Betty’s Tips

Happy Spring, Dear Readers,

The starter vegetables sprouted in February, and I’m looking forward to planting two new vegetables: artichokes and spaghetti squash. The squash pairs well with the heirloom tomatoes, and the artichokes are fun to eat. All of those delicious layers down to the heart.

At my writing group last month, a speaker suggested that we could find an agent using Publisher’s Marketplace. I tried the free trial version to learn how to find the right person to champion my romantic-mystery, Lettuce Not Into Temptation. I entered the genre, looked up the agent’s sales, their clients, and best of all, their contact information. The novel has everything this agent wants—an entertaining protagonist (myself), a daring hero (Mr. Wryte-Goode), and a dastardly villain (the rabbit who makes vegetables vanish overnight).

My New Year’s resolution was to enter a writing contest. I was well on my way with a short story, but the March 31st deadline passed for the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2024 Short Story Award. The conclusion just wasn’t working, and I had to rewrite a new ending. What I needed was a miracle.

Just announced . . . a new deadline! I can revise the short story ending and still stay within their parameters—a holiday story at 2,000 words or fewer, by April 30, 2024, at 11:59 P.M. EST.

I envision the winner’s check arriving at my door.

Happy writing!

Betty Wryte-Goode

Betty Wryte-Goode is a writer and mother who lives in the Lehigh Valley. Her passions include writing, reading, shopping, gardening, and exploring the internet. Betty is always looking for writing tips, so if you have any you would like to share, please send them to her through our Submissions/Contacts page.

Mixed-Up Words of the Month

Past vs. Passed

The differences in these words might seem more related to spelling than to meaning, but, in fact, their definitions are different.

Past can be a noun, an adverb, or a preposition, each with its own meaning. 

As a noun, it means a previous time, such as: Today people dress casually, but I miss the elegant fashions of the past

As an adverb, it tells the reader how/where the modified verb has acted as: That’s the third time that red car has driven past our house. It can also indicate a passage of time, as in: The sports season went past with my team never getting out of last place. 

As a preposition, it means on the other side of or later than, as with: The store is just past the intersection, or It is well past time for dinner.

Passed, however, is the past tense of the verb to pass. For example: On my way here, I passed three Starbucks in only five blocks, or I was so sorry to learn your uncle passed away.

N.B. The trickiest thing about these two words is that you can use each word in very similiar contexts, e.g. The semi-truck passed us (verb) vs. the semi-truck went past us (adverb).

Putting it all together: 

While we visited an archeological dig, an investigator passed us, accidentally dropping an artifact they’d uncovered from the distant past (noun). 

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