Top 10 Comic Strips


Comic strips — not to be confused with superhero comics like D.C. or Marvel — aim to serve a single purpose: to add a little enjoyment to your life. That’s it. If you crack a smile — mission accomplished. What’s great about comic strips is the accessibility; they’ve always appeared in the newspaper, beckoning your attention once you’ve finished reading through the drudgery and turmoil of politics, crime, war and poverty. The colorful cartoon antics are like a shining beacon of light at the end of a bleak tunnel.

Today we pay tribute to the finest comic strips to ever grace newspapers. And because I enjoy ranking things, here’s a list of my top 10 favorite strips. Agree to disagree. Continue reading

Show, Don’t Tell – Or Should You?

tfinaleMy journalism professor used to always hammer this Ernest Hemingway quote into our heads, but it’s a quote that’s stuck to me throughout my years as an editor.

When it comes to writing – particularly when you’re creating a dramatic scene — showing the reader something is notably more powerful than telling about it.

The moment she picked up the phone and received the news, she felt utterly devastated and alone. Her mind was in disbelief, and her world was shattered.

The moment she picked up the phone and received the news, her complexion paled, and the blood flowing through her body cooled and seemed to dissipate from her veins. She wanted to throw the phone across the room, through the walls and out of her house, and yet her fingers wound tightly around the receiver, as if it were the only thing holding her steady. Continue reading

A Buffet of Words


By: Ruth de Jauregui

Readers eagerly await your words to help them complete a task or put together a project. No matter what topic, organizing your article like a buffet table makes it easy for readers to understand and follow your directions. Buffets are set up in a logical order: plates, salads, main dishes, condiments, veggies and, last but not least, the bread and butter. Your article should also follow a logical order: neatly organized so the reader can follow the words like they’d follow the line at a buffet. Continue reading

Five Quotes that Add Color to Posts and Conversations

quotesWhenever I find myself writing about material I find to be dry, one of the techniques I try to use is working in a quote. It’s also something fun to do when I’m stuck in a conversation that won’t end. I generally pick the quote in that situation and then try to steer the conversation toward a spot where I can spring it. It’s like a game where I’d win if I could move my self-absorbed conversation partner far enough to spring the quote. But the most use I see out of quotes would have to be when using social media. I find that they’re particularly useful when sharing any interesting items I run across. I’ve noticed that people who follow me tend to engage in posts with something clever attached. Using a quote saves me the trouble of coming up with that something.

 I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.

– Caesar Augustus

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6 Obscure Yet Hilarious Movie Quotes


Witty banter, shock value, comic relief … is there anything better than a well-executed movie quote? Not only does an excellent riff make the scene, it also poses tremendous staying power — even when the film is over. And while the actor may relish in the zinger that is a great line, let’s not forget the writer who conceptualized it in the first place (+1 for writers).

With so many great quotes to choose from, you might be asking yourself how I narrowed it down to six. Well, for one, I can recite these quotes in my sleep. Also, they hail from some of my all-time favorite movies. Continue reading

You’ve Got a Friend in Me


Edward Gorey and his ‘friends.’ | Photograph © 2004 Steve Marsel Studio Inc.

By: Teo Spengler

The writer travels deep into the private world of imagination to create, but not necessarily alone. Many poets and novelists relied on beloved animal friends for companionship — including tough guys like Ernest Hemingway and intellectuals like Virginia Woolf. Cuddly cats and faithful dogs may top the list, but that’s not all, folks. A writer’s best friend comes in many sizes and species. Continue reading

Become a Better Writer by Creating, Not Writing

Nick Adams StoriesI was a sophomore in college when one of my buddies handed me a copy of Ernest Hemingway’s Nick Adams Stories and told me to read “Big Two-Hearted River.” Nothing much happens in the story, which is about a young World War I veteran who returns to Michigan eager to hike into the wilderness to camp and fish. But as an avid fly fisherman, and someone who understood the soothing, regenerative power of nature, I was hooked. I wanted to connect with people the way Hemingway had connected with me, like he was sitting across a campfire, drinking whiskey and telling glorious lies. I changed my major to English Literature and decided I was going to be a writer.

After graduation, I was plugging along, still trying to be a writer while working the night shift at a newspaper in Maine, reporting on fires and town meetings. I’d finish work around 1 a.m., then go home and write until the sun came up. My work improved; I even published a couple of short stories. Thing is, I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. Just thinking about it felt like a struggle. I needed a break, but I still wanted to be creative. Continue reading

Featured Contributor: J.C. Lewis


School: The University of Bristol (UK)
Degree: BSc Politics
Approved Sections: Arts and Crafts, Food and Drink, Travel, Style, Home, Home Decor, Social Science.

michaelscottHold the phone — you have a 2010 DMS contributor of the year award? Do you have a lot of trophies at home?  No, I don’t have any trophies at home, so my DMS award is very lonely. I have a couple of medals from 5Ks I ran in last year, but it wasn’t for winning or anything close to it, they gave them to everyone. Continue reading

Set Your Writer Free

Getty Images

Sergey Nivens/iStock/Getty Images

I only used to write when an idea or a concept raced through my head —  I’d run to my computer (or my smartphone) in order to secure it, and then revisit my idea when inspiration hit me.

The idea of sitting down, with the clock ticking, and no inkling of what I want to say is scary—will anything come? What if there’s nothing but silence? Turns out, this scary act is somewhat magical. In writing what I don’t already know, I’ve discovered that images and words could unfold in new and unexpected ways. Continue reading

6 Everyday Words That Annoy Me


–> Fact:’s “The Best ‘New’ Words of the Last Hundred Years” caters to my inner word junkie and serves as inspiration for this blog post. If you haven’t already checked out the infographic, now’s the time!

–> Fact: Contrary to the aforementioned eHow article, there exist certain words/phrases out there that, when uttered in a particular vernacular, makes my blood boil — I’m sure I’m not the only one. Buzzfeed hit the nail on the head with their spot-on “13 Most Annoying Words And Phrases On The Internet,” which covers most (if not all) of my most hated words. Highlights from their article include …

  • Totes — “It’s totes cray up in the airport this morning.”
  • YOLO — “Keep calm because #YOLO
  • Amazeballs — “We’re literally amazeballs at sport.”

Continue reading