I Am A Commaunist

There, I’ve said it.

I think I’ve always been a Commaunist, deep in my heart, but now, as I work on this novel, it’s something I can’t hide anymore.

See, the problem is, I was an actor and a singer long before I decided I needed to write. I studied music theater and vocal performance at Kutztown University, and I acted and sang in concerts and theater companies all around eastern Pennsylvania. So, when I decided to write, I started writing like an actor and a singer. I started writing lines as I heard them being spoken. And to show where I heard the pauses in a spoken line, I would place a comma.

This has lead to me using perhaps double the commas of other writers, and I first discovered this while helping my mother-in-law publish her first book, Outrageous Grace. While we were going through the editing process we hired my dear friend Eric Johnsen to proof read the manuscript. When he handed it back a few days later, he pointed out that in a few of the chapters, “somebody was comma-crazy”. Imagine my surprise when I realized they were all the chapters that I had written material for!

But the truth hadn’t really hit me yet. That didn’t happen until a couple of months ago. I was writing a line about a mercenary leader and his band, and this is the sentence I produced.

His men, however, were fair game, and he was sure they would be much poorer, one way or another, by the end of the night.

Holy Toledo! I read this line several times to make sure I was seeing right. If there were any more commas, I might as well just revert to slashes like song lyrics use. They wouldn’t be any more distracting.

And that, dear friends, is when I realized I was a Commaunist.

I’m going to a support group now, and I’m hoping that the anit-Commaunist seminar I’ll be attending soon will help. But I fear, deep in my heart, that I will always be one, will always be weak. Yes, dear reader, I, indeed, use far, far too many comma’s.

But perhaps you didn’t notice….



2013. It’s been a long year.

Yeah, I know we’re only 15 days into it, but so far I have been really sick, my wife has been really sick, and my daughter has been battling an illness as well. So 15 days into this new year I’ve done almost no writing, and I haven’t been to the gym once.

However, I’m finally getting  back into the rhythm. It’s nine in the morning, and I’m finally getting some writing done. It feels good.

It’s a funny thing, health. When you’re not feeling good, it’s really hard to motivate yourself. Especially when you want to sleep 18 hours a day. If any of you struggle with illness, temporary or more long term, you have my sympathy. And you have my sincere hope. Hope that you can get back on your feet. Hope that you can feel better about yourself, and your day. Hope that you can find it within yourself to express the beauty that only you possess.

I am often motivated by the song “Unwritten” by Natasha Beddingfield. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7k0a5hYnSI

Not only is it uplifing, but it sounds like she singing to writers across the world;

No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten


So, even though my novel is about half done, today is where my book begins – again – and I hope your book starts today as well. Or your poem. Or your song. Or your rap. Or…

God Bless!