I first "met" Jordan McCollum in bloggy land. I learned a lot about blogging and her philosophy on motherhood (one close to my heart) from her personal blog, MamaBlogga (see the link below).
Not long after, I got to be the guest-judge for Scribbit's monthly Write Away contest. The judging was totally blind; I was sent the entries without any author names on them. As I read through them and marked them up, putting them in various stacks (maybe, definitely no, etc.), one entry stood out from all the rest. I deemed it the winner.
I found out later that the winning entry was Jordan's. Dude, the girl can write.
Shortly thereafter, she came to one of my book signings and kept me company for a good half hour. (So did Wonder Woman . . . thanks for that! It was so fun!).
I discovered during our chat that Jordan was an actual linguistics major (Hello!!! One of my favorite subjects ever . . . even though I'm an amateur and don't have a degree in it).
Then I about passed out when she mentioned knowing about the Kalevala (a book near and dear to my heart, the collection of Finnish mythology/folktales). Who in the world knows about the Kalevala (besides J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and other folks who are into Norse mythology . . . like Jessica Day George? Oh, and Burt Wilson, who began the entire BYU folklore program because of the Kalevala, but I digress).
At BYU, Jordan had even heard my dad lecture about the Kalevala. (When I was a freshman, Dad was the Linguistics chair and had a nice, big office with a couch. I took a few naps there when I was wiped, since most of my classes were in the humanities building anyway.) Dad retired as Associate Dean of Humanities. So I think I went up a coolness point or two when Jordan realized I'm his daughter. (And that was a really cool lecture, Dad.)
Jordan herself went up a few coolness points for me when I found out her dad also went on a mission to Finland like mine did, which was part of the reason she became interested in linguistics, and that she can pronounce Finnish words almost perfectly.
In addition to being a great blogger (check out MamaBlogga when you need a boost as a mom), she's also a writer, professionally and otherwise. She's working on some novels right now, so at that book signing, I convinced her to come to the LDStorymakers conference in April.
While at the conference, she asked me to guest post on her new writing blog, specifically on her May theme: verbs. I said sure! I'd love to!
But then my brain froze, taking a post-conference vacation somewhere along the way, because it took me three weeks (or so) to come up with something interesting to say about verbs that would be Jordan-worthy. (She'd already covered passive versus active and modals and all kinds of good stuff. Not that I was intimidated or anything. Not at all . . . nope . . .)
Today my guest post is up! It is about verbs, but specifically about verbs in dialogue tags, so I think it's a good refresher for all fiction writers out there.
Check it out here!
(In it, I refer to a horrid, self-published book, but not by name, because I'm not cruel. I still have the book more than a decade later. It's like a train-wreck I can't stop looking at. I flip through it when I need a good laugh or when I need to remind myself that yes, I do know a few things about this craft.)