Tag Archives: book

The Ramblings of D.A. Adams

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I’ve got a new release out, The Ramblings of D.A. Adams. Some of you will recognize that as the former name of my blog. This release is a collection of some of my favorite entries over the years, along with a few articles I’ve put together, and is available exclusively in ebook format. Please, go grab a copy so I can afford to get some work done to my awful teeth…

Pause, Stop, or Half-Stop

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For several years now, I’ve seen multiple authors who compose writing “advice” pieces share something that disturbs me. The first time I saw it, which was about fifteen years ago, I shrugged it off as the musings of an incompetent hack, but now, as I’ve seen it several times in several places, I’m concerned that it’s indicative of a deeper erosion in the fundamentals of our language. This advice has to do with the use of the semicolon. Actually, to be more accurate, the writers advise not to use it, ever, because it’s a meaningless symbol. The writer and teacher in me bristle at the notion that a piece of punctuation is useless just because they themselves don’t know how to use it.

I don’t want to spend this whole entry on the proper uses of the semicolon because that would be pretty boring, but I feel like a basic explanation is necessary. The period represents a full stop. I’ve ended this thought and am moving on to another one. The comma represents a pause during the course of a thought, perhaps to distinguish between a group of three or more, to set off an appositive, or to illustrate a transitional clause. The semicolon is used when the writer doesn’t quite want a full stop; the two thoughts are somehow connected. It can also be used to separate a complex series such as when the writer needs to describe a place and a character; show deep, intricate emotions; or illustrate multiple actions occurring simultaneously. These uses of the semicolon are relatively simple but are important for conveying subtlety or precision of thought.

It baffles me that anyone would advise not using a tool in the chest, especially one that can offer so much flexibility in the expression of thought. I can’t imagine a master carpenter telling an apprentice not to learn how to use a reciprocating saw because they already know how to use a skill saw. Both tools are important for achieving different kinds of cuts, and knowing how to use each one allows the carpenter to do more on the job site. The semicolon is just a punctuation tool and a relatively simple one at that, so to me, the lack of understanding of how to use it points to a larger issue in our culture: a decline in subtlety of thought and nuance.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it. It could just be that the particular people who’ve offered this advice are crappy writers with delusions of grandeur. I don’t know. What I do know is that the semicolon isn’t that difficult a piece of punctuation to master, so to any young writers who stumble across this entry, please, learn how to use the tools of your trade, as many of them as you can. Otherwise, you’re just a jackleg carpenter who can’t properly build a house.

Book Five Underway

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Book five, the final installment of The Brotherhood of Dwarves series, has begun. My current goal is to complete the manuscript by the end of summer and release it near Thanksgiving. Please, stay tuned as I’ll try to post regular updates on here regarding the status of the manuscript. Some of you have been waiting for nine years for the culmination of this story, and hopefully, you’ll find the resolution satisfactory. Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement over the years. I’m blessed and grateful to have you behind me as I close out this series.

While you wait, if you haven’t done so already, please take a minute to leave reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads. Book one is only 11 reviews away from hitting 100 on Amazon, and the others still need more reviews, as well. As always, please leave honest critiques that you think will help other readers make an informed decision whether or not my series is for them. I can’t stress enough just how helpful customer reviews can be for books and authors, so please, when you have the time, take a moment and leave your feedback.

One last note, I’m down to two and a half weeks in my education career, so be on the lookout for a couple of posts as I close that chapter of my life and move forward into the next. Again, thank you all for your support. I’m blessed beyond what I deserve.