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November 19, 2020

Gerunds?

By Maryanna Gabriel


 "Substitute damn when you are tempted to write very. 
Your editor will remove it and the 
writing will be just where it should be."
- Mark Twain 


I am labouring over a number of edits, to put it mildly, with manuscript in process, for the Masters, etc.  I thought gerunds were shy creatures who lived in bushes, or perhaps a part of a piano that might need recalibration with little hammers that tapped them obediently into place.

Recently I was given this comment in reply to an assignment I handed in. 

"When we join words with ‘and’ the sentence runs more smoothly, if they’re in the same form. The gerund following the comma helps make that shift from the main action of the sentence to the afterthought. I think of it as a little slide – the energy in the verb sliding down with the “ing” ending."

This takes one right to heart of inspiration and creative genesis. Really. Doesn't it? I am a'quiver now, a veritable Shakespearess in the making - a whole new twist in the road. Who knew such dangers lay lurking? Now I have to watch for "ings" lounging beyond every round in the bend. Damn lurkers.

My life has taken a spiral that only a glass of wine and a quiet night by the fire can remedy. I cannot for the life of me, after a paragraph like that, remember what it was I was trying to say. 


Gerunds are lurking, er, or rather, what I mean to say, gerunds lurked. 


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