March 1st, 2006


The Kienast Quintuplets

Thanks to all of you for your birthday wishes.

What with other writing, I haven't had as much time to update here as I would usually like, but there will be more Robert's Rules posts and other things soon.

In the meantime, this post from saxikath reminded me about the Expos (Expository Writing) assignment I had in college, when I was required to look up the New York Times from the actual day of my birth and write an essay about an article I found. As it so happens, just three days before I was born, a woman named Margaret Kienast gave birth to quintuplets. The Times published on the day I was born had a photograph of the mother with the babies, if I recall correctly, and so I wrote my essay about them.

I also asked my Mom about the quintuplets; apparently, everyone who went to the maternity ward in the week after was asked if they were also hoping for quintuplets. Mom tells me she's happy with the one she got that time. :-)

I found this website devoted to the Kienast Quints, but it doesn't seem to have a lot of information.

Robert's Rules of Writing #38: Strip Down to Your Briefs

[Rule quoted from Robert's Rules of Writing: 101 Unconventional Lessons Every Writer Needs to Know by Robert Masello (Writer's Digest Books, 2005). See my original post for the rules of this discussion.]

Is it better to write long or to write short?

With rule #38, Masello examines that question. In his essay, he cites the story of the man who wrote a long letter and apologized that he didn't have the time to make it shorter. Masello's advice is very simple: when you're first writing, get down everything that you'd possibly want to write. But once you've done that, go back and whittle out everything unnecessary to make your point.

In the spirit of this rule, I will simply say that I agree.