Dating Mr. Strunk and Mr. White

Always learning how to be a better writer…..



I first met Mr. Shrunk (Jr) and Mr. Write as an obedient English major. They wore a handsome understated gray colored hardcover and, after we spent a few days together, they retreated to a side table while I wrote an ambitious first novel to earn my undergraduate degree.  I took a look at that poor manuscript a while ago and it’s clear my relationship with the gentlemen was superficial at the least.  Like a lot of the boys that passed through my life at the time, our engagement was transitory but remained impressionable. They popped up at odd times when I tried to untangle my habitual convoluted sentences.  They embarrassed me in my misuse of lay and lie, that and which. But the years passed by and I developed my own guide that pushed against what I came to think of as S&W’s old-fashion, limiting stuffiness. My transgressions with all the other boys I’ve known made good copy…

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pat willard

Grew up in Philadelphia. Live in Brooklyn. Written four books best described as about memory and cultural history, food and some pretty good recipes. Works in progress may be viewed at

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