April 21

Birthdays: Charlotte Brontë (1816), Thomas McMahon (1943), Kole Omotoso (1943), Barbara Park (1947), Alistair MacLean (1922), Elaine May (1932), Jeannette Walls (1960)

Tip: When punctuating dialogue, remember to use a comma or question mark (or exclamation point) with a verbalized tag and lower case the word following if it’s not a proper noun. Use a period and upper case with non-verbal tags: “I can’t do that,” she said. “Can I do that?” she asked. “No, you can’t.” He shook his head.

Thought for the day: “I am not a novelist, I’m a storyteller.” – Alistair MacLean

Jumpstart: You’re in a museum, browsing around ancient artifacts. Someone pushes you and you stumble, breaking a case and an ancient sealed vase. A strange vapor escapes. What happens next?

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