Well, I feel cheap and tawdry, because hot on the heels of Jodie's excellent Thesaurus post, here I come, talking about...the OWL.
Not just any Owl. Not the Great Horned Owl that roosts on my chimney flue, scaring the bejesus out of me every full moon with his hooting; not the Owl that hangs out with the Pussycat; and not the Linux platform that was named Owl; not even that cute little Owl hunting imaginary prey on Youtube (see below!).
No, writers, I am speaking of your next-best-friend, the Purdue OWL, surely one of the best uses of an Internet Server known to man (and woman).
Now, if you aren't familiar with the OWL, the link is right here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ . The OWL (Online Writing Lab) has everything from General Writing sections (Academic Writing, Mechanics, Grammar, Punctuation, etc.) to the absolutely screamingly geat Grammar and Punctuation areas.
For the beginning writer, there are articles on the Writing Process, ranging from Outlining to pre-writing to reverse outlining to PROOFREADING (yes, we all know this is my own personal crusade)--even stasis theory, harkening back to Aristotle and Hermogenes. For College students, there's even tips on creating your Thesis Statement. (Now...if they'd just add a section on writing a BLURB, many of my clients would be ecstatic!).
But for the average author, the OWL's big attraction will be, I think, those pesky grammar and punctuation issues that plague so many folks, ranging from verb tenses to pronouns to "Conquering the Comma," a perennial favorite (which features a slide show).
And on that note...I'm outta here! Please note--the OWL is supported with tax-deductible gifts, and although all of us are stretched thin, if you can--give to the OWL. It's worthwhile, it's worthy, and it's invaluable. Thanks!
Thanks, folks, and I'll see you next go-round!