Hello there. I'm Sandra, or Sandy, or even SandySandy, the double name in order, it seems, when shaking one's head while mystified. I am a writer for all seasons and purposes, passionate about the craft itself as well as about grammar, punctuation and style. (The Oxford comma? That's style, not grammar; I'll use it or lose it as you wish, and I'll do so with consistency.)
My love affair with words, no doubt, began inside the home of my dear late grandmother, who created the sleepover tradition of gathering the kiddos before bedtime for story time, or, more accurate, storytelling time. One by one, we wove for one another the grandest tales, about our days, our lives or about the days of our lives. And we listened to her tell the grandest stories as well, about days gone by. (Ask me about the ice skates in the outhouse, the store-awning snow that all came down on a little girl's head and ruined her pretty dress, or the infamous bank "tellers' fund." There WAS no such fund, but, oh, you should HEAR that story!)
In elementary school, my love for story joined a love -- at first coerced, then embraced -- for the rules of decorum, or proper grammar, when stringing together sentences. My early education was under the tutelage of the Religious Sisters of Mercy, and let it be known that we diagrammed sentences when diagramming was no longer even cool. I believe I'm a better writer for having diagrammed those sentences.
I also can define indirect object and other grammatical terms on command. "Sister, an indirect object is to whom or for whom something is said, done or given." I often felt compelled to change "Sister" to "Your Honor," but that would have landed me in the coat-room doghouse for sure.
The love of language never wavered, in high school (Bishop Hoban in Wilkes-Barre), where two Mr. Chips-type English-teacher dynamos named Mr. Michael Booth and Mr. John Holmes kept my fire burning. In college, at the University of Scranton, Dr. John Clarke then became my very own version of Morrie Schwartz, teaching me like no other how to turn a love for words into a professional career and doing so with unbounded grace and humor. Most of my career has been spent in newspaper journalism, but now I've entered the wonderful world of nonprofits, where writing and storytelling still reign. I use techniques called for in persuasive writing to convince funders and donors that our cause is worthy. (And, if you wish, I'll expound upon the differences between "convince" and "persuade" in formal writing.) I write grant proposals and case studies, annual-appeal materials, thank-you letters and please-help-us letters, a range of marketing and communications materials and as-pithy-as-possible social media posts, always designed to make a case while telling a small part of a larger story.
I am an editor in all my waking hours and sometimes, I believe, in my sleeping. I say this because, why yes, I do proofread in my sleep, thank you. Can't help myself. I was born this way.
I'm prepared to defend any change and explain the nuances of grammar behind it, but I'll not fight you to the death -- unless you want me to, in which case I'll gladly be a lawyer for language.
I most enjoy putting a slightly different touch on standard assignments and stating the case in perhaps a not-so-standard way. But if it's traditional you need, traditional you'll get. There is room in this big, lovely, crazy writing world for all of us.
Expertise Feature and news stories, news releases, campaign and appeal materials, persuasive pieces, biographies, case studies, personality profiles and so much more. If it needs writing, send it my way.
Skills Creative writing, copy editing, proofreading, content revision and editing, persuasive writing, grant proposals and more. Have done cover letters and resumes as well as creative obituaries. Firm believer in well-told stories of well-lived lives.
Location Forty Fort, PA