Author Archive: Red Pen Prose

E-Book Review – A Letter to President Trump on Crime Control

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Whether you’re a political activist, presidential critic, or get your dose of news from the E! network, like me, I would recommend reading this brief, but poignant, recently published E-book, A Letter to President Trump on Crime Control by Mark Davis. You may not have a social science background, or spend much time thinking about America’s justice system, but chances are, there is a topic in this literature that personally affects your life, or that of those close to you.

While it isn’t a direct criticism of the current presidency, it does offer our elected leader a unique perspective on how his current approach to crime control could improve, and how, as a nation, there are justifiable and conceivable approaches to justice that don’t require mass deportation, or the Queen of Hearts ordering, “Off with their heads!”

As a parent of a young child, what most interested me was that Davis’ perspective seems to take an approach that could have a lasting solution, and create an improved nation, not just for this presidential term, but for the foreseeable future.

While serious in nature, it’s also humorous and witty, and for the cost of less than a half a gallon of gas (only $0.99 on Amazon), why not give it read?

Tackling the press release

 Writing can be intimidating.

Building a press release to capture your reader in sentence one, ensuring your information is newsworthy, and doing all of that with no spelling or grammatical errors can be overwhelming.

But it doesn’t have to be. Simply answer the big questions in order of importance. Figure out the ‘five Ws’- who, what, where, when and why – write them down and number them 1 – 5 in order of significance.

Still sound too hard? The writers and editors at Red Pen Prose can help. We can build your press release, edit what you already created, or just check it for errors before you send it.

Request a quote.

This article published in PR Daily gives some more guidance on mistakes to avoid when writing a press release.

5 common PR rookie press release blunders

Mistakes matter

I consider myself a ‘grammar geek.’ I love searching and finding errors in publications, signage, articles – any words I read I consider a test to see if I can find something wrong.

Not long ago, I found a typo on a floor decal placed at the mall, leading the way to the Easter Bunny. That error may have been noticed by very few patrons, especially because the target audience was under seven, but it turns out, spelling and grammar mistakes in a company’s Web site can actually leave a very bad impression.

In a recent study discussed in the article 6 Tools That Save You From Embarrassing Writing Mistakes published in Inc., up to 59% of readers are turned off when they see errors in spelling and grammar.

The article goes on to give some great tips on catching those errors before they’re posted. But, if you’re looking for some grammar geeks who pride themselves in correcting the written word, look no further than Red Pen Prose.

Request a quote.

Resume tips from the pros

This article published by the Harvard Business Review online gives some great advice on how to craft your resume ‘story.’

It’s great advice and makes perfect sense. If you build your resume like a news story or compelling novel with a strong hook, a strong plot line, and you as the hero, who wouldn’t want to hire you?

Sound a little overwhelming or maybe like a little too much effort as opposed to just listing your job history and skill set?

Red Pen Prose can help! Our staff writers can craft your resume to be the ‘page turner’ you need to land your dream job.

Request a quote.

Style choices versus grammar mistakes

There can be a lot of confusion in writing whether certain choices in punctuation, capitalization, even word order could be stylistic or grammatical correctness.

In today’s common casual writing forums including text messaging and social media, it’s easy, and acceptable to take shortcuts.

But, in pieces used in a professional settings, such as a resume or project plan, casual, unedited styles just aren’t appropriate.

You can read more on this topic in the following article by Daniel McMahan.

To ensure your documents are error-free, contact Red Pen Prose for a quote.

The world’s top grammarian fears that this punctuation error is becoming standard English
http://flip.it/KBRL-

Live happy

It takes too much energy to be angry. It’s exhausting being sad all the time. I just wish I could live happy.

It’s not just a wish. It’s a goal. I want to live happy. I try to achieve it every day.

I strive for happiness by surrounding myself with positive, good-hearted, selfless people. I try to live with purpose. My job means more than just a paycheck and I hope to make a difference on this Earth or in the lives of others with my work.

I try to listen rather than hear. I try to contribute rather than exist. I try.

I always try. Sometimes, just trying and making a conscious effort to be good is all it takes to make me feel happy.

I want to live happy. For me, for my angel in Heaven, and for all my angels here on Earth that believe I can. I will live happy.image

Making a living doing what you love

Most people fantasize about the job where they never feel like they go to ‘work.’ They love what they do and they do what they love. For some, passion pays the bills.

In an article I read recently in the ATA Chronicle (American Translators Association), author Tony Beckwith wrote of his Freelancer Envy. As a young man, he dreamed of a career where he could be his own boss, set his own hours, dictate his own pay.

He eventually made his dream a reality and became a freelance translator, utilizing his multi-lingual skills to develop a career where he could work for himself. Those of us here at Red Pen Prose can certainly relate. We are freelance proofreaders, editors, and writers, making a living doing what we love.diary_58499153_e0c220ec61_400px

And we don’t take it for granted. We understand that the art of the English language, the complexity of grammar, the intricacies of the written word, do not come easy to everyone. But to us, words are our passion. Let our passion work for you.

If you aren’t a wordsmith, Red Pen Prose can help.

Request a quote.

Perception in Editing

Whether your writing is meant for a professional audience or simply to entertain, there is a perception in every way we form a sentence that can change the meaning for every individual who reads it.

I took a picture of this punctuated road sign in my neighborhood while I was walking this afternoon, and thought it was a perfect example.

I’ve had this conversation previously and some believe this particular road sign gives an incorrect message to drivers. I do not claim to be smarter than anyone else, and I always say “only those who are perfect have the right to judge,” however, I do think there are differences in the perception of this particular street sign, and it may not be a question of whether it is grammatically correct.

To some, “Slow Children” implies that there Punctuating road signsare slow children in the surrounding area, when truly, what the sign is conveying is, “Slow down. Don’t speed. There are children living and playing here and we want to keep them safe.”

Adding the comma, as this person chose to do, may change the connotation of “slow children” to the command, “slow, children” indicating that ‘slow’ is the verb, rather than an adjective. Some might argue, the proper punctuation would be a period. Slow. This is a sentence in itself, with the subject (you) implied and the verb completing the sentence. But then, are we telling the drivers or the children to slow? Come on, it’s a road sign. Its audience is implied by its presence. It wasn’t meant for 3-year-old pedestrians.

In conclusion, when writing, always remember your audience and their perception of your message. Grammar and punctuation are important, but what is critical is that we slow down, and understand what’s really being said.

Social Media

IMG_3212If you ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you I never intended to have a social media presence. In fact, I intentionally avoided and abhorred it. But I also never intended to be a mother who lost a child. If I could have avoided that too, believe me, I would have.

I am a changed person from the one I was just months ago. I still believe that Facebook can be a narcissistic way of expression and toxic to its followers. I still think that posting pictures at rapid fire speed of ourselves and our children is self indulgent and dangerous.

But I have also done a lot of reflecting and writing through my short journey of parenting and this never-ending tsunami I call grief. And I’m starting to think that maybe my thoughts and conclusions could potentially help others suffering similar difficulties.

So I am making the leap into social media. I realize it’s a very small step for most people who already have multiple accounts on several platforms. This is my first.

To those who choose to follow these posts; thank you for listening. My hope is that if even one person can feel one ounce of hope from my story, then it has been worth sharing.

Constructive criticism and creativity collide.

At Red Pen Prose, we take command of the English language for you.

If you want assurance that your written materials are error-free and grammatically correct, we are here to help.

* Resumes/Cover Letters

* College Application Essays

* Short Stories/Novels

Request a quote.

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