PENULTIMATE: next to last…as in, this is my penultimate posting for this blog


This is the 1,999th posting I’ve made to this blog. Tomorrow, the 2,000 posting, will be my last.  People have written to ask if I’m sick and dying, moving, or some other tragic reason. No, I’m just moving on to something new.  It’s not perfectly clear what that will be, but I have a couple […]

Burglar in the House : a short-short story by Jed Waverly


It was a dark and stormy night. Rick and Sarah were comfortably asleep in their second floor master bedroom.  It had been a long day, and sleep came easily to them. They had arrived home just before midnight, having driven through the storm, avoiding tree limbs falling, flooded streets, and live wires every place.  The […]


Probably some of you have already rolled your eyes. You may even be one of the people I have e-mailed to say that you have used the wrong word in your article. Too many times I have read a comment like this in a blog, article, letter, e-mail, or some other form of communication: “I […]

FORESHADOW: clues planted in the text to prepare a reader for an event to come later


In a well-written novel a name will be mentioned in an early chapter and then not heard of again until much later in the story.   When it pops up, the reader may be stunned, thinking I remember that name!  I wondered what happened to him. The author has foreshadowed the event by simply mentioning the name. […]

CHIASMUS [kahy-AZ-muh s]: a reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases,

In his inauguration speech of 1961, John F. Kennedy spoke words that have been impossible to forget.  “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” They may be memorable, but…unfortunately…they have been ignored by many. Their purpose today, in this blog posting, […]

HORSEY: a word to describe a person with a long face

There have been a number of pictures of Secretary of State John Kerry in the news this past week.  He was thrown from his bicycle and broke his leg in the process. I was studying a picture of him, thinking how distinguished he looks, and how his face gives off a sense of intelligence and […]