Writers’ Corner update 30/11/2016

Interesting articles on writing, filming, and health

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 30/11/2016!

This week there is an interesting article on 10 Screenwriting Lessons We Can Take From… ANGEL HEART (1987). I must admit I have never seen the movie, but the article has some interesting points that can be taken into writing a novel. Another quirky article states that Cooking and Baking Could Help You Feel Better. Could be a way for one of your novel characters to deal with stress. Unfortunately the article won’t load in my magazine, perhaps it does for you. If not, you can find it here. Just click the search button and type ‘Feeling Down,’ it should come up with a cupcake 🙂 .

In Focus on Filming I have, of course, the same screenwriting lessons from Angel Heart, but also a very interesting article on the weird and sometimes cruel directors. I sure don’t envy those actors and actresses! I added an article with advice and tips for the novice screenwriter. Just in case you’ve always wanted to write a screenplay, but didn’t know how.

According to an article in Health Herald, we could be looking at a different life form soon! Scientist have, for the first time, made living cells incorporate silicon. Sci-Fi stuff! And before you go to bed, make sure you’re not angry about something. You may regret this later…



I apologize for the look of my page at the moment. It is ‘under construction.’ I have upgraded my account and thought to have full editing options now. Unfortunately I’m still stuck with a limited amount of options (albeit slightly more). So bare with me, while I find my ‘look.’

Jacky D.

I won’t be silent!

My penny’s worth…

I just read a post on Facebook where a white male mentions that Variety (a show-business magazine) ‘smugly’ announces that Moana is a hit because it’s feminist and progressive. He ends his post with the words “Oh dear, I guess that settles it. No more whites or males in the movies…”

I don’t know about you, but it raised the hairs in my neck. 55% Of the world population is female. Why females aren’t dominating the movie industry is still a mystery (well, actually it isn’t as it’s a white male run business) and even if females did manage to have the most leading roles it would take us a while to get even.

The post got even worse when I read that a fellow white male replied that “things are getting ridiculous. As in even Game of Thrones features fierce female heroines one of whom is not satisfied by obedient dragons but now has a midget and eunuch as her commandants. Ha ha give us a break.”

Really? So people of small statue and those who have been mutilated as a child by cruel people can’t command? As far as I know nothing happened to their brains making them incapable of rational thought, but that may be because I have a medical background. Hang on, no wait… all people who use their brain could figure this one out!

Dr Seus.jpg

Some part of me says it’s no use to try and educate people with such small minds, but I couldn’t stay silent. To stay silent would be the same as being guilty and I refuse to be guilty to such ignorant stupidity. I tried to find out what this person was really trying to convey, but his word choice was getting beyond what I could accept as a normal conversation. When I said I wouldn’t waste any more words to such an ignorant, discriminating, misogynist, and small-minded person, he thought it was fine praise. I rest my case.

The person quoting the original text replied saying he found it stupid and offensive to address everything in terms of race and sex and that this was what Obama had done to the country. I replied that Obama is unfortunately the first president that made people aware that there is a huge inequality in the US that needs to be addressed. It is sad that after such a long existence of humankind there is still the need for this and people still don’t see another human being for what they are; another human being. It may be boring and tedious for a white male, but there is a large group of other people out there, discriminated on a daily basis, that rejoice the fact that somebody speaks up for them. It is very hard for them to live an equal existence with people like *name of ignorant person* around who believe they are somehow ‘better’ because of their size, skin colour, who they love, and what religion the practise. That I find stupid and offensive.

When, oh when, is the world going to be an equal place, where people are valued for their being, their thoughts, their contribution to society? Instead of people with teeny weeny tiny (male white) brains ridiculing, discriminating, and oppressing others. I can only guess they’re trying to compensate for something…

Lessons Learned #36

That Crucial Comma – Part 3

This is the last time I’ll be rambling on about commas! I hope I have made things a bit clearer about the comma and you won’t have a problem conveying what you want properly in a sentence now 🙂 .

That Crucial Comma – Part 3

Use a comma near the end of a sentence to separate contrasted coordinate elements or to indicate a distinct pause or shift / to offset negation in a sentence

 Example: I saw a dog, not a bird, when I went walking.

In this case, you still need the comma if the negation occurs at the end of the sentence.

Example: I saw a bird, not a dog.

Use a comma to separate a statement from a question.

Example: I can leave, can’t I?

Use a comma to separate contrasting parts of a sentence.

Example: That is my stuff, not yours.

Also use commas when any distinct shift occurs in the sentence or thought process.

Example: The cloud looked like an animal, perhaps a puppy.

Use commas to set off expressions that interrupt the sentence flow (nevertheless, after all, by the way, on the other hand, however, etc.).

Example: I am, by the way, not sure about this.

Use commas to set off all geographical names, items in dates (except the month and day), addresses (except the street number and name)

Example: March 15, 2013, was a scary day.

Even if you add a weekday, keep the comma after ‘2013.’

Example: Friday, March 15, 2013, was a scary day.

Example: Friday, March 15, was a scary day.

You don’t need to add a comma when the sentence mentions only the month and year.

Example: March 2013 was a scary month.

Example: I work at 666 Park Ave. South, New York, N.Y. 60606.

Example: Cleveland, Ohio, is a wonderful city.

Use a comma to shift between the main discourse and a quotation

If attribution comes before the quote, place the comma outside the quotations marks.

Example: The walker said, “I saw a dog.”

If attribution comes after the quote, put the comma inside the quotation marks.

Example: “I saw a dog,” said the walker.

If the attribution is within the quote, put the first comma within the first quotation marks and the second comma immediately after the attribution, outside of the second quotation marks.

“Why,” I asked, “won’t you tell me?”

If a quotation functions as a subject or object in a sentence, it might not need a comma.

Example: Is ‘I don’t mind’ all you can say to me?

If a quoted question ends in midsentence, the question mark replaces a comma.

Example: “Will you still be my friend?” she asked.

Use commas wherever necessary to prevent possible confusion or misreading

Example: I called you my darling.

Example: I called you, my darling.

Use a comma after certain words that introduce a sentence, such as well, yes, why, hello, hey, etc.

Example: Why, I can’t believe you!

Example: No, you can’t have a raise.

Use a comma before and after certain introductory words or terms, such as namely, that is, i.e., e.g., and for instance, when they are followed by a series of items.

Example: You may be required to bring many items, e.g., sleeping bag, tent, and a mat.

A comma should precede the term etc. Many authorities also recommend a comma after etc. when it is placed midsentence.

Example: Sleeping bag, tent, a mat, etc., are required.

Use a comma to set off the name, nickname, term of endearment, or title of a person directly addressed

Example: My boss often asks, “Jody, is that article up yet?”

Example: Will you, Aisha, do that assignment for me?

Example: Yes, old friend, I will.

Example: Good day, Captain.

Traditionally, if a person’s name is followed by Sr. or Jr., a comma follows the last name.

Example:  Martin Luther King, Jr.

This comma is no longer considered mandatory. However, if a comma does precede Sr. or Jr., another comma must follow the entire name when it appears midsentence.

Correct: Al Capone Sr. is here.

Correct: Al Capone, Sr., is here.

Incorrect: Al Capone, Sr. is here.

Similarly, use commas to enclose degrees or titles used with names.

Example: Al Mooney, M.D., is here.

Use commas before every sequence of three numbers when writing a number larger than 999

(Two exceptions are writing years and house numbers)

Example: 10,000 or 1,304,687.

Have a Wonderful Writing Weekend!




Writers’ Corner update 24/11/2016

Great news this week!

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 24/11/2016!

Interesting articles this week on Borderline Personality Disorder and how to handle Passive-Aggressive people. It’s scary how I always think they’re talking about me…

This week there was a definite favourite in my Focus on Filming magazine. It’s a Q&A article with filmmaker Benjamin Moody on the film ‘Last Girl Standing,’ a horror movie.

And in Health Herald there’s an interesting article on how genetically-edited blood can heal people.

Biggest news, of course, it that my book exists in print now! And I like it!


My Book Arrived!

My first ever book arrived today!


I’m so happy to announce that my proof book is finally a reality! It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, (and a lot of help from my friends!), but I wouldn’t have done it any other way 🙂 .

There are still some issues to sort out, but they are minor, nitty-gritty stuff. The important thing is that it exists and the order for the first batch to sell at the Winterland book fair has been placed. Now I’ll keep my fingers crossed the order arrives in time!

I will be adding the print version to Amazon soon, so those of you who prefer to hold a real book check it out in a few days.

Prepare to Die!

The start of my acting career 🙂

If anybody wants to see me in filming action, just click on the link and wait a minute until the movie is downloaded. It’s only 2 seconds, but worth it 🙂 .

Jacky acting

Movie Review: Ip Man

Movie review of a great martial arts film

– Spoiler Alert –

Score: 9/10

Ip Man (2008) is the (true) story about Yip Man, a grandmaster of the martial art Wing Chun (and trainer of Bruce Lee). The town where he lives, Foshan, is famous for the martial arts of the region. There are many martial arts schools there, but Ip Man (played by Donnie Yen) is not a teacher and keeps to himself. He never accepts students to train. Now and again he spars with people, always defeating them in a seemingly easy manner.

When the Japanese invade China during the Second World War, Ip’s family is displaced from their home, which becomes the Japanese headquarters. Ip has to go to work in the coal mine. The local Japanese general Miura (played by Hiroyuki Ikeuchi) wants his soldiers to learn to fight the Chinese way and offers a bag of rice to anyone who fights his soldiers. Ip refuses to fight initially, but when he sees one of his countrymen executed after a match and learns one of his friends was killed during a fight, he demands to fight ten Japanese soldiers in one match, who he brutally defeats. General Miura becomes obsessed with Ip and the movie ends in a match between the two.


The movie shows the great restraint of the martial arts master. His actions are a delight to watch, easy to follow, and with deadly accuracy and speed. When doing martial arts yourself, this is certainly a movie to learn from.

The story starts with a humorous tone, but quickly gets more serious when the Japanese invasion arrives. There is no ill shown towards the Japanese as invaders in the movie (apart from them taking everything, as invaders do) and the deaths in the fights are due to stupidity of a Chinese fighter and malice of a single Japanese soldier. The torture of a mill owner, on orders of general Miura to get Ip to show up, is only done in the karate way. There is a scene where sexual harassment is implied, but none is shown.

What I liked about the movie is that it shows how a war can change people’s fate, how resilient people can be, and that sportsmanship has no boundaries.

All in all a very good movie to watch, even if you’re not into fighting movies. I would suggest kids need to be 14-yo and up to watch it.

I give it a score of 9/10.

Lessons Learned #35

That Crucial Comma – Part 2

So sorry, everyone. I got caught up in filming on Saturday and totally forgot to post my Lessons Learned #35! But here it is 🙂

That Crucial Comma – Part 2

Do not use commas to set off essential elements of the sentence, such as clauses beginning with that (relative clauses)

That clauses after nouns are always essential. That clauses following a verb expressing mental action are always essential.

Example: “The dog that attacked me scared me.”

Use a pair of commas in the middle of a sentence to set off appositives; clauses, phrases, and words (who, that, which) that are not essential to the meaning of the sentence

Use one comma before to indicate the beginning of the pause and one at the end to indicate the end of the pause.

Example: I saw a finch, a kind of bird.

‘A kind of bird’ is the appositive, which gives more information about ‘a finch.’

Incorrect: Ben who is my brother called me.

Correct: Ben, who is my brother, called me.

Following are two instances of the need for an appositive comma with one or more nouns.

Incorrect: The three shopping items, a bottle of wine, a French  bread stick, and some French cheese were in my bag.

Correct: The three shopping items, a bottle of wine, a French  bread stick, and some French cheese, were in my bag.

Example: Frances, who has a limp, was in a car accident.

If we already know which Frances is meant, the description is not essential and hence between commas.

Example: The boy who has a limp was in a car accident.

We do not know which boy is meant without further description; therefore, no commas are used.

This leads to a persistent problem. Look at the following sentence:

Example: My sister Jane is here.

Now, see how adding two commas changes that sentence’s meaning:

Example: My sister, Jane, is here.

Careful writers and readers understand that the first sentence means I have more than one sister. The commas in the second sentence mean that Jane is my only sister.

Why? In the first sentence, Jane is essential information: it identifies which of my two (or more) sisters I’m speaking of. This is why no commas enclose Jane.

In the second sentence, Jane is nonessential information—whom else but Jane could I mean?—hence the commas.

Comma misuse is nothing to take lightly. It can lead to a train wreck like this:

Example: Mark Twain’s book, Tom Sawyer, is a delight.

Because of the commas, that sentence states that Twain wrote only one book. In fact, he wrote more than two dozen of them.

If something or someone is sufficiently identified, the description that follows is considered nonessential and should be surrounded by commas.

Incorrect: My best friend Joe arrived.

Correct: My best friend, Joe, arrived.

If the appositive occurs in the middle of the sentence, both sides of the phrase need a comma. The closing comma is called an appositive comma. Many writers forget to add this important comma.

Example: A magpie, the kind of bird I saw when I went walking, attacked me.

Use commas to separate three or more words, phrases, or clauses written in a series

Example: I saw a bird, a worm, and a fallen tree when I went walking.

Note: When the last comma in a series comes before and or or, it is known as the Oxford comma.

Use commas to separate two or more coordinate adjectives that describe the same noun

Be sure never to add an extra comma between the final adjective and the noun itself or to use commas with non-coordinate adjectives.

Example: I saw a big, mean dog when I went walking.

Only coordinate adjectives require a comma between them. Two adjectives are coordinate if you can answer yes to both of these questions:

1. Does the sentence still make sense if you reverse the order of the words?

2. Does the sentence still make sense if you insert “and” between the words?

Since ‘I saw a mean, big dog’ and ‘I saw a big and mean dog’ both sound fine, you need the comma.

Sentences with non-coordinate adjectives, however, don’t require a comma.

Example: I eat  the salty chicken soup.

‘Salty’ describes ‘chicken soup’ as a whole phrase. This often occurs with adjunct nouns, a phrase where a noun acts as an adjective describing another noun — like ‘dance club’ or ‘summer sun.’

Part 3 about commas coming up this Friday 🙂

Have a Wonderful Writing Week!