I LIE A LOT in my Memoir: Untangling Lie, Lay, Lying, Laying, Lied, and Laid

I LIE A LOT in my memoir. Oh, not lying like fibbing. (Well, you can judge that later.) I mean, lying as in reclining. It’s a memoir of narcolepsy after all!  I lie down and around so much in my narcolepsy memoir that I’ve called in grammar gurus to make sure I’m using the correct form of the word throughout the book.   

It’s fascinating, for dorks like me! Lie is an intransitive verb (one that does not take an object) meaning “to recline.” Lie also means “to tell an untruth.” Lay is a transitive verb (one that takes an object), meaning “to put” or “to place.” Their past tense, past participles and present participles is where all h*ll breaks loose.

I’ve been MIA on my REM Runner blog recently because I’m hot and heavy with my memoir.  At the beginning of August, I received my editor’s edits and set an aggressive schedule of reviewing 20 pages a day. I met my goal and finished incorporating her edits on August 15th!  Now, I’m doing another run through because the many great changes also brought new errors. In addition, I’m hunting down words like: like, as if, just, began, only, but, feels, and still. I just began, but it feels as if I only have like 200 pages to go still! 😉

Alright, enough kidding around, back to work! Thank you for your patience and understanding while I work through the final stages of this process. It’s been a long haul but I know it will be worth it the day I lay my memoir on my nightstand and lie down in bed to dream up my next adventure! (Forgive me, grammar gods, if I got that wrong.)


  1. Laura on August 24, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    You know, since the advent of narcolepsy in my life, I’ve noticed the word “lie” comes up a lot more often in my my written communication (e-mails with family and friends who aren’t nearby, mostly) than before. And, like you, not in the fibbing sense. And it’s made me wonder a lot if I’ve been using the various forms correctly. Since the correspondence has been mostly informal e-mail, I hadn’t bothered to research it yet. But, now I know! Thanks, Julie!

    I own the book “501 Verbs in Portuguese, Fully Conjugated” (and the Spanish counterpart) and I often wish for a similar book in English. I mean, most of the verb forms I know. But sometimes I’d really like some clarity on, for instance, the correct past participle for “dream.”

    • julie on August 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      Thank you, Laura. I’m glad you feel my pain on the lying front. Clearly, I dream a lot in my memoir too, so I better look into the correct past participle! 😉

  2. unell hobbs on August 26, 2012 at 2:15 am

    I was a little worried. Glad you are just working hard 🙂

    • julie on September 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks, Unell! Yes, just hard at work. Hope you’re doing well! Big smiles, Julie

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