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Whistle Britches

Writers and where they do their best creative work. A new book on Geoffrey Chaucer describes the dark, cramped, smelly room where he wrote his early work. Which raises the question: What kind of space do you need to produce your best writing? Also...

Sick Abed on Two Chairs

“Sick abed on two chairs” is an idiom that can describe being sick but working anyway. It can also refer to the idea of being sick and going between two chairs: the dinner table chair, and the porcelain chair in the bathroom. This is...

Writerly Insults

Sure, it’s scary to send your writing to a literary agent. But pity the poor agent who must wade through hundreds of terrible query letters a week! One of them shares excerpts from those hilariously bad query letters on a blog called SlushPile...

Buckle Down

It’s time for book recommendations! Martha’s enjoying an armchair tour of important places in the history of our language, and Grant recommends relaxing with books that make great reading for both children and adults. Plus, are you the...

Ass Over Teakettle

Before you turn up your nose at the expression “ass over teakettle,” know that our first evidence for this phrase is in William Carlos Williams’ story “White Mule.” A great idiom from a great writer. Other topsy-turvy...

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