing by a polling place tomorrow and vote.

There are elections tomorrow in Washington state for members of regional conservation district boards. Only a few hundred votes get cast, apparently, and this isn’t surprising because it’s tough to find any information about the elections except the times and locations of the voting (at a few library branches).

It’s almost impossible to find a list of candidates and their position statements, so you’re left to depend on guidance from the more obscure political blogs. The left wing blogs just say “vote for the guy the Sierra Club endorses.”

As it happens, a friend of mine burrowed around and located the five candidate’s statements. Fortunate there were two or three candidates who were politically acceptable to him because the Sierra Club’s endorsed guy was completely unimpressive in print. I read the fellow’s statement and came away undecided — undecided, that is, about whether I was more appalled by his typos, poor spelling, sentence fragments, bureaucratic jargon, or just his general incoherence.

“I am running for the board position of King Conservation District, because I am a conservationist that leads by example represents the Mission and Vision of the Conservation District.”

“During my teenier as Chair I increased our partnerships with Landowners within King County either privately or entity owned.”

“In CLOSING; I request your vote so that the word CONSERVATION and partnership remains the main focus of King Conservation District.”

Has the Sierra Club actually read anything this person writes?

It’s all the sadder because one of the other candidates has a great background in natural resources and works with many of the newer and more successful sustainability efforts in the area — the ones that are effectively communicating the value of their work to the general public.

One of those groups, Urban Foodlink, has a good blog post about the election. You might want to take a look, and then swing by a polling place tomorrow and vote.

That’s what I like about the South

What makes a great blog?

1. A clever topic

2. A great writer who’s passionate about that topic

3. Nice design and photos

I’m delighted to introduce you to Stuff Southern People Like (“all manner of dixie delicacies and doo-dads”). Enjoy, y’all.

Rules for fiction writers

fiction writing, writing rules, Elmore Leonard, The Guardian, Seattle Speculative Fiction Writers Meetup

Thank you to the leader of the Seattle Speculative Fiction Writers Meetup for pointing me to this recent article in The Guardian. It’s called “Rules for Writing Fiction” but it might better be called “Rules for Fiction Writers” — you’ll see why when you read it.

It includes tips from Elmore Leonard and Neil Gaiman. Leonard says:

Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose”. This rule doesn’t require an explanation. I have noticed that writers who use “suddenly” tend to exercise less control in the application of exclamation points.

I’d add to that: Avoid using the word “somehow,” and never, ever, use it multiple times in the same story. The only exception to this rule is in dialogue or narrative spoken by a highly confused character.

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