April 20

Birthdays: Mary Hoffman (1945), John van de Ruit (1975), Peter S. Beagle (1939), Rebecca Makkai (1978), Sebastian Faulks (1953)

Tip: “That” is often a throw away word. If you can read your sentence without “that” and it makes sense, you can probably delete it.

Thought for the day: “I run the writing as a business, with one overworked and overstretched employee – me! But she has a very understanding boss so that if I as worker ask me as employer for a day off the answer is always yes.” – Mary Hoffman

Jumpstart: You’ve found an unlocked cell phone on the sidewalk. While checking for an owner, you look at the contacts list and find your own name and number. But there’s no one else on the list you recognize, and you’ve never seen this number before. Who owns the phone and why do they have your name and number?

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