Showing posts from July, 2011

Sample Sunday: The Golden Cup of Kardak

Chapter One Urgent Messenger
Torin whistled as he headed down the forest path. He had a bag of potatoes over one shoulder and a five piece in his hand. Wouldn’t Merinne be thrilled! He tossed the coin into the air and caught it, then heard a noise in the brush ahead.
At first he thought it was just of fox or a jackrabbit, until he looked over and saw a flash of a brown cloak slipping behind a big rock. Because the colors blended into the forest so well, he thought he’d imagined a green, pointed hat—it was a wonder Torin saw anything at all. His curiosity getting the better of him, he took a step off the path to investigate.
A little woman with mousy, brown hair peered out and waved a bent hand at him. Startled, Torin caught his breath. Was she a dwarf? A gnome? She looked younger than the pictures of gnomes and dwarves he had seen in books. Her hair was pulled into a bun, but wisps had come loose and framed her face. She crooked her finger at him.
He pointed at himself. “Me?”
She looked a…

Answer & a Post

For those wondering about this week's Word Nerd Wednesday, Sandra got it right!
All the words in that list describe groups of animals. When I first saw this list, I knew a couple of them, but into a big group like this, even those definitions dissolved, and I couldn't figure it out until someone else told me. The full list is below.
Also: Today I'm guest posting at my friend Liz's group blog. (I've blogged about the awesome Liz, who I've known for over half my life, HERE.)
Read my guest post over at Hey NonnyHERE.

And the animal list: Kindle of Kittens
Sleuth of Bears
Leash of Greyhounds
Brace of Ducks
Charm of Goldfinches
Drift of Swine
Exaltation of Larks
Grist of Bees
Leap of Leopards
Murder of Crows
Bed of Clams
Sounder of Boars
Chattering of Choughs
Spring of Teals
Trip of Seals
Watch of Nightingales
Wing of Plovers
Rafter of Turkeys
Clamor of Rooks
Kettle of Hawks
Mute of Hounds
Unkindness of Ravens
Wisdom of Owls
Train of Camels
Gulp of Cormorants
Skulk of Foxes
Rhumba of Rattlesnakes

WNW: What Do These Words Have in Common?

FIRST, A REMINDER:The registration deadline for the Precision Editing live critique workshop is coming up. The workshop will be much like the Storymaker conference Boot Camp, but all day, and with less of a crowd.
MORE: The workshop is Saturday, August 13, 10:30 to 3:30. Cost: $35 for the day. (A one-hour lunch break is on you.)
CLICK HERE for more info.

Serious word nerd alert here.
I found this list of terms not too long ago. I'm posting it now with a question for you:
What do all of these words have in common?
I'll post the answer later.

Rowling's Splash and Ripples

Found a great article in the Wall Street Journal, a piece that essentially said thank you to J. K. Rowling for the impact she and her books have made.
One element of the article that I had fun with in particular was the comparisons of Rowling to Dickens, thanks to my studies of Dickens as an English major. I had an entire semester course on his work and had a ball dissecting them, especially some lesser-known works (two of my favorites: Our Mutual Friend and Dombey and Son).
But for this post, I wanted to talk about the overall message of the piece.
First, yes, the article contains a lot of hyperbole. No, Rowling didn't save a world on the brink of illiteracy. Yes, many kids were reading books long before Rowling penned her first Harry Potter book. So did grown-ups.
That said, Rowling's writing and publishing changed the landscape of reading and publishing in huge ways. Love her books or not, here are just a few ways she made a splash that's still rippling:
For the first time,…

WNW: Metathesis

You may not know what it is by name, but you've probably done it yourself lots of times, and if you've been around kids, I'm sure you've heard more examples as they learn to talk.
Metathesis is when two sounds get flipped in the pronunciation of a word.
For young children, the most familiar one might be saying pa-sghetti instead of spaghetti, where the childexchanges the places of the S and the P.
A common example among adults is how they say the full word we write as etc. Many people say ex cetera.
That's not technically correct, but a lot of us say it. The term is really et cetera, with a T, not an X. That pronunciation makes a lot more sense when you look back at the shortened version we all use, etc.
When my son was little (and because I'm a total word nerd), I loved watching his language develop. A version of metathesis he came up with was with "granola bar."
He dropped the R altogether, as young kids often do, since it's a hard consonant to say wh…

Reading, Imagination, and Growth

When it comes to books and reading, I'm all for reading "marshmallow" works at times. You know, lighthearted, escapist books that are a fun romp. They don't pretend to be anything but a fun story. They aren't trying to change the world or be profound. But dang, they're fun to read, and you come away feeling happy after closing the cover.
(A big favorite of mine in this category is the 2010 Whitney winner for Romance, Julie Wright'sCross My Heart.)
I'm also a big proponent of being willing, at times, to pick up something different. That can also mean something hard.
That something could be a book with a view of the world that is different from mine (white, female, Mormon).
Maybe it's reading about a black person's experience (The Bluest Eye).
Or about someone with religious background different than my own (My Name Is Asher Lev)
Or someone living in a different time (A Tale of Two Cities).
Or a different place (The Poisonwood Bible, A Thousand Splendi…

So . . . Close. Help, Please.

So I entered a photo taken several years ago of my husband and one of our daughters into a contest for pictures of fathers. Winner gets a cool camera.
The finalists are voted on by the public. I'm close, but I need help to bump our picture up and win.
You can vote once a day through Sunday, so go back tomorrow, too!
To vote, write "I vote for Dad and Daughter" in the comments under the photo.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thanks, Valerie

Ten years ago, in the summer of 2001, I got yet another rejection from one of the two publishing houses I was bound and determined to break into (Covenant, the other being Deseret Book). This rejection had a lot of positives in it, and it included a request to revise and resubmit.
About two weeks later, I got an e-mail from an editor there who I knew personally. We'd crossed paths many times, at League of Utah Writers meetings, conferences, and so on. She was one of the most helpful and sweet people ever.
Her name was Valerie Holladay.
In her email, she said that she'd seen my work cross her desk over the years, and she knew I had the chops, but for whatever reason hadn't quite crossed the line into acceptance. Long-time readers of my blog will remember the story (HERE and HERE) about how Valerie invited me to lunch so we could discuss my writing and figure out how to fine-tune my work so it was more marketable.
I spent days frantically writing synopses of my novels so Valerie…