Word Fun

Prospective vs. Perspective Being a Texas girl, I’ve learned that most of my species – folks from Texas – talk like we have a mouth full of marbles. Consonances are slurred; ending letters are dropped; and short words are dragged out to infinity and beyond. But Texans are NOT alone in this enunciation battle. As I’ve traveled extensively through Southern states, I’ve crossed many a verbal sword with store clerks, waitresses, hotel receptionists, even roadside assist. Add masks to the talking mixture, and the language minefield explodes with confusion. HOWEVER, not all word snafus are a result of poor pronunciation. At times, it’s a simple matter of playing the game: what’s the right word? A […]

Learning to Talk Texas Slang

Every region of the country has its own colorful sayings. Texas is NO exception. Texas folks don’t mind newcomers . . . and in lots of small Texas towns, if you’ve moved in during the last 50 years or so, you might still be considered a newcomer. Learning Texas slang helps ease the transition. Remember, that the slang is based off history. Texas Saying . . . Faster than you can shake a stick. Meaning . . . pretty darn quick. The ‘tighter than Dick’s hatband’ was one of my mother’s favorite expression. She referred to folks who squeezed a nickel harder than she could as tight-fisted, cheap, or just plain old mean money-spirited. I […]

Book Review – Tempting Mr. Townsend by Anna Campbell

Suffering from historical romance fever? Burning to read about past-times filled with heroes & heroines? Then an Anna Campbell romance is the perfect cure. In TEMPTING MR. TOWNSEND, author, Anna Campbell once again captures the incurable romantic heart. In this dashing widow selection, Lady Deerham has known and lost true love. Comfortable in her widow’s shell, Fenella is resolved to raise her son alone and spend her remaining years without the comfort of a man’s presence. That is . . . until a bear of a man burst into her quite proper drawing room, and conveys her cross- country to find her missing son. Anthony Townsend has never wanted a woman as he does Fenella, […]

Book Review – Michael’s Blood by author, SS Bazinet

Michael’s Blood by fantasy author, SS Bazinet, is a unique exploration of angels – amongst us – and re-incarnation. Have you ever turned your head just right, cut your glance quickly to the side . . . and believed that there was another presence over your shoulder? Surrounding you? Then you have already stepped across the threshold of guardian angels. How about those tingles along your spine when you simply knew something – no true explanation for that insight, that glimpse of fact or feelings, but in your deepest soul, you knew them to be accurate? Author, SS Bazinet takes readers on a journey into the concept that past-lives are more than New Age language, […]

Writing It Right with Wordle.net

Breathing new life into an older manuscript (Chasing Destiny) brought me to Wordle.net Writers . . . do you want to know your most commonly used words in a chapter? Writers . . . Do you know your most common words in your blogs, newsletters, query letters? Here’s how to find out: DIRECTLY FROM THE WORDLE WEBSITE: ‘WORDLE is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, […]

Grammar – A necessary evil to writing well.

I have been re-reading ‘Eats, Shoots & Leaves’ by Lynne Truss. Glutton for punishment? Hardly. Like most authors, I must constantly refine my skills. There is no ‘quick grow’ method to sound writing. No short-cut or easy season. Study time, butt-in-chair effort to learn basic and advance grammar is the most effective method for a good crop of sentences. As to EATS, SHOOTS, AND LEAVES: if you haven’t read Lynne’s witty take on grammar and its sad decline, you are in for a treat. She entertains and educates – no easy feat. If you’re new to writing, then best advice: learn the grammar rules. A past critique partner, albeit a brilliant woman, continually brought her […]

Don’t Slow That Pace

Slowing the pace or resolving a major character conflict at the end of the chapter or scene gives your reader an opportunity to: 1) put down your fabulous writing2) turn off the light3) and dream about some other author’s characters Not quite a Kiss Goodbye – but too close for any aspiring author who has designs on a Best Seller list. Make your readers hang around and hang on, forcing them to read through what would be a natural place to break. How? Use strong hooks. As writers, we WANT to finish the thought, to build to the end – always pushing the conflict up the next notch. BUT – and it’s a huge BUT, […]

Don’t Bungle your Blogging (or Become a Better Blogger – Writer)

In my daily perusal – read – of a multitude of blog and websites, I’ve discovered some uh-oh moments. Despite the type of blog, the number of individuals involved with the blog, or the purpose of the writing, the mistakes exist. No Grammar Police hat worn here. But I will say that on-page mistakes threaten our reader’s pleasure. Good writing is hard work. More importantly, easy reading is harder work. GOOD GRAMMAR — Wait! Don’t stop reading yet. I know . . . I know . . .The word GRAMMAR should be issued in a whisper. Ears snap closed like a gator before his midnight snack. Patience, Padawan – this could be useful information. I’m […]

Sly as a Fox

Common phrases can be trite and throw-away. Or they can layer on depth and provide alternative options to explore characterization. Today animal phrases are roaming (pardon the pun) through my brain. Why? On an early hours’ walk, a fox crossed my path. Not unique for loads of people who enjoy country living, but considering that I’m buried in a ‘metropolis’ of suburbia, pretty unusual for me. So the fox crosses my path and now I’m wondering (at a quick pace, I might add) what does it mean? Is it like the crossing of a black cat? (bad luck) Is it like crossing paths with a crow? (change on the way) Is it like a path-crossing […]

I’m finished . . . I’m finished . . . doing that happy dance!

This weekend, I typed The End on my 92,000 romantic suspense. This baby has been awhile in birthing — frankly, if I’d carried kids as long as it took me to finish this book, there would have only been one bouncing baby in my house. That said, this manuscript has seen me through a tough loss: my father’s year-long illness and passing, which seriously made me question whether I could ever finish this book. Then came my evolving literary skills: the dawn of my true Texas voice and the huge learning curve for any serious suspense plotter — as in I bit off more intrigue than I knew how to write at the time. Months […]