Up to Snuff #74: List of African-American Writers

Up to Snuff #74: List of African-American Writers
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Maya Angelou
James Baldwin
Toni Cade Bambara
Amiri Baraka
Octavia Butler
Audre Lorde
Ntozake Shange
Angela Davis
Bell Hooks
Eldridge Cleaver
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ralph Ellison
Marcus Garvey
Nikki Giovanni
Lorraine Hansberry
Chester Himes
Langston Hughes
Zora Neale Hurston
Jamaica Kincaid
Toni Morrison
Alice Walker
August Wilson

Up to Snuff #73: Letter Closing List and Openings (to close out old year and open new year!)

Up to Snuff #73: Letter Closing List and openings
By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu
Yours truly
Yours sincerely
Cordially yours
Fond regards
In appreciation
In sympathy
Kind thanks
Kind wishes
Many thanks
Thank you
Thank you for your assistance in this matter
Yours truly
Best wishes
Warmest regards
Respectfully (military closing)
Very respectfully
Sincerely yours
Best regards
Kind regards
Most sincerely
Respectfully yours
Thank you
Sincerely (dignitaries’ valediction)
Warm regards
With appreciation
Thank you for your consideration
Thank you for your recommendation
Thank you for your time
Warm wishes
With deepest sympathy
With gratitude
With sincere thanks
With sympathy
Your help is greatly appreciated
Yours cordially
Yours faithfully
Yours truly
Forever yours
God bless
God be with you
Good wishes, always
Gotta Boogie
Grace & peace
Have fun
Health & happiness
Kind thoughts
Your friend
With kind personal regards
Warmest greetings to all
Season’s blessings
Peace be with you
Your guidance has been invaluable; I hope to work with you again soon
All best wishes
All best, always
Always in my thoughts
As always, with affection
Be good
Be well
Best wishes for the future

Good Morning
Good Afternoon
Sir or Madam

Song: The Loveless are Hosting a Gathering

The Loveless are Hosting a Gathering
Song by, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

The loveless are hosting a gathering
All the food is spoiled
The loveless are hosting a gathering
A whole lot of nothing for everyone

Lackluster is on the menu
Airpudding for dessert
The loveless are hosting a gathering
A whole lot of nothing for everyone

The downtrodden attended the gathering
Now low is now lower than anything

Low is now lower
Low is now lower
Low is now lower
Than anything

Low is now lower
Low is now lower
Low is now lower
Than anything

Up to Snuff #72: Mechanics of a Word

Up to Snuff #72: Mechanics of a Word
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

(Some parts extracted from “Soules Dictionary of English Synonyms” & analysis of “Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary,” “Cassell’s Latin Dictionary” and online “Wikipedia”)

1) Syllabification-syl-la-ble
2) Pronunciation
3) Latin Root
4) Synonym
5) Multiple definitions
6) Tenses
7) Antonym
8) Origin
9) Tone-sound of word
10) Syllable strength
11) Accents
12) Classification
13) Usability
14) Vowels
15) Consonants
16) Lambanein (Latin)-to gather (letters or words), to latch, to river, fire, also as an animal that licks and cleans itself, quae loca, conjuring or witchcraft, to be born, the birth of iambic pentameter, smooth birth or labor in general, to cast a spell-lamb-be-9, to run smoothly, smooth and fresh as a lamb or baby  eg. Mouton Cadet (fine wine), smooth talker with finesse or charm
17) Unit of spoken language
18) Alpha letters
19) “points”
20) “Froth” eg. Its syllabub
21) Utterance-as if in syllables
22) Used in verse
23) Whole dictionary syllabized
24) “on tap”
25) “writers cabinet”
26) Has relations
27) Values-“words value conditioned by context whole or immediate connection”
28) Expressive value
29) Sense (Chuckle=laugh)
30) Has emotional response-eg. Giggle particular laugh stirs a feeling about way of laughing
31) Plane of discourse, “speaker or writer using his words=tone of an utterance-solemn, bookish, chatty and so on.
Chortle=colloquial in tone suggesting jocose attitude of its user toward speech occasion
Cachinnation consciously bookish”
32) Sensuous qualities-sound entering desired phrase pattern “ghastly mirthless grin”
33) Unification of phrases by alliteration at start and close
34) Utterances and units of choice in diction
35) Sayers controlling intention
36) Rightness
37) Neutral (man, proud, strike, different)
38) Literary-ingenuous, deprecate
39) Poetic-eventide, forward
40) Affected-eleemosynary
41) Colloquial-cocky
42) Slang-boob, galoot
43) Vulgar-(over the line) bum doo dads
44) Archaic-(restrictive time associations)-hostel, wroth
45) Obsolete-manometry
46) Place associations, dialectic, foreign-mawk for maggot
47) Restrictive technicality, jargon, nomenclature of science-maxilla, protasis, volpane, pomiform
48) Banal, common-a gripping show
49) Illiterate-infer for imply
50) Core sense and use of synonym for “further distinctions of such feeling or tone”
51) Set of variations on a theme
52) Part of speech grouping
53) Noun, adjective, adverb, verb, pronoun
54) Collocation-arranging of linguistic elements as in words
55) Latencies of meaning, outreach, average use, relationship, implication, emotion
56) Onomatopoeia
57) Onomastics-science and studies of origins, forms of words, systems and underlying formations of use of words
58) Etymology-study of or words
59) Morpheme-stem or root
60) Linguistics-study of languages
61) Lexicographer-author of editor of a dictionary
62) Philogy-knowledge structure historical development and relationships of language or languages
63) Meta

64) Vocabulary

Up to Snuff #71: Vocabulary List #1

Up to Snuff #71: Vocabulary List #1
Assembled by, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Depraved conduct
Temperamentally disposed
Hard boiled disregard
Cold bloodedness
Benevolent concern
Dribbles off
Butting-through the channel
re-imprenate ( a word)

Up to Snuff #70: Notes from “Soules Dictionary of English Synonyms”

Up to Snuff #70:  Notes from “Soules Dictionary of English Synonyms”

Assembled by Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

According to “Soules Dictionary of English Synonyms,” the body of English may be subdivided between distinguishable tones and usability as illustrated below:



Literary-ingenuous, deprecate

Eg. Eleemosynary


Poetic-eventide, froward


Colloquial-eg. cocky=of or relating to conversation, formal and informal familiar conversation





Eg. maumetry, hostel, wroth

Restrictive time associations





Eg. infer for imply

Banal or common-a gripping show



Slang eg. boob, galoot


Eg. bum doo dads





Eg.  mawk for maggot





Restrictive technicality

EG:  Protasis, Volpane, nomenclature of science, maxilla, pomiform


Neutral-man, proud, strike, different



Up to Snuff #69: Book List, Complete List of Greek Tragedies (Plays)

Up to Snuff #69: Book List, Complete List of Greek Tragedies
Translated by David Grene and Richard Lattimore
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Aeschylus 1 Oresteia
The Libation Bearers
The Eumenides

Aeschylus II Four Tragedies
The Suppliant Maidens
The Persians
Seven Against Thebes
Prometheus Bound

Sophocles 1 Three Tragedies
Oedipus The King
Oedipus at Colonus

Sophocles II Four Tragedies
The Women of Trachis
Electra and Philoctetes

Euripides 1 Four Tragedies
The Medea
The Heracleidae

Euripides II Four Tragedies
The Cyclops and Heracles
Iphigenia in Tauris

Euripides III Four Tragedies
The Trojan Women

Euripides IV Four Tragedies
The Suppliant Women
Iphigenia In Aulis

Euripides V Three Tragedies
The Phoenician Women
The Bacchae

Up To Snuff #68: Book List, Complete Shakespeare and Some Associated Writers

Up To Snuff #68: Book List, Complete Shakespeare and Some Associated Writers
By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

William Shakespeare (39 plays, 154 sonnets, 2 long narrative poems)

The Comedies
The Comedy of Errors
The Taming of the Shrew
The Two Gentleman of Verona
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Love’s Labor Lost
The Merchant of Venice
As You Like It
Much Ado about Nothing
Twelfth Night
The Merry Wives of Windsor
All’s Well That Ends Well
Measure for Measure

The Histories:
Henry the Sixth I
Henry the Sixth, 2 and 3
Richard the Third
King John
Richard the Second
Henry the Fourth, 1
Henry the Fourth, 2
Henry the Fifth
Henry the Eighth

The Tragedies
Titus Andronicus
Romeo and Juliet
Julius Caesar
Troilus and Cressida
King Lear
Timon of Athens
Anthony and Cleopatra

The Romances
The Winter’s Tale
The Tempest

The Non-Dramatic Poetry
The Narrative Poems
The Sonnets
Venus and Adonis
The Rape of Lucrece
A Lover’s Complaint
The Phoenix and The Turtle

Prince of Tyre
The Two Noble Kinsmen (w/John Fletcher)
Henry the Eighth (w/John Fletcher)

Compiled Works By Shakespeare:
First Folio

Other Writers Associated in Style, Friendship or Reproduction to Shakespeare
Ovid, Metamorphosis (inspired Shakespeare)
Edmund Spenser- The Faerie Queene, Mother Hubberds Tale, Amoretti, Epithalamion, The Shepherds Calendar
Thomas Hardy
William Faulkner
Charles Dickens
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
Geoffrey Chaucer
John Gower
Baptista Mantuanus
Victor Hugo
TS. Eliot

Up to Snuff #67: Key Things to Think About When Writing

Up to Snuff #67: Key Things to Think About When Writing
By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

What one aims for when writing is often the good perfected book that can go into schools. One must have all their ducks in a row, good education and degree’s lined up neatly to get the respect they deserve. A writer needs to have a good brain “tape” and hopefully wisdom. Maturity is also key and very often writer’s mature into writing and unfold as they grow older. A writer needs enough practice and should write regularly. It is also beneficial to cultivate a rich creativity, build something up and work from it. You can write from education and degrees. It helps to perfect writing and dialog in fiction if you use the right software. Writing non- stop with tablets can help to collect a setting, dialog or build up a fiction or a non-fiction book. One key some writers use is to always use a plan. Journalist’s with plans are often more successful. Another key idea for a writer is to do a little branding. Your book generally succeeds when it can be used to teach something.

Wise choices are good for a writer like collecting books and building a library and reading vs. TV. Wise choices can also promote preservation of your brain by avoiding ignorant TV programs and choosing a non-violent route for ultimately a healthier brain. Avoid crime or violence in music, choose programing and entertainment that aligns with your views. A good hobby to have is to research books. To propel yourself, what is crucial is to self- educate as much as possible by reading things in your field and building “ladders” for yourself to study. Education is generally not on a platter; you must have a rich self-education, experiential learning, to prepare you for and combine with your education. Set high bars and work towards mastership studies. Be a wise guide and look for good teachers, private teachers and align with smart people. While you are studying you can also be assembling notes for future writing, books or teaching. Buttress your books with classes and experiential learning to build a strong foundation for your books and writing career.

One key area for a writer to development is analysis. Analysis in the end impacts ones total and complete knowledge frame work. A good way to propel and acquire knowledge is via asking questions, just as in a PHD, one may start with a question or hypothesis to frame a greater study. Great books are something to use to build understanding of writing, vocabulary, analysis and very often romance or passion for your personality. A percentage of your reading and writing should be “KB” or knowledge based reading. Try to get up high enough in every subject that you can study independently and have it be meaningful. It is important to have high standards, bars and goals. You may feel “the power” to do something special in the world or for mankind-have something to offer.

Originality arrives from a variety of sources. It can arrive from bringing three disparate things or concepts together to make a new form via juxtaposition. Well- crafted questions can help you to arrive at original ideas as well as analysis. Research and inferential writing are some of the best ways to get at original evidence based thinking. Taking an aspect or a perspective where you slice off a piece of something or take a sampling can also be an essential way to look at subject matter. You can also write your thesis and later write associated variables as in an APA research proposal which can be developmental and a good path to original thinking. Observations and field work can be good to achieve original notes and writing with descriptions. You can use something you create like a microcosm, a catalyst or something like a “maquette,” to feed off and generate original ideas. Critique your writing to elevate it and get additional perspectives.

What is essential to a writer is to think about what is detrimental and available vs. what is responsibility and choice. Things that weigh heavy on the readers brain and could be avoided are things like: suicide, abortion, crime, killing, negative ideas and instigation, misogyny, low self-esteem, alcoholism, drug fame as opposed to health promoting, humanitarian, Paradisian and the world you want to live in.

One big challenge the writer has is to have a daily “digest” of enough words to adequately build their vocabulary. What is often recommended is to use a Thesaurus when searching for a word or something like “Soules Dictionary of English Synonyms.” A Thesaurus will build your vocabulary out sideways. It is good to read frequently and classics with better vocabulary choices. It is worthwhile, to read the classics with a dictionary and pen and paper. To advance rapidly, read every summer or regularly the dictionary itself. There are on Amazon.com a few books on building the vocabulary, the vocabulary from classic roots, vocabulary workshop, and vocabulary flash cards. You can sign up for new words delivered to your email box on M-W’s Word of the Day. Other good places for information on writing are the “Purdue Owl” website, the “Library of Congress” Database, “Wikipedia” and the “Poetry and Writers” website.

What can ultimately be good is to organize your reading so when you first wake up in the morning you have morning reading and before bedtime reading. It is good to catch your favorite current events in the morning along with your favorite online magazines and blogs.

A nice ways to round out a personality is to heavily read in subject areas. Try subscribing to better newspapers around the world like Chinese English Papers, “NY Times,” “Washington Post,” “The Guardian” in London, “BBC News,” and international English language papers to get a good cross section of news. You can watch Mexican news on TV’s “Telemundo” plus “CNN” or other respected TV news sources for weather and broadcast news stories etc.

Other things that are nice to subscribe to or view are sources like “MXDWN,” or “Pitchfork” or “Rolling Stone,” “Entertainment Weekly,” “Noisy,” “Stereogum,” “Alternative Press,” “Brooklyn Vegan,” “BBC” and “Tone Deaf,” as some of the online music magazines.

Art Magazines like “Art in America,” “Art Forum,” “Juxtapoz,” “Virtuogenix,” “American Art Collector,” “Hi Fructose,” “Fine Art,” “La Mode,” “Photo Play,” “Art Market,” “Art News,” “Cloth Paper Scissors,” “Aperture,” “Aesthetica,” “NKA,” “Fine Art Connoisseur,” “Daguerreian Society” or art websites that regularly send email news like “E-Flux” also make for good information about art. “Bio News” is an online science news source.

More than 1600 Literary Journals can be found on the “Poetry and Writers” website at pw.org. To read things like poetry, short stories and creative writing or essays try a variety of literary magazines like “The Paris Review,” “Ploughshares,” “The Kenyon Review,” “The American Poetry Review,” “The New Yorker,” “The Atlantic,” “Poetry,” “New England Review,” “The Missouri Review,” “The Gettysburg Review,” “Cimarron Review,” “Sewanee Review,” “Antaeus,” “Esquire,” “O’Henry Awards” or “Columbia Journalism Review” or “Michigan Quarterly Review.”

There are also a variety of culinary sources out there like the blog “Cooking without Limits,” or magazines like “Bon Appetit,” “Food and Wine,” “All Recipes,” “Marth Stewart Living,” “Better Homes and Gardens.”

Try reading in an area or subscribing to journals online or in print to spruce up, to stay on top of your field and improve your skills. Many magazines can be found by searching online or in magazine.com, magazinestore.com or discount mags.com. A good writer is well informed and well-read.

A good writer’s kit may be tablets to take notes, pens, tape recorders to record notes or dialog or interviews, a telephone recorder for interviews, camera’s, video cameras, a Wi-Fi device, a telephone, a watch, a sketch pad to make a sketch or a diagram of something and maybe a pocket dictionary or if you can carry it-a laptop and work in every café with Wi-Fi around town. It may also be nice at times to have an artist’s easel and capture in paint a rendition of a place or create a set. BN.com out of New York sells telephone recording devices. It is good to get started collecting all the basic tools of the trade.

Fit, Lean & Beautiful #35

Fit, Lean & Beautiful #35
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

It’s good to first look at all the remedies you can try for a knee pain for example like: Steroids, exercises, insoles in shoes, joint juice, weight loss, Tiger Balm massage, ice or heat, aspirins, compression socks, sitting/standing/laying percentages, yoga, stretching overall body, stretching all parts of knee, physical therapy, Voltarin gels, and finally-if none of that works or does work in some ways, try surgery.

Surgery in the end can really remedy an acute problem and cure it. Sometimes there are perhaps 4 things wrong-maybe you have a meniscus tear, a dislocation, and arthritis or are overweight. Perhaps you have to pin down your problems and address each of them. Surgery can heal long term ailments.

Then of course there is the after-care following surgery. Wounds may bleed or drain and you can use Hydrogen Peroxide to clean wounds and to remove the blood stains from your clothes like one hardcore nurse for a menstruating patient.

What one may simply do is create a list for your loved ones to pick up for you like: canned soups, case of Vernos for the nausea, orange juice, Activa Probiotics, laundry detergent and bleach, Hydrogen Peroxide, gauze, an Ace Bandage, Band-Aid bandages, Triple Ointment, crutches, aspirin for fever or pain relief or swelling, and numbers to reach on call doctors should you have any problems. A caring loved one and a list, can save a distressed patient after returning from the hospital. Good to have those kinds of “First Aid,” items on hand anyway.

You can also make up your own pretend hospital bed with white bleached sheets, which is always fun when you are healing to create for yourself a sterile and welcoming place to heal. Keep a set of sheets that are your home hospital sheets.

Part of extended after care can be to get your scars removed after wounds have turned into scars. You can see a plastic surgeon to have scars removed.

Once you’re back on the block and you decide to return to the gym for a light work out and do your rehabilitation exercises, what can be nice is to strap on a velcro waist support to start molding your waist line, low impact. The heat and tightening should show some results. It’s also nice to get some 18 Hour Bra’s as another “low impact” way to tighten the waist and lift the breasts-you can train your body, especially when you are just returning to working out. In these ways you’re working out, when you’re not working. Then once you are feeling committed and tenacious, you can draw up a fitness plan. Perhaps ease your way with your ailing part and work other areas, perhaps upper body.

Later on you can graduate into yoga and dance. One yogi was featured in a “Natural Awakening Magazine” as a 30 year practitioner and looked sun kissed, supple and deeply beautiful.

Finally what can really perk up one’s life is creating a “fantasy” for your life (eg. A writers life) and writing a “Life Guide.”
Include in your “Life Guide,” dates, career plans, transitions, education, businesses and long term goals and map out your whole life if you can? Many things you can plan and the more planning the more prepared. After you get older you may settle into a career trajectory or business and your life gels and forms. Try to put some fun things “on deck” and plan an interesting life for yourself.

Another wonderful thing to do in winter is pick up some Blistek Medicated Mint Balm in a little green tube, it softens lips nicely.

A lot of times what we write in emails, chronicles our lives and feelings. What’s nice is to get a spiral notebook and paste in emails and type journal entries for a little homemade journal, from more than one perspective. One is what you tell people, which may be candid and the other is your journal or diary to yourself. Try getting glue sticks and pasting in things. Many writer’s, enjoy journalistic development as one of their styles. Try a multi perspective style of pasted emails and write ups and other interesting memorabilia, even calendars from “Time and Date” to remember your life as it was at one special time. You can use it to piece together memoirs or autobiographies or histories later.