What's the proper use of a dash, parenthesis, and commas?

I'm a young, fiction writer. I've always been pretty good with grammar and spelling, but I'm trying to improve my craft and find my style. I tend to write a lot of complex sentences, in my journal especially. I'll give this example: "A year or two ago, I found a woman who lived in Croatia... show more I'm a young, fiction writer. I've always been pretty good with grammar and spelling, but I'm trying to improve my craft and find my style.

I tend to write a lot of complex sentences, in my journal especially. I'll give this example:

"A year or two ago, I found a woman who lived in Croatia (or Serbia, I sometimes confuse the two). She was in a relationship with another woman, very attractive, only saw a few photos of her online, and that made me cautious. "

I'm not sure how to punctuate those two sentences. I've read grammar books, and I admit I need a refresher, but I'm still confused about when to use dashes, parenthesis, and commas.

...even elipses.

Maybe I could use an elipses before "[...]only saw a few photos of her", and would I write "[comma] online"?

Without changing the words, how would you punctuate this sentence, and why?
4 answers 4