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Writing Coach and Content Creator. Former college writing teacher. Editor of The Writing Prof. Connect with me at

Welcome to Lee G. Hornbrook’s Medium page. Updated July 2, 2021

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Hi! I’m Lee G. Hornbrook, freelance writer, editor, and content creator. I am a former college writing professor, and I am here to help you take your writing and your business to the next level.

I spent 25 years in higher education teaching writing at 6 major colleges and universities in every time zone of the United States. I’ve had a diverse career:

  • college writing professor with more than 25 years and more than 100 classes taught in person and online.
  • editor for an internationally syndicated newspaper feature for…

The facts and form of a poem are often the key to its meaning

Photo by Byeong woo Kang on Unsplash

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

— William Carlos Williams, 1923

Poetry is an amazing window onto the world. It’s arguable the most exciting way to learn about the world through language. I’m encouraged by the recent post “3 Ways Poetry Can Help You Live A Better Life.” Poetry can, indeed, help you live a life most people only dream about. Not only that, you can learn to read and understand poetry quite easily as well.

“No way,” you say.
“Pshaw,” you say.
“Fiddle-dee-dee,” you say.


The public will not buy healthy food from McDonald’s

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Even the biggest companies have spectacular marketing fails.

Along the lines of Coca-Cola’s New Coke fiasco, McDonald’s had a marketing failure with their “deluxe” line of foods in the 1990s.

McDonald’s tried to capitalize on consumer’s increasing demands for healthier foods. They created the McLean Deluxe, a healthier burger, which had a “ketchup, mustard, a whole lettuce leaf, pickles, a sliced tomato, and a reduced fat patty, all on a bakery style roll.” The McLean Deluxe was either far ahead of its time or out of touch with consumers. …

There is no sarcasm in this post. It’s all completely true.

Photo by Kate Trysh on Unsplash

This is not one of the millions (hyperbole(TM) — look it up!) of posts per day that promise you one thing and give you another.

No, this post is about clickbait titles. There is nothing wrong with clickbait titles — if it’s your own and it’s successful and it’s making you cold hard $$.

But then again (offer alternative point here — follow the formula) clickbait titles are what create the trashy articles all over social media writing sites (avoid mentioning the site that sounds like “Tedium”). So yeah, clickbait sucks. We all know it. And we hate to admit…

Bloggers and writers are creatively similar but their habits differ considerably.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

If you’re trying to be a blogger, then be a blogger. If you’re trying to be a writer, then be a writer. I think it’s useful to sort the two and decide what you’re trying to be.

The hill of wildflowers vs. a carefully planned garden

Think of a hill of wildflowers vs. a carefully planned garden. Among those wildflowers may be patches of utter beauty. There are flowers here and there that shine among the neighbors, but overall, there is a wildness to it all. That’s the blogging world.

The carefully planned garden allows each variety to shine within its neighborhood, placed in just the right light next…

The reboot is better than the original by far, so say we all.

Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash

So say we all.

One of the finest television series of all time is the 2005 reboot of Battlestar Galactica. While technically a space odyssey, it’s also a microcosm of our growing society today. With fractured and splintering allegiances, terrorism strikes, and not knowing who to trust, the world of BSG is very much a mirror image of our own.

During the course of the pandemic, the gf and I have watched many limited series and popular long-running television shows. Here’s a partial list:

  • The Good Place
  • The Office
  • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (my favorite)
  • The Mandalorian
  • Broadchurch
  • The Haunting…

When life gives you lemons, order the Cristal.

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

For those of you who have perfect relationships, who never argue, never utter an unkind word, never suffer irritation caused by the toilet seat left up one too many times or the toilet paper roll put on the dispenser backwards, who never wish for a day alone away from your family and significant other, move on. This article is not for you.

This article is for people who are locked into bad relationships. The vast majority of us have decent and even good relationships. Much like neglecting to water a plant, it doesn’t take much to make a relationship sour…

Writing tips for every era and every writer

Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

Writing tips often get distilled to simple formulas and rules from the most talked about writers. Stephen King’s “kill your darlings,” Anne Lamott’s “bird by bird,” Ernest Hemingway’s iceberg theory of writing, and William Zinsser’s “Simplicity” all have a place in our lexicon of great advice for writers.

Equally important, one lesser known essay from the 1950s offers writing advice that still holds up: Paul Roberts’ “How to Say Nothing in 500 Words.” Roberts’ essay was written for first-year college students and offers nine timeless pieces of writing advice. …

I had to learn to deal with the bullies in my life by myself

Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash

Near Father’s Day every year, I think of my own dad. He died more than 15 years ago, but he’s with me every day. He has an outsized influence in my life, from his sense of humor to his do-the-right-thing mentality.

Many people have great dads. They’re kind of like dogs — everyone has the best pupper wupper in the world! My dad was like that. He was a loving and caring man, devoted to my mother, and had a positive, loving individual relationship with each of his children. He wasn’t overly competitive, but he liked to play games: cards…

As a palindrome, tenet leads to a giant “huh?”

Photo by Timo C. Dinger on Unsplash

As a Christopher Nolan fan, I looked forward to his latest offering, Tenet, only to be thwarted by a global pandemic. It was billed as a big movie, a massive movie, the kind of scale that could only be done justice by watching it in a movie theater with a grand sound system. In fact, it’s perhaps best suited for a 70mm IMAX experience.

So finally, after a long delay, I streamed it on my iMac (close enough). Between the musical score obscuring the dialogue, more like the sound of the universe splitting apart than anything melodic, the varying accents…

Lee G. Hornbrook

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