It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a blog tips post. As fun as writing is, there is one thing that’s not so fun: The English language. As writers, though, writing and grammar go hand in hand. Usage of the wrong word or incorrect homophone use can change the meaning of a sentence or an entire poem! Accept/Except are different words with different meanings. Misuse them, and it changes everything. The same with Ad/Add, To/Two/Too, There/Their/They’re. If you are like me, you can’t afford to have an editor to proofread every blog post, but there are free resources we can use to help. Not only can you use these programs to clean up your blog, but you can use them to edit typos on your website or revise a finished manuscript.
1. Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is a powerful tool the more we learn to use it. Writers can use Word to create book covers, format books for print and so much more. My tip here is to draft your post in Microsoft Word before posting to the WordPress editor. Word will alert you to basic misspellings or grammatical errors as you are writing. You will notice spelling errors by the red wiggly lines and grammatical errors by the blue wiggly lines.
But Word has a bad reputation for not giving the right corrections…
Once you’ve written your post in a Word Document, you can then copy and paste it into the Grammarly editor to double-check for what Word may have missed. Grammarly is a software program that corrects spelling, detects plagiarism, and checks against over 250 grammar rules. There is a free version, but I recommend the premium version for more advanced features. Premium will alert you to more advanced grammatical errors to include overused words or misused words. My school gave us a free premium version of Grammarly, and I love it! There is such a significant difference between the free and paid version. The free version works fine, though and I use both.
3. ProWriting Aid
After you have made corrections in Grammarly, you can copy and paste the post into ProWriting Aid as a final run-through. ProWriting Aid is such an excellent program! Like Word and Grammarly, the program is another self-editing tool. ProWriting Aid will pick up even more errors and recommend changes. It also has a plagiarism detection tool for premium users. What I love about PWA is they are not stingy with the free version. The free version checks for repeats, structure, readability, fiction, and consistency. Yes, I said fiction! If you are using it to revise a novel, it will help track pacing and dialogue use.
4. Hemingway Editor
I can’t say too much about Hemingway because I just started using it and I don’t use it often. The program is okay, and it’s not my favorite, but it’s still an excellent program to use to self-edit. Hemingway does an excellent job at detecting wordy sentences, and overused adverbs. While I prefer the other two programs, Hemingway is still a valuable tool (mainly when used with one of the other applications).
5. Save Post as Draft and Preview as Final Proofread
After you have run your post through Word, Grammarly, ProWriting Aid, Hemingway (or all four) proofreading the post is another great way to self-edit your post. Once I have drafted a post, I save it as a draft and then preview it on the computer and my phone. I find lots of typos this way. Sometimes reading over the post in this way helps to catch even more errors before clicking the publish button.
None of these programs will replace a human editor. ProWriting Aid once tried to correct the word “to” for “two,” but I did not mean the number two. I intended to write “to.” But at least you know you’ve cleaned up the basics enough to ensure your post is clear and reads the way you intended. When I publish blog posts, these are some programs I used to proofread my work and now, so can you. It will take more time, but it’s time well spent.
Want more tips? Be sure to check out the Blog Tips Page!Click Here.
Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday! It’s been a minute since our last one so I am excited to be back. If you are new to this blog or new to this segment, please refer to the original post HERE. In brief, this is the day of the week when we do not whine, complain, or criticize. How have you done so far? You know us. We complain before getting out of the bed!
How often do we attribute complaints to others? Probably about 95% of the time. Someone is always doing something to us, offending us or thinking badly of us in some way. But is it always others or is it us?
The truth is that it’s easier to think more about others than we do about ourselves and let’s face it, that’s a good thing on the surface. You don’t want to be a “lover of self” (2Tim 3:2). But balance is important in every aspect of our lives. It’s important to be there for others but it’s not cool to leave ourselves behind. I’ve learned that complaints are rooted in some form of unhappiness within ourselves. We aren’t the weight we want to be, we aren’t fulfilled at our jobs and relationships, and we are just not happy with ourselves in some capacity.
When you are not happy with yourself, everything annoys you and you complain more. The truth is like Dr. Phil said, we can’t control others. We can influence them. We can motivate them. We can inspire them, but we cannot control them. The only people we can control is our own selves. Spend some time with yourself and discover what it is about you that will make you happier and more fulfilled. Take some time to be a little bit selfish. I admit I have been. I have not written many reviews this year and I have not been as supportive as I know that I should. This is not because I have not wanted to. This is because I went through some hurtful things and I needed to make sure that I was good too (without projecting that onto you). I needed to refuel myself and do things that made me happy so that I can be there for others. I needed to take my own advice and keep myself just as full as I was keeping others. I needed to do this because being there for others without being there for myself meant leaving myself behind and leaving myself empty. And when you’re empty, what can you give? Only after you have dealt with you can you sincerely help others.
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
Can make it out here alone.Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
Can make it out here alone.
Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
Can make it out here alone.
Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.
It is important not to get emotional about it. I am just going to discuss the facts. Let’s just be real for one second here people. If they won’t even show you that the Egyptians were a BLACK SKINNED people, why would anyone admit the Israelites were black? (Who were often mistaken as Egyptians…also Israel is in Northeast Africa by the way.)
I am sure we’ve all heard it by now. It’s all over social media. In the midst of Black History Month The Today’s Show decided to showcase an image of a white Nefertiti. Not only am I not surprised, but I think maybe we (so-called Black people) deserve it. Maybe this is what it takes for us to wake up and stay woke. Maybe these are the kinds of shockers that is necessary for us to realize the truth. You don’t have to know much about history to know that the Egyptians were a black skinned people. “Egypt is in Africa, not some small island in Sweden.” (Paul Mooney)
The word Ham in Hebrew is Khwam, and it means “hot, burnt, and black.” The first-born son of Ham, Cush, forms the Kushite nation. They were also called and known as the ancient Ethiopians. Ethiopia comes from the Greek word, Aethipos, which means, “burnt or black face.” The Greeks applied this name to the people living south of Egypt. The name Egypt comes from the word Aegyptus though the Egyptians called themselves Khemet / Kemet, which is a variation of the Hebrew word Khawm (Ham). It means, “People of the black land.”
Gerald Massey, English writer and author of the book, Egypt the Light of the World, wrote, “The dignity is so ancient that the insignia of the Pharaoh evidently belonged to the time when Egyptians wore nothing but the girdle of the Negro” (p. 251)
Sir Richard Francis Burton, a 19th century English explorer, writer, and linguist in 1883 wrote to Gerald Massey, “You are quite right about the ‘AFRICAN’ origin of the Egyptians. I have 100 human skulls to prove it.”
Scientist, R. T. Prittchett, states in his book, The Natural History of Man, “In their complex and many of the complexions and in physical peculiarities the Egyptians were an ‘AFRICAN’ race” (p. 124-125).
The ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, who visited Egypt in the 5th century B.C.E., saw the Egyptians face to face and described them as black-skinned with woolly hair.
Anthropologist, Count Constatin de Volney (1727-1820), spoke about the Egyptians that produced the Pharaohs. He later paid tribute to Herodotus’ discovery when he said:
“The ancient Egyptians were true Negroes of the same type as all native born Africans. That being so, we can see how their blood, mixed for several centuries with that of the Romans and Greeks, must have lost the intensity of its original color, while retaining nonetheless the imprint of its original mold. We can even state as a general principle that the face (referring to The Sphinx) is a kind of monument able, in many cases, to attest to or shed light on historical evidence on the origins of the people.”
Volney also stated:
“What a subject for meditation. Just think that the race of black men today, our slaves and the object of our scorn, is the very race to which we owe our arts, science, and even the use of our speech.”
Egypt: Ham’s second born son < Blood brothers to the Ethiopians
Ethiopian > Burnt Face
Egypt > Burnt Black
Phut: The Somalians – According to the ancient record of Egypt, Phut has been traced back to the Somalian
“Every man has flesh and blood, which includes a skin tone, but the Israelites and Egyptians were black, I’m just making it known.”
“Alright, girl, here’s another one. This here from Caroline down the road”, said Pearl.
Molly rolled her eyes, “Alright, put it on the table.”
“Whew, child. You mind if I oblige myself to this here sofa? All this running around, can’t be healthy.” Pearl heaved in and out as she sat down, lighting a cigarette. She closed her eyes, savoring the nicotine in her throat before releasing it into the air.
Molly chuckled, “Did you just say running can’t be healthy?”
Pearl cut her eyes at Molly, smiled, and answered by taking another long pull from the cigarette. Pearl was a big girl, and proud of it. She had a plump backside, wide hips, thick legs, and big breasts. So is the make-up of all the Tate’s.
“Girl, you know I can’t be losing no weight. Charles will have a fit. Have me walking around here looking all sick like y’all skinny heifers,” said Pearl as Molly laughed.
“I’m serious. Shoot, the bigger the berry, the sweeter the juice.”
“No you didn’t!” laughed Molly. Pearl joined in. She cracked herself up.
Molly glanced over the table, almost completely covered with German Chocolate cake, sweet potato pies, greens, macaroni and cheese, yams, baked beans; you name it, it was here.
“She’s not dead, you know,” Molly spoke from nowhere.
“All of this support. It’s like everyone’s acting like this is some kinda repass. Like my daughter is dead or something.”
Pearl let the cigarette die out in the ashtray. Whatever kinda buzz she had, Molly just blew it.
“They just tryna be supportive is all. You know how country folk are. Your child is their child. The men folk are out looking and the women folk are at home cooking. That’s how it is.”
“They will find her.”
Pearl shrugged, “Humph, I know they will. Got the dogs, NAACP and everything else. They better find her.”
“I mean alive. They’re going to find her alive. I can feel her, Pearl.” Molly thought about the last time she saw her very own mother that night on the porch, cold and tired. She wondered for a moment if that’s how Nora felt right now: alone, cold, and tired. Molly wanted to feed her. To give her all this food that was made for her.
Pearl sat back on the sofa, Here we go again. She wasn’t entirely honest with Molly, but everyone wore the same consensus on their hearts. There was a strong possibility they were not going to find Nora alive. No one wanted to give her credit because she talked too much. Miss Irene talked entirely too much and spoke with an unfiltered tongue, but what she said was true. Children in 1922 Mississippi didn’t just run away.
First, no one would let them. Besides their parents, there were just too many eyes watching, which is what makes it hard to believe no one saw anything. This was the South and you had not one parent or two, you had forty, fifty, and sixty. The whole colored community. People looked out for each other and someone, somewhere was always watching.
Still, she didn’t know how to break the news to her friend that she should prepare her heart for the unthinkable. Besides, she had her Marie to think about and she didn’t know what she’d do if something happened to her. If there was one thing her parents taught her, it was putting yourself in other people’s shoes. “That the onliest way to sympathize wit ‘em,” her father would say. “You gotta be able to feel where they been, where they walked, and then you can help ‘em ‘cause you knows. You knows in your heart what they been through and where they is.”
“She gone be alright, Molly. She gone be alright.”
Pearl lit her cigarette again, leaned back on the sofa, looked at the table, and prayed her words were true
Grab your copy of Renaissance today. Part two is on its way!
Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday! It’s been a loonnnggg time!
If you are new to this blog or new to this segment please check out our first NWW post hereto learn more about what this is all about.
Guys, we missed our first year anniversary!
No Whining Wednesday was started on January 4, 2017 and we managed to publish a whooping 22 episodes by years end. Who hoo!
Today’s inspiring quote:
“Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. Without commitment you’ll never start and without consistency, you’ll never finish.”
– Denzel Washington
This segment is all about reducing our stress levels by not worrying for an entire 24 hour period and Denzel’s quote is just what I needed. I have not been updating this blog as much as usual because I’ve been focusing on getting out of my comfort zone and today, I encourage you to get uncomfortable and to use it to help you to decrease your stress levels. Here’s an example of what I am doing today:
For this entire day, I’ve committed myself to not using my cell phone or social media (except for blogging). This means I won’t be sharing this post on social media until the sun sets my time (USA, EST). It also means it’ll take me a tad longer to respond to your comments since I won’t be using the super convenient WordPress app. I am doing this in an attempt to commit to something and to remain consistent with it. Sometimes we can be in a good mood but that mood may easily become affected by the mood of someone else. Complaining is contagious. When someone else does it we often feel the need to do it too.
Them: “Man, it’s too cold outside.”
You: “I know right. It is cold. Hope it warms up soon.”
You may not have realized it but you’ve just joined in with someone else complaint. It’s subtle but it’s there. You are both complaining about how cold it is outside, though you do both have a warm place to lay your head at night.
Complaining has become such an integral part of our lives that we do it without noticing. This means we worry or stress as a normal part of our everyday lives.
Today, commit to something that will help you not to worry so much and try to be consistent with it. It can be reading, writing, walking, exercising, anything that will help you to focus on the good and not the bad.
Yecheilyah is an author, blogger and poet. Be sure to pick up your copy of I am Soul, her latest collection of poetry on Amazon.