Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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July 23

What should I write?

I have two book-length works I've been working on sort of equally over the past couple of months, and I feel like I need to commit to one of them fully and table the other one, so I can just go ahead and finish something. [more inside]
posted by staggering termagant at 5:07 PM - 11 answers

July 22

Help me find litfic authors who use settings from all over the world!

Bookfilter! I'm looking to find authors with that internationalist flair. [more inside]
posted by zeusianfog at 9:44 PM - 8 answers

July 21

What does the Braille on this restroom sign say?

A friend recently saw this bathroom sign in Utah; we agree that the imagery and wording for the sighted are pretty great. But what does the Braille say? Looks like the letters are ??WOME -- but transliterating doesn't really help me understand the text. I couldn't find anything similar on these ADA bathroom signs. Help?
posted by zebra at 7:07 PM - 5 answers

Give me feedback on my OKC profile!

I've decided to commit more fully to online dating, and since I am I might as well do a good job of it. Take a look, what can I improve? Link is currently my "homepage" on my mefi profile. [more inside]
posted by coolname at 6:58 PM - 16 answers

July 19

Which edition of Proust to read: typography & design edition

I have decided to read Proust, and the edition I got from the library was unreadable for book design reasons. Which print edition is most readable, in your opinion? [more inside]
posted by not that girl at 4:44 PM - 17 answers

Fiction set in Quebec City?

I am planning a vacation to Quebec City and on my drive to the area I would like to listen to some fiction set in the area. Any audio book recommendations? [more inside]
posted by ASlackerPestersMums at 12:56 PM - 4 answers

Quotes about being an outsider?

What are some great quotes, poems, or literary excerpts about being an outsider, a constant traveler, or a countryless foreigner?
posted by omar.a at 8:58 AM - 22 answers

July 17

What does this sentence imply?

Have you ever read ”The third man "by Green? Here is a sentence. "One mix one's drinks." Like, "He told me vaguely that he had been mixing his drinks." Or " If you stayed around in a hotel- lounge, sooner or later incidents occurred; one mixed one's drinks." Or, ...he firmly explained to me, when I accused him of once again mixing his drinks." Well, what hidden meaning does it have and is it common expression for native speakers to imply .. something?
posted by mizukko at 11:55 PM - 12 answers

July 16

Books About cooking, baking & restaurants - suitable for preteens

I'm looking for books similar to Delancey, Molly Wizenberg's memoir about starting a pizza restaurant with her husband. In other words, stories about food, cooking, baking, and restaurants that are written for adults but suitable for preteens. [more inside]
posted by alicat at 1:38 PM - 16 answers

Should I keep my old journals?

I'm considering throwing away several journals from 15-20 years ago. Have you been faced with this choice? If you tossed yours, did you ever regret it? If you kept yours, have you found some value from them? [more inside]
posted by woot at 11:05 AM - 46 answers

How did you sleep last night?

To this question I typically respond "well". My girlfriend says grammatically it should be "good" if I am not also including "I slept..." preceding. We both agree that "I slept well," is grammatically correct, but who is correct when the verb is omitted?
posted by masters2010 at 7:47 AM - 26 answers

July 15

Help me find some good Chinese rap?

I know it is out there, I'm just not sure where to look... I tend to like more melodic or verbally interesting stuff. But I'm keeping an open mind, as I don't really know what is out there. Anyone have any good suggestions, or at least good places to look? I'm a Chinese language student at the intermediate level (meaning I'm ok, but can't read pages and pages of Chinese websites)
posted by wooh at 6:09 AM - 4 answers

July 14

Her name is on the tip of my tongue

A few years ago at the bookstore, I came across one by a woman from New York City. I believe it is a memoir. The author is featured on the cover lounging on a couch wearing a white bodysuit. See more details inside. [more inside]
posted by Fukiyama at 5:32 PM - 4 answers

July 13

What are today's topical jokes?

I remember when I was younger—probably late elementary through middle school but potentially a broader range—I used to hear and pass along tons of topical jokes. Jokes about Michael Jackson, Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, Bob Dole, Jose Canseco and other athletes, Madonna, Kurt Cobain, and on and on. Whether it's because I'm now in the wrong age demographic or they're just not as much of a thing anymore (that's a whole other question), I just don't hear them now. Assuming they're out there, what have you got for me??? [more inside]
posted by ORthey at 11:17 AM - 17 answers

July 12

ID short story about a group of kids who came back from a fantasy world?

I am trying to locate a short story I read sometime in the last few (1-3) years. I read it online, and it was about a group of kids, now older (20s?), set after they had done the trope thing of going into the woods, winding up in a fantasy world, saving the world, and then coming back to ours a short time later our-time, but months later in their lives. [more inside]
posted by fings at 12:16 PM - 4 answers

July 11

I'm glad you liked my thing but you were wrong I made it better okay

So I wrote a thing, submitted it a bunch, revised it substantially, and got the first edition accepted. My question is there any non-asshole way I can ask them to look at the revised piece? [more inside]
posted by angrycat at 4:12 PM - 7 answers

July 10

Anthology of Post-1975 Poetry

My father studied contemporary poetry in college, and has expressed regret that today he can't name a poem that's less than 40 years old. I want to surprise him with a gift - is there a single-volume anthology, or coursebook of poetry covering the past few decades that he might enjoy? If 'Intro To Post-1975 Poetry' is too impossibly broad, a survey of Canadian poets in specific would also appeal to him.
posted by Simon! at 8:36 PM - 5 answers

Which stories, novels, or non-fiction always jump-start your writing?

Seeking examples or lists of writing that have inspired writers to write. Not "I read Orlando and wanted to be a writer," but novels, stories, or non-fiction that, when read, inspire one immediately to write, either on a one-time or a repeated basis. I write regularly; I'd like to have a shelf by my desk that I dip into more or less randomly before writing to prime the pump. While I love many books or stories, I rarely remember the ones that make me want to write.
posted by cupcakeninja at 3:53 AM - 10 answers

July 7

How to sign off a card to an elder in French

I'm writing a birthday card to my grandmother in French (this is in Canada). In English I would just sign it "Love, sea change", but I'm not sure what the appropriate sign-off is in French--something that's loving and not too formal/distant, but also respectful enough for a 90 year old woman. [more inside]
posted by sea change at 2:50 PM - 6 answers

July 4

If you could time travel to see a band in 1984, what band would you see?

Hey Me-fites, I'm dipping my toes into the pool of time travel novels. My main character is going back to 1984--because I want to write about 1984 Vancouver, pre Expo, pre Olympics, when it was a hick town on the far edge of the world. When my characters back in time, he's going to check out some bands, preferably pre-famous, you know, $5 cover, one of three acts, tiny clubs, etc. So, oh wise ones, what band should he find himself seeing?
posted by drinkmaildave at 6:58 PM - 40 answers

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