Sanction: What Does That Even Mean?!

The word “sanction” has always confused me.  The reader is supposed to understand your word choices based on context clues, but it would be best to avoid contronyms when possible. Below is a list of contronyms from 

Can you think of other confusing words not listed here? Please leave a comment! 

1. Apology: A statement of contrition for an action, or a defense of one
2. Aught: All, or nothing
3. Bill: A payment, or an invoice for payment
4. Bolt: To secure, or to flee
5. Bound: Heading to a destination, or restrained from movement
6. Buckle: To connect, or to break or collapse
7. Cleave: To adhere, or to separate
8. Clip: To fasten, or detach
9. Consult: To offer advice, or to obtain it
10. Continue: To keep doing an action, or to suspend an action
11. Custom: A common practice, or a special treatment
12. Dike: A wall to prevent flooding, or a ditch
13. Discursive: Moving in an orderly fashion among topics, or proceeding aimlessly in a discussion
14. Dollop: A large amount (British English), or a small amount
15. Dust: To add fine particles, or to remove them
16. Enjoin: To impose, or to prohibit
17. Fast: Quick, or stuck or made stable
18. Fine: Excellent, or acceptable or good enough
19. Finished: Completed, or ended or destroyed
20. First degree: Most severe in the case of a murder charge, or least severe in reference to a burn
21. Fix: To repair, or to castrate
22. Flog: To promote persistently, or to criticize or beat
23. Garnish: To furnish, as with food preparation, or to take away, as with wages
24. Give out: To provide, or to stop because of a lack of supply
25. Go: To proceed or succeed, or to weaken or fail
26. Grade: A degree of slope, or a horizontal line or position
27. Handicap: An advantage provided to ensure equality, or a disadvantage that prevents equal achievement
28. Help: To assist, or to prevent or (in negative constructions) restrain
29. Hold up: To support, or to impede
30. Lease: To offer property for rent, or to hold such property
31. Left: Remained, or departed
32. Let: Allowed, or hindered
33. Liege: A feudal lord, or a vassal
34. Literally: Actually, or virtually
35. Mean: Average or stingy, or excellent
36. Model: An exemplar, or a copy
37. Off: Deactivated, or activated, as an alarm
38. Out: Visible, as with stars showing in the sky, or invisible, in reference to lights
39. Out of: Outside, or inside, as in working out of a specific office
40. Overlook: To supervise, or to neglect
41. Oversight: Monitoring, or failing to oversee
42. Peer: A person of the nobility, or an equal
43. Presently: Now, or soon
44. Put out: Extinguish, or generate
45. Puzzle: A problem, or to solve one
46. Quantum: Significantly large, or a minuscule part
47. Quiddity: Essence, or a trifling point of contention
48. Quite: Rather (as a qualifying modifier), or completely
49. Ravel: To entangle, or to disentangle
50. Refrain: To desist from doing something, or to repeat
51. Rent: To purchase use of something, or to sell use
52. Rock: An immobile mass of stone or figuratively similar phenomenon, or a shaking or unsettling movement or action
53. Sanction: To approve, or to boycott
54. Sanguine: Confidently cheerful, or bloodthirsty
55. Scan: To peruse, or to glance
56. Screen: To present, or to conceal
57. Seed: To sow seeds, or to shed or remove them
58. Shop: To patronize a business in order to purchase something, or to sell something
59. Skin: To cover, or to remove
60. Skinned: Covered with skin, or with the skin removed
61. Splice: To join, or to separate
62. Stakeholder: One who has a stake in an enterprise, or a bystander who holds the stake for those placing a bet
63. Strike: To hit, or to miss in an attempt to hit
64. Table: To propose (in British English), or to set aside
65. Temper: To soften, or to strengthen
66. Throw out: To dispose of, or to present for consideration
67. Transparent: Invisible, or obvious
68. Trim: To decorate, or to remove excess from
69. Trip: A journey, or a stumble
70. Unbending: Rigid, or relaxing
71. Variety: A particular type, or many types
72. Wear: To endure, or to deteriorate
73. Weather: To withstand, or to wear away
74. Wind up: To end, or to start up
75. With: Alongside, or against


Keep writing and keep sharing! Cronin Detzz 



My back hurts and my muse thrust a dagger between my shoulder blades. My brain is amped with mighty muscle, but if I don’t attend to the rest of my body, my brain will become a deflated basketball. 

I’m not a fitness enthusiast but I wish I were. My husband works out in this gym 3 times a week. I took a week off work to focus on writing, so I took the time and finally went with him to the gym.

I hopped onto the treadmill and read my Kindle. Thirty minutes sped by.

I wanted to read more so I walked another 30 minutes! We finished the session by relaxing in the pool.

Because I have arthritis and fibromyalgia, I expected to be sore the next day. I wasn’t! I do walk every day, so my legs were probably used to the exercise. 

But here’s the best part: the treadmill loosened up the creative debris lodged in my skull. I got a lot of writing done.

What has worked for you? I wish I could jog or do more with my body. I bet that a writer who is also a jogger could really shake up his muse. 

Keep writing and keep sharing! Cronin Detzz 

How Much Time Should You Spend Writing?

The amount of time we spend writing is essential if we yearn to be writers. How much is enough?


There’s no hard and fast rule but it makes sense to treat it like everyone else treats their career ambitions.

But how can we devote 40 hours a week to writing when we already have a full time job?

Ask yourself this question another way: How do parents find the time to properly raise their children when they work full time?  We could ask the same question of any artist, musician, or college student.

We all have responsibilities to tend to.

You are not alone.

What all the parents, artists, musicians, college students, and aspiring writers have in common is a desire to do something big with their lives which transcends their day jobs.

So they find a way.

They sacrifice television, video games, and sleep. I work 55+ hours a week as an accountant, so here is what has helped me:

1. I often write snippets of stories, poems, and blog posts on my smart phone during lunch.
2. I take two 10-minute breaks a day. I use this time to interact on social media.
3. Being a writer means being a reader, so I let my E-reader read aloud to me during my commute.
4. I have a few favorite TV shows, so I watch only those shows. TV sucks up  time that I should spend writing.
5. Being organized helps with time management. I make grocery lists. I ensure that I spend minimal time on nonessential things (I can speed wash dishes!).
6. I fill the vessel. This means getting enough sleep, eating right, and reading inspirational works.

Writers are deep thinkers, so let yourself relax and daydream. It’s a good thing. Anxiety and stress can get in the way. Take care of your problems and love the people in your life…yes, you want to write but you have to take care of yourself and relish the time you have with your loved ones, too.

What has worked for you? Please comment below.

Keep writing and keep sharing! Cronin Detzz


Power through that writer’s block!  There are many resources out there, and below you’ll find 3 links with many tips and tricks – one of these is bound to help you.  Please leave a comment if any of these have helped you.

Power Through-Cronin Detzz

I was pleased to see an academic resource for writer’s block at The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign: Writing Tips: Strategies for Overcoming Writer’s Block, Copyright © 2013 University of Illinois Board of Trustees.   This site states that perfectionism in the draft stage is a sure way catch writer’s block. One tactic they suggest is what they call piecework; I call it fragmented writing. Fragmented writing is perfectly normal and has helped me tremendously. If I feel moved to write the end although I’m only half-way through my work, I jump ahead and write the end. Read more about fragmented writing in this post: 3 TIPS FOR FRAGMENTED WRITING: I’M BATMAN.

The 10 Types of Writers’ Block (and How to Overcome Them) by Charlie Jane Anders lists the following problems and suggests tactics to overcome them.  Here are the types of writer’s block identified:
1. You can’t come up with an idea.
2. You have a ton of ideas but can’t commit to any of them, and they all peter out.
3. You have an outline but you can’t get through this one part of it.
4. You’re stuck in the middle and have no idea what happens next.
5. You have a terrible feeling your story took a wrong turn a hundred pages back, and you only just hit a dead end.
6. You’re bored with all these characters, they won’t do anything.
7. You keep imagining all the reasons people are going to say your story sucks, and it paralyzes you.
8. You can’t think of the right words for what you’re trying to convey in this one paragraph.
9. You had this incredibly cool story in your head, and now you’re turning it into words on a screen and it’s suddenly dumb.
10. You’re revising your work, and you can’t see your way past all those blocks of text you already wrote.

Top 10 Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block – Ginny Wiehardt suggests implementing a writing schedule and thinking of writing as a regular job, setting deadlines and keeping them. I admit that this is not a glamorous suggestion for those artsy/creative types, but anything worth doing deserves some goals. Remember to celebrate your achievements and let your friends and family know how much progress you’ve made; their excitement and praise will encourage you.

Keep writing and keep sharing – power through your writer’s block!  Please leave a comment if any of these have helped you.   – Cronin Detzz


Ernest Hemingway Sitting at Typewriter

You attempted all the tried and true tricks to removing writer’s block, but did you soak your feet in ice water?  Did you soundproof your walls and ceiling with cork?  Hemingway is rumored to have written The Old Man and The Sea while standing up at his typewriter!  Here are some truly bizarre writing block tips according to an article at

1. Voltaire skipped lunch. Instead of a mid-day meal, the French titan sustained himself with chocolate and up to 40 cups of coffee per day.

2. The dark, gruesome work of Edgar Allan Poe was written under the supervision of a cat. The tabby Catterina sat on the writer’s lap or perched on his shoulder.

3. Sir Walter Scott preferred to write in motion, often while riding his horse.

4. Word counts work for some writers. Anthony Trollope set a goal of 250 words every 15 minutes.

5. Victor Hugo went on self-imposed house arrest to finish The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He even locked away all his clothes, so he wouldn’t be tempted to get dressed and go out. But Hugo wasn’t naked—he wore the same gray writing shawl for months.

6. Like many of us, Charles Dickens sometimes worked while traveling. But he couldn’t do it without his five bronze animal statues, paper knife, green vase, desk calendar, blue ink, and quills. Good thing he didn’t have to work at a coffee shop!

7. Dickens also insisted on writing in a specific blue ink. He wasn’t attached to the color — it just dried faster, so he didn’t have to waste time blotting.

8. Lewis Carroll literally wrote purple prose. He penned his manuscripts in the same violet ink required for grading his math students at Christ Church College in Oxford. This way, he could easily switch between tasks.

9. The three musketeers on Alexandre Dumas’s desk were piles of color-coded paper: pink for articles, blue for fiction, and yellow for poetry. [Okay, this one isn’t too bizarre – actually a quite reasonable idea!]

10. When Herman Melville needed a break to revitalize his creative juices, he worked the fields of his 160-acre farm.

11. John Milton spent the last 20 years of his life blind, but not being able to see didn’t slow him down. He’d start writing poetry in his head around 5 a.m., and an aide would arrive at 7 a.m. to take dictation. Milton called the process “getting milked.”

12. With his publisher’s deadline for The Gambler looming, Fyodor Dostoyevsky hired a stenographer named Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina in 1866. The two finished the novella within a month and married a year later. Dostoyevsky dictated his work to her for the rest of his life.

13. Proust turned his bedroom workspace into a cocoon, covering his windows with shutters and dark curtains and lining the walls and ceiling with soundproofing cork. Blotting out the sun and the noise was a necessity since he slept all day and wrote all night.

14. Nothing stimulated poet and playwright Friedrich Schiller’s creatives juices like the smell of rotting apples. He kept a drawer full of them in his desk. That wasn’t his only writing quirk—Schiller also enjoyed soaking his feet in ice water to stay alert.

15. Scottish biographer James Boswell was a tremendous writer, but he wasn’t great at waking up in the morning. To solve this problem, he designed a bed that would physically lift him up and set him on the floor. He never got around to building it, so servants ended up doing the heavy lifting for him.


Do you have any bizarre writing tips to share?  I’d love to hear from you.

Keep writing & keep sharing! – Cronin Detzz


Before I was inspired to blog, I had to ask myself WHY.  I work full time, I’m raising a family, and I squeeze writing into spare moments.  My life is already taxing, so why would I add on more work?

Cronin Detzz Why Are You Blogging

I especially have to use my energy wisely because I have fibromyalgia.  It is a terribly painful disease that saps precious energy.  One day, I had an epiphany: “Forget about the fibromyalgia.  Be the change that you seek.”  The “change” I seek is to be published by a strong publisher with wide appeal. So how could I “be” a publisher?

I self published, and it was a good educational experience. But being self published is not aligned with the axiom of “being” the change that I seek. How could I give back to an industry that has meant so much to me?

I realized that I could blog – but not with the intent to self promote. My goal is to mentor writers and support poets. In this small way, I hope to help others overcome writer’s block and let writers know that they are not alone in their trials and tribulations. Someone mentored me. It only seems right that I should return the favor. If I’ve helped just one person through this minor contribution, then I am thrilled!

Why do YOU blog? Many of you blog in order to grow your audience. Don’t stop! But what other goals do you have in conjunction with your blog? I’d love to hear from you.

Keep writing & keep sharing! – Cronin Detzz