Hi there! Welcome to “The Pearly Droplets.”
June has also been woefully delayed. Again, my apologies.
Maeb is Matron to the ruling household. The duties of the matron are to see to the transition of young girls in a household to the age of majority and in the use of chi. In the case of the ruling household she sees primarily to the development, transition and training in the use of their abilities with respect to chi and the chamber room. They teach them the much-needed skill of stopcocking. In regular households, a matron will see to all the girls in the disparate families which occupy a household. Some matrons operate on a free-lance basis and service those individuals who reside in their own homes comprised of a single family. Because of her extensive grief over the death of Arrinay’s mother, Maeb left her post in the household and took up residence on her own with her husband, Trendo. In leaving her post, she also left a very young Arrinay to run Kalaydan and raise Gayadnae with only the support of her Kallish, Bezhyanya.
Thronde is Bezhyanya’s horse. Thronde is more horse than the other horses in the stables. Besides his insatiable libido, he is large enough to support Zhya’s size without strain. His origins are shrouded in mystery. The trader from whom Stable Master made his purchase has been untraceable sense. More of Thronde’s unique abilities will unfold in book two of The Kalaydan Chronicles.
…there she stands, among the whispers of ruin, caught between so much anger and hurt and betrayal. So dark, that night: the whisper of the wind, the patter of the rain, the steam of humid air; it had the feel of dissolution, of tears and loss and futility. And there she stands among it all, among the whispers, dehumanized, for what is her life—any life—but the lost murmur of whispers in the dark? Excerpt from: Remnant
The Proverbial Grain of Salt And Feedback on Your Writing
The original title for this segment was, “Use the Grain of Salt Sparingly When Dealing with Feedback on Your Writing.” Good thing I shortened it, huh? I attend a writer’s group. The networking and interaction with other writers at varying levels of accomplishment is invaluable. Not all feedback is as well thought and useful as it could be, however. I listen for those “Aha!” comments and the “tricks of the trade” type revelations, however, I’ve learned to filter comments and feedback in terms of pertinence. When evaluating someone’s writing, ask questions for clarification point out spelling, grammar and punctution problems, and also technical aspects of the writing which don’t seem to work well. Leave personal bias and other subjective elements out of the feedback. I’ve included a few books on self editing and also one on writers’ groups.
Write Great Fiction: Revision & Self-Editing, James Scott Bell
Self Editing for Fiction Writers, Renni Browne and Dave King
The Complete Guide to Writers’ Groups that Work, B. J. Taylor
Business Email ~ Don’t Just Schlep It In The Window and Send
One of my earliest training efforts (prior to military service) was as an administrative secretary. Twenty years ago, correspondence was considered to be one of the first elements of the impression the recipient forms about you and your company. Typos, incorrect grammar and poor formatting of correspondence was not welcome nor appreciated in business letters and memos.
Today, EMail has come to the forefront as a very useful business correspondence tool. The problem is EMail is also used even more so for social interaction and keeping a connection to one’s “homies.” This encourages the overlap of overly informal communication in a business arena. I’ve included links on this subject at the end of this article. I’ve included a few problems I’ve encountered with email correspondence in a business environment. Keep in mind, I deal with individuals on a business level as colleagues, authors I host and hosts with whom I have a scheduled post on their blogs, along with other interaction mediums.
1. Too many disparate topics in one email: When the convo (conversation) within an email is casual and has gotten off topic, the potential for critical info to be lost within that message is increased. Keep emails on topic. Enumerate or “bullet” each item of info for which you need a response or information. If the “critical” info isn’t related in any way to the subject line of the message, start a new email. On more than one occasion, I’ve overlooked information which was schlepped into a discussion of what my plans were for the weekend. Ideally, the social content should have been covered in a different email message.
2. The subject line doesn’t replace the body of the message: Consider the subject line to be the equivalent of the filing tab on a file folder. A file marked “red ballons” would most likely not include information about “purple elephants with pink spots.” That would be a tab on another file. However, if the topic were “party favors,” then you might find info for both topics in the same file. If the content covers multiple topics, then the subject line should indicate that, e.g., “Several Pressing Questions,” or “Clarification Needed on These Items.” The body of the message provides the details of the subject under discussion.
3. Replying to email from a cell phone: Cell phones have evolved tremendously since the twenty-five-pound units from days of old. Who would have thunk, back then, that not only would the cell phone be a mobile convenience for getting calls while away from home, but one would be able to keep a calendar, entertain correspondence, or play games thereon?
Using the cell phone, however, to reply to email is not an excuse to use poor form, bad grammar and punctuation, or omit replying to all elements of an email you’ve received. What one does for personal email is up to the individual, however, the focus here is business correspondence.
I used to use a Blackberry phone. For me, it was no issue to thumb tap a rather lengthy email response (or text message), however, it dawned on me that many people would prefer to not have to enter a great deal of information from their cell phones. When I’m dealing with a particularly long message that requires an equally involved reply, I simply reply that I’ll get back to this later from my computer. For me, email access from my cell helps me make mental “tick marks” as to correspondence which requires my attention from my computer. If you’re not able to adequately and efficiently manage email from a cell phone, it ‘s to your advantage to limit responses from your cell phone and wait until the next opportunity you can reply from a tablet or computer.
4. Proofread: ‘Nuff said? No, not really. Proofread with an eye to having replied to all info requested. Proofread with an eye to grammar, punctuation, spelling and format. Proofread for tone. ‘Nuff said.
Why tone? With email, the presence of body language and facial expressions isn’t there. I personally am rather reticent in my speech mannerisms. This comes across as rude to many people (though it’s not intended as such) with whom I interact. Imagine how that same delivery style is received in email. So, I try to litter (deluge magnitude) my emails with please’s, thank-you’s, compliments and positive comments. I stay away from “sweetie,” “dear,” “sweet heart,” “bro,” “dude,” and other diminutives because they can come across as demeaning or unprofessional and are offensive or annoying to many people [though it’s understood it’s not intended as such]. I save those terms of endearment for very close friends, relatives and significant others or casual communication.
5. I already sent you that ages ago: I can sometimes come across as impatient. Sometimes, I forget we are all human and make errors. Because, of course, I’m perfect and never do. *wink wink* I’ve tried to be sure when dealing with email messages to not use, “I sent that ages ago,” “I know I sent that, didn’t you get it,” and other more obvious verbal displays of irritation. I know of one email provider that has regular problems with the delivery of emails sent by its users. I’m sure there are others out there with the same or similar problems. EMail performance isn’t absolute. I have sent emails (I know I clicked ‘send’, not ‘save’) only to find the email still in my draft folder later on. What I try to remember to do now, is send the info again when I believe the content wasn’t received by the recipient and GENTLY mention it was sent previously. I try to capture the date, time, etc in the copy / paste.
6. Know your email client: Have you ever replied to an email that was sent to someone else, only because you were bcc’d on that message? If your email arrives and your email address isn’t included in the to-line, then it’s either a bcc or a cc. Refer to this excellent articles for clarification of those abbreviations: Composing Professional Emails. Usually a cc serves as a notification to the person addressed therein, and, when they select “reply to all” all cc’s are included with the primary recipient. BCC allows one the option to reply to the sender solely and noone else is the wiser that you were included in the original message. A bcc is used primarily to keep someone in the loop who isn’t critical to the ongoing convo. It has a few more Machiavellian applications as well. Be sure you know how to tell what was done with the message you received. Was it sent to you or was it forwarded to you? But, then, there’s the aviso that all email clients have similarities and differences. I have a preference for GMail having once been a dissenter. I’ve actually canx other email accts only to forward that email to a GMail account.
7. But did it really send: I usually check the sent folder after sending email to be sure the tags are selected and that the correct level of priority is selected. Sometimes I omit this step only to find I should have done something differently. Also, before I advise someone I sent them a message “already”, I check the out (sent) box to be sure I can indeed locate the very message I said I sent. For all the convenience EMail and by extension texting allows, it doesn’t alleviate the need to follow up as one would if you had mailed a letter the old fashioned way.
8. Politesse: One thing electronic correspondence does that wasn’t possible years ago, is permit the efficient (more so anyway) management of communication when one is on the go. Nowadays, everyone is on the go. That accounts for why no matter where you turn, people on street corners, drivers in their cars, employees on the job, police officers in their unit vehicles, etc, are often seen with their cell phones between their faces and the arena on which they should be focused. Anyway, that aside. For business purposes, it’s important to go overboard (within reason) by including polite elements and courtesies in your convos. Of course, no one would ever accuse me of falling short in this area. Yeah, right!
I hope the forgoing doesn’t sound as though I don’t infringe on the very guidelines I provided. How do you think I came up with them? Some things I’m better at than others, but I’m always trying to improve. sometimes I’m just plain ole lazy and break the rules intentionally. I’ve worked for multi-national companies for which email is a standard means of business communication and seen these very caveats transgressed in interoffice messages.
Email: A Great Place for a One-Track Mind
Complimentary Closes That Aren’t
Business Writing: EMail
Ten Tips on How to Write a Professional Email
How to Write a Business Email
Composing Professional Emails
Etiquette Rules for Writing Business Emails
Email Writing Tips
In work as Grinelda Markowitz:
The Training (The Kalaydan Chronicles: Book II)
Johnny B. Goode
Mother’s Milk [working title]
A Ghostly Tale, or Two
Ailbhe and Ciarra
I Thought You Were Dead [working title]
From left to right: Arrinay, Gayadnae, Bezhyanya and Grayt.
From the Kalaydan Chronicles: Book I ~ The Moon-kissed Chi
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thanks For Visiting ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you’d like to be a guest author for this newsletter, please email me (email@example.com) letting me know which of two months Aug 2, Sept 6, Oct 4 and Nov 1 would work for you. I’ll give you the first of the two which is available. I have slots for tour stops, interviews, blog posts, character interviews and new releases. Let me know which you prefer.