Showing posts from November, 2011

VARIANT Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Gratitude Giveaway Hop.
I had a tremendous response, and I'm grateful for each and every new (and old!) follower.
The winner of VARIANT, by Robison Wells, is Kristi from Books and Needlepoint!

WNW: Turkey!

In honor of Thanksgiving, today's Word Nerd Wednesday is all about a favorite staple the holiday: turkey.
Until I did a bit of digging with my trusty OED, I didn't realize just how many definitions turkey has.
For fun, a sampling of 10 of the many definitions and phrases associated with the word:
1) Guinea-fowl According to a quotation into OED dating from 1552 to 1601, it's a bird originally brought from Numidia (a former kingdom in northern Africa) to the country today known as, of course, Turkey.
2) Bird of which all the species are American, one type originally domesticated in Mexico. The definition goes on about predominantly where in Northern America, but as long as they're also available in the freezer section of my local grocery store, I don't know that I care that many of them are from Missouri.
3) The wild version of the domestic fowl above. Again, found in North America.
4) The flesh of the bird mentioned above. Now we're talking Thanksgiving. Pass the cranbe…

Chocolate Never Faileth: Corrections and Bloopers

The first typo I became aware of in Chocolate Never Faileth was brought to my attention by my friend TJ, who came to a signing for the book with his wife and kids. He told me about the typo. I didn't believe him. Or, rather, I desperately hoped he was wrong. The book had been all I worked on for almost a year, shoving my fiction (and creative writing self) aside. At least three people proofed the thing, including me.On the other hand, I'd already published seven novels. I should have known that mistakes and typos can (and often do) slip through, no matter how carefully the writer and the publishing team work on a book.As I became aware of a few more errors in the cookbook, I put corrections on my website. Even so, I still get regular questions about the same issues over and over again. I assume that means they aren't finding the list of corrections on my site, so maybe a blog post will help. They're on THIS PAGE. If I find more things to fix (knock on wood!), that'…

Gratitude Giveaway Hop

Yay! From today, November 17, through Sunday, November 27th, I'm part of the Gratitude Giveaway Hop!
It's a chance for me to say thank you to those who follow my online doings. As such, this giveaway doesn't have a bunch of hoops to jump through. No tweeting, FB-ing, blogging, or anything else. And no one gets more than one entry.
Why? To say THANKS to my followers!
Somewhere around a gazillion other blogs are participating, so you can enter to win stuff on all of them, too. To find the other blogs participating, visit I Am a Reader, Not a Writer, where you'll find a Linky with the full list.
Here's what I'm giving away:
Variant, by Robison Wells
It's garnered a ton of praise. It was listed as one of the best books on the Publisher's Weekly list for 2011 and got starred review in Kirkus. (Stars there are a very big deal.)
This book is a great read for anyone 12 years old, up to 110 or so. Boys will love it (my 16-year-old son couldn't up it down), but I…

The Choice to Write & Publish

Today I'm on my soap box about a truth and what it means to me. It has a few parts.

Part I: The writing and publishing life isn't easy.
Not everyone will tell you that, and not everyone who is told so believes it, but it's true. And the reality is that if you're going to walk the path seriously, you'll have to sacrifice something.
Some of what I've sacrificed: several hobbies and pretty much all television, with the exception of the news and the occasional Dr. Phil episode, prerecorded on the TiVo, watched while I fold laundry and do dishes. I've also sacrificed having a Martha Stewart house (if you can call that a sacrifice; I'm teaching my kids to do more, which prepares them for adulthood anyway).
What I haven't sacrificed is my family.

The truth is that a lot of people love the idea of writing and getting published, but don't like the reality of what that means. When push comes to shove, they don't have the drive to do what's needed befor…

WNW: Providing Education and a Future

Today's Word Nerd Wednesday is taking a somewhat more serious turn.
I have fun here on WNW, where we often discuss goofy language stuff or pet grammar peeves. But if you've followed me for very long, you know that my interest in language and words goes way beyond grammar.
I'm huge on bringing both adults and children into the 21st century through literacy and education. We're in place now where getting an education and knowing how to communicate (both read and write) are crucial to success.
Statistic after statistic shows that poverty is directly connected to education and literacy levels . . . especially the mother's. Increase the mom's education, and suddenly her children have a better shot at a happy, successful life.
That's why I'm joining bloggers during November to help raise funds for an LDS Philanthropies scholarship that helps single parents get degrees so they and their children can improve their lives.
From LDS Philantrophies (bolded section my…

WNW: Changing Names Doesn't Change Attitude

I've talked many times about how English (and all languages) evolve. Today's Word Nerd Wednesday is taking a slightly different angle.
Many people believe that language is power, that by changing how we refer to something, we'll change attitudes. That's just not true at all.
An easy example is the word toilet.
The word used to mean the place where a person (usually a woman) would primp: do her hair, spritz perfume, add her jewelry.
But when we got indoor plumbing, people wanted to refer to our, well, business in a manner what would sound nice. So they called the place where we do something entirely different than primp by the same name, the toilet.
Instead of thinking about bodily functions in a pretty, primping sort of way, the new word, toilet, took on the connotations of what we do there. (In other words, it adopted the ick factor.)
Dang. Toilet didn't work. We needed a new term. How about bathroom?
Well, sure, we bathe there, too, but we all know what it really means…