Category : Writing


My guest today is my good friend Jo Mele. Here’s what she says about herself:


Jo Mele, Executive Director, Emeritus College, world traveler, caregiver, mother, grandmother, published author of The Asperger Alphabet, Parents Magazine; Flowers, Fauna & Firearms, Our Trip to Bolivia, The Sun Newspaper; and author of many yet unpublished pieces.

She left out the part about being an inspiration to her students (and mine), and an all-around credit to her native New York.



It took me decades, to get over mentally diagramming, and correctly punctuating each sentence, before I put a word to paper. The result, I stopped writing.

In grammar school (that’s funny) I was the queen of perfect sentence structure, and punctuation. Of course, I only wrote short simple sentences. See Jack run. See Mary run. Boring, but correct! (My computer says that last line is a phrase and to consider revising. Who asked it?)

In a college creative writing class, my papers would often come back marked – grammatically correct but boring sentences.

Another time the prof scrawled in red, you must have gone to parochial school – get over it! (Not quite sure how I should have punctuated all that.)

It was difficult to break away from the rules, and write badly – with confidence.  But I did it.

The result, I’m enjoying writing, and doing it without overthinking each word, comma, or exclamation mark.  I have a lot of run on sentences, but that’s how I talk. I come from a large NY Italian family; if you pause for breath, you lose the floor (to someone with more lung capacity).

I’m taking a writing class, and my instructor says my writing is creative, but my punctuation is awful. (Was that a run-on sentence?) I’m delighted with my work; the writing teacher is not as delighted. The first time I wrote; I’m delighted with the work – the teacher not so much; she took it personally, so I changed it.

I’ve recently resolved the problem, while maintaining my creativity. Someone else reads my work and corrects the punctuation. I should have thought of this sooner. I would have written more.

I know I could learn to punctuate again, but I’d rather be grammatically incorrect than boring. (I wanted to say ‘totally boring’ but I was told not to use ly words.)

Thankfully (Oops, ly again), we now have spell check, and grammar check; where is punctuation check?


Note from instructor, CM: I’m more and more delighted with Jo’s work each day. Totally.