Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday's Child and Her Grammarness Lives On

No New Books Today

I usually post about books on Thursdays because I love those things, be they of the digital variety or the hardcopy kind that fall onto my face with a plop when I doze off while reading in bed. But this week has been fraught with lots of family crises. You'd think one really sick person in a week or one emergency run would be more than enough. Try two of each! 

The series of heart-pounding events started last Thursday, so that somehow made me think of that old rhyme about children born on days of the week. I checked: I'm a Thursday's child and the rhyme says I have far to go. Why me? A better question yet is what has Thursday got to do with going anywhere? 

Google to the rescue! Here's what one sage had to say: 

 "Thursday - the fifth day of the week, "... derives its name from the MIddle English Thorsday. "Thursday's child has far to go," much like Thor, the only god who couldn't cross from earth to heaven upon the rainbow."

Where's that rainbow anyway? I'm looking for it. Not seeing it.

The best part of finding the answer to my question was that I reread the whole poem and decided being born on Thursday was a heck of a lot better than being born on Wednesday, but I became firmly convinced that because I'm only one day away from Wednesday, there has been a bit of contamination--at least this past week.

Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.


Her Grammarness

Which/Witch one's right? Or, maybe the real question is why did they make English so tricky? 

1) He warned me not to lose/loose that book contract.
2) I had so many complements/compliments on my book that I wrote another one.
3)I stood in line for hours for the eminent/imminent author to sign my copy of his book.
4)How can people read on a stationery/stationary bike?

Any more of these tricksters that you know and love?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Miscellany: Want Some Great Free Ebooks?

Great Ebooks Giveaway

Angela and Becca are hosting a huge giveaway to celebrate their 5-year-old blog, The Bookshelf Muse.

And Alligators Overhead is among those ebooks being given away. Hope you'll stop by their place, say hi and join in the party!


Reconnecting Progress

Phillip Toledano

Part of my reconnecting with the world around me is to read ever more widely again. This week I found a slightly dated copy of The Atlantic, but when I opened it, the topic was anything but dated. Here's the essence of that article by Stephen Marche. Thanks to texting, facebook, Google+, and Twitter, Americans now live in a web of connection in which we can reach everyone we know in just a fraction of a second. Yet for all this connectivity, we have never been more detached from one another, or lonelier. If you're interested in reading the article, HERE it is. It starts with a shudder, so if you write things macabre, take a look. There's a book in this.


Quote for the Day: 

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” - W. Somerset Maugham

Do you enter to win books? If so, what books are you winning? Any recommendations? How do you feel about being part of this "connected-isolated" group of Americans? Or, do you disagree with the premise of the article? 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Small Things Hop?

Celebrating The Small Things


It's the small things that add up to how we spend most of our lives. The trip to Bali or the graduation ceremony we remember easily, but the day we had a coffee with an old friend might be forgotten.  So here's a chance to mark a few of those easily forgotten things and share them with others. 

Today's small things:

1. I paid my bills. The act was small. The bills were not.
2. I threw out magazines from the 1990's. I now have a free shelf. 
3. I called my sister just to say hi.

The day's not over, and when I walk down to the mailbox to see what the postman has deposited there for me or when I peel the carrots for dinner I'll remark on these small things and be grateful for them.

Want to join this Hop? Want to visit some others who already have? Here's your chance.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New Book Thursday With a Bit of Swash and Buckle & A Rule from Her Grammarness

New Books

Dead Reckoning by K A Perkins

I stumbled on this one in a forum and decided I'd like to read an historical novel. Here's my review on Amazon.

Dead Reckoning is an historical adventure of piracy, love and revenge in the Caribbean in the Seventeenth Century.

Leo is born in Spanish Panama in 1659. When he is 12 years old he witnesses the violent rape and murder of his mother by three of the Caribbean’s most feared pirates: Tarr, Blake and Hornigold, and swears revenge at all costs. 
Gabriella is trapped in an abusive marriage to a ruthless Dutch slave trader, who is in business with the same English cut-throats. She risks all to escape with her life. 

Follow their exciting story as they meet threat and challenge on the Caribbean Seas and pursue their quest of revenge; a quest that leads to a terrifying conclusion. But whose head is in the noose?


Her Grammarness

I'm not implying that I know everything about grammar, so I hope none of you are inferring that from Her Grammarness's posts. However, I do know the difference between an implication and an inference, and it's nails on that old-fashioned chalk board for me when a writer confuses the two. Here's the conversation that made this difference so clear in my mind.

"That is one piece of amazing prose," the agent said, holding her nose.
"Are you implying my prose stinks?" I glowered at her.
"You may infer whatever you please. Just take this elsewhere." She held my manuscript at arms length between her thumb and forefinger.

Rule anyone?
Implication: Use to express that something is hinted at, not directly stated.
Inference: Use to express a logical conclusion based on information given.

Have you discovered some unknown books by accident, read and enjoyed them? Any grammar items that are like nails on the blackboard to you?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Miscellany or I'm a Winning Fool & Small Things Hop (That's ambiguous on purpose.)

I'm a Winning Fool

Kyra Lennon bestowed a copy of her book, Blindsided on me. It arrived!  Thanks, Kyra. I'm excited about reading your story.

Then The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow saw to it that Simon and Schuster sent me a copy of a fabulous Middle Grade story called  Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger. The cover alone makes me which I'd written this one.

I've got me some reading to do!

I did read Every Day, which I won from Cece M. Robert a few weeks ago. And I reviewed it. If you'd like to read that review, it's on AMAZON and GOODREADS. Thanks Cece.

Now for the Miscellaneous bits:

Celebrating The Small Things


(This should have come on Friday, but call it either early or late this week.)

1. I planted my first lettuce, spinach and broccoli of the season in my greenhouse.

2. I brushed my cat. Now that's not an easy thing to do, even if I include it here as "small,"  since this cat came from some bushy Persian strain of animal. She's knots and more knots every week.

3. I found the top of my desk, well, parts of it. Finding any surface space required stacking and sorting. Small, but immensely important.

4. I wrote two notes to friends in Europe--longhand. Felt great.

My favorite quote for the day:

Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. - Mark Twain

Do you enter to win books? If so, what books are you winning? Any recommendations? How about those simple things that you're doing? If you don't enter this Hop, tell us what you're doing that's not earth shattering, but important to you. If you say you've just finished a Nobel winning novel, you're banished for a while. Any favorite quotes I can snag for future use? 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Whoopie! Another Book Event, A New Book & Her Grammarness Pushes On

Book Event

I mentioned Frances Caballo's SOCIAL MEDIA JUST FOR WRITERS before and pointed you to my review, but couldn't help but offer to host this author and her book here again because I really liked her book, and I think if you're new to this business of promotion or bogged down in so much promo, you've lost track of what you're doing,  it could be very helpful.

Besides, this week, Frances is having a great book event. She's offered to giveaway a hardcopy of her book to anyone in the continental United States. If you're outside of the U.S. she's open to sending a pdf to a winner from this blog. So, here's all you have to do to win-- enter the contest on rafflecopter and I'll contact you if you're chosen. 

Take a look at France's WEBSITE, visit her on FacebookLinkedInGoogle+Twitter, and Pinterest. And if you want to up your chances of winning, check out other hosting sites on her tour schedule. She's everywhere!


New Book

TOUGH GIRL  by Libby Heily is here.  Danger lurks everywhere in eleven year old Reggie's world—from the bully next door to the unwanted attentions of a creep at school. Raised by her mentally ill mother, Reggie is left to fend for herself in a rough

neighborhood. She escapes in daydreams, battling aliens with her alter ego,

Tough Girl.

When Reggie's mother disappears, her fantasy life spirals out of control and
starts to invade reality. She is hunted by a creature of her own design, and
even Tough Girl is not strong enough to stop him.

Will Reggie survive long enough for her mother to return, or will her dream
world take over?

Barnes and Noble   Smashwords   Amazon


Her Grammarness 

One thing about English--or any language for that matter--it doesn't stay the same. Just pick up Shakespeare and read a few of those couplets. In four-hundred years we've lost doth and thee and thou along with the Elizabethan's more flexible syntax. (I'd love to talk about that here one day. Interesting.) 

However, our written language is much more stable, especially the standard form. However, recently linguists are talking about a quicker pace of change, even in the written form. Here are two sets of words that, until very recently, had distinct differences. Today, not so much.

Few and Less: The rule I knew was USE FEW WHEN YOU CAN COUNT THE NOUN. 
  • Few agents responded to my query. (Too true.) 
  • Writers have less time to write these days. (It seems this is also too true!) 
 Today I hear less for both the count and non-count nouns. What do you prefer? To keep the words distinct or to lose that rule entirely? 

Then there's the issue of Farther and Further. I still like to make farther refer to distance: 
  • The farther he threw his manuscript, the better he felt.
Then I keep further to refer to those abstract distances that I can't measure: 
  • The further he delved into his manuscript, the more he lost his original story line. (This happened to me just last month, so I can relate to just how abstract further delving can be!)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Miscellany: Super Cover Reveal Plus A Bit of Epub News About The Princess of Las Pulgas

Cover Reveal for The Dragon Empire by Heather McCorkle
February 2013
Compass Press

Cover Design by CP Design

On Yacrana, dragons stand at the top of the evolutionary ladder instead of humans. Such an advanced species is not without its issues though.

There's trouble in the Dragon Empire, the kind that could start a war between dragons and the races of people. Hidden factions of dragons believe they should rule the lesser races, not simply stand aside and allow them to develop as they will. Having lived so long in peace, the Emperors turn a blind eye, many oblivious that such attitudes even exist.

Despite being only an architect class, emerald dragon, Grendar is willing to risk banishment and death to stop that which his rulers refuse to see. The hope of peace lies not within the scaled breast of a dragon however, but within the hands of a group of people. But if the hidden factions have their way, these people won’t live to fulfill such a destiny. With a reluctant seer at his side, Grendar must leave his precious Empire for the outside world to save those that will one day save his kind. 

Heather McCorkle
I am an author of fantasy, in all its many sub-genres. Living green, saving endangered species, helping other writers, and supporting fabulous authors are a few of my passions. I am also a volunteer for the IS Foundation which works to make the world a greener place. When I'm not volunteering, writing, or surfing my social networking sites, I can be found on the slopes, the hiking trails, or on horseback. As a native Oregonian, I enjoy the outdoors almost as much as the worlds I create on the pages. No need to travel to the Great Northwest though, you can find me here, on my blog, and Monday night's on Twitter where I co-moderate the #WritersRoad chat.

Author Links:

My News: After going at it for two years, I've gotten my rights back from the publisher that went out of business and **DRUM ROLL HERE** The Princess of Las Pulgas is now an ebook. You can't see me, but imagine the jumping up and down. WAIT. Here's a picture.

Since The Princess has been in hiding for so long, I'm giving away five ebooks to the people who Tweet, Like, Tag, mention . . . whatever on fb, Amazon, Tweeter or blogs.

This can't be truly Monday Miscellany if I only talk about books, can it? So here's two of my favorite quotes for the week.

"Meetings are indispensible when you don't want to do anything." John K. Galbraith

"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world." John le Carré

Now I'm out of here. I'm tired of this "dangerous desk place," so it's time for a hike and maybe a few more jumps while I'm outside. What do you do to celebrate a victory, or reaching a goal? What do you think of Heather's cover for her Epic Fantasy Novel?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christmas Déjà Vu. Also, Her Grammarness Strikes Again! All right?

Featured Books

Lionel should have been here before Christmas; however, I took a break and Lionel had Christmas presents to wrap, so we're both a bit late. Okay, shoot us! But Christmas will come again and very soon. So here's a lighthearted and sweet book to tuck away for next year. And Paul R. Hewlett has other--not so seasonally specific adventures for Lionel. Check out his other books as well. And READ A SAMPLE. Enjoy!

Her Grammarness

I had a special request from Marcia for this week's post, and, so--all right-- here we go! Is that all right with everyone? Her Grammarness doth love getting it all right, so if it's all right with you I'll proceed. Of course, I realize that it's not that big OF a deal, these nerdy Grammar Issues. Oops! Just made a bit of a flub there, Marcia.

Crown askew. 
All better now. 

Starting again. Ahem!

It may not be that [NEVER USE OF HERE WHEN WRITING UNLESS YOUR CHARACTER SPEAKS THAT WAY. "IT'S NO BIG OF A DEAL" IS SPOKEN ENGLISH, NOT STANDARD WRITTEN ENGLISH.] big a deal, but I like to know where I stand in the all right v. alright discussion because I'm a writer. All right is the standard English synonym for adequate or permissible. Alright has moved from being a misspelling, to having slightly different meaning, to maybe. . .just maybe becoming a word in its own right. In any case, check out the publisher/editor/agent you're subbing to and find out what they set as "standard." I'm sticking with all right because of this crown.

Do you have any burning questions for Her Grammarness? If I can't answer them I have an army of linguists to tap into. They love grammar, phonological and semantic questions. Makes them feel needed.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Miscellany or How Can I Blog About the S&P 500 Index and Kim Kardashian in the Same Post?

During my Christmas break, I actually "talked" to people and I've been such a writing hermit that I realized how out of the loop I really was. So, I set out to fix that. I started reading the New York Times again, I read three articles in Forbes and, just for balance, People Magazine--two whole pages of that.

Here's what I now know:

  • The US is in deep goat poo. 

Gross generalization, but terrible and true. We're about to see a half-trillion dollar tax increase--this will affect every working American. In case you've never written a check for a half a trillion, here's how I finally was able to grasp the meaning of all those zeroes. I posted this on fb and here last year.

Start at birth and you have 0.
1 million seconds= your are 10 days old
1 billion seconds= you are 31 years old
1 trillion seconds= you've been dead for 30,000 years
10 trillion seconds (closer to the national debt figure)=you've been dead for 317,000 years
I'm not a political activist. I'm just a very scared tax payer--well, actually I'm just a writer who doesn't like the idea of leaving our kids with all this debt.

To HELP us even more, our retired and elderly are likely to see cuts in programs like Social Security. But that's okay, really. Because the senators  and representative aren't on Social Security.

  • 2012 was a great year for the S&P 500 Index 

Did you invest last year? Wish I had.

  • Katie Holmes is the best dressed star for the week of December 29.

  • Kim Kardashian is pregnant.

Any 2013 plans for keeping up with what's going on in this world? After all of this "research" I'm going back to reading books by Alex Cavanugh, Mary Pax, Lynn Kelley, Stephen Tremp and Nancy Thompson. Then I'm going for a long hike. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

So Do You Like Book Events? How About Super Helpful Books or Fun New Books? Her Grammarness Serves Up a Dollop of Detail

Book Events

A BOOK EVENT YOU'LL LIKE: January 4 7:30PM Kepler's in Menlo Park, CA 94025 is hosting three of my old 2009 Debs: Lauren Bjorkman, Kimberly Derting and Stacey Jay. Stop by and hear what they have to say about World Building.


New Year's Reads with Lauren Bjorkman, Kimberly Derting,  and Stacey Jay     

Friday January 4th,
7.30 pm

Start the New Year with some of our favorite YA reads.

miss fortune cookieThe Fortune Cookie by Lauren BjorkmanMeet Erin. Smart student, great daughter, better friend. Secretly the mastermind behind the popular advice blog Miss Fortune Cookie. Totally unaware that her carefully constructed life is about to get crazy..   

The Essence by Kimberly DertingAt the conclusion of The Pledgethe essenceCharlaina (who can understand all languages in a country where the language you speak determines your class) defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen's Essence is fused to Charlie's psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

romeo redeemedRomeo Redeemed by Stacey JayAll will be revealed for fans who have breathlessly awaited the sizzling sequel to Juliet Immortal. This time Romeo takes center stage and gets one chance, and one chance only, to redeem himself.
If you have a book event and what a bit of a shout out. Let me know. I can shout.

New Books

A SUPER HELPFUL BOOK: A few week ago--and now I totally forget how it happened--I was contacted and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing a new book about social media.
"Heck yeah," says me.
I can use all the help I can get. I didn't really expect much, but I was surprised. SOCIAL MEDIA JUST FOR WRITERS  by FRANCES CABALLO is a winner of a book. Here's my AMAZON review, but if you're still scratching your head over profile pages and fan pages and how those charts work and on and on and on, grab this book. It's a hit list of what to do for each of social media giants.

A FUN NEW BOOK: Lauren Bjorkman's MISS FORTUNE COOKIE (Holt) is out. The tag line: Fate will come looking for you. Don't bother hiding.  Sounds enticing, doesn't it?

If you have a new book coming out. I'll post about it. Just send me links, a two-three sentence tag line and a cover. I love new books and I love posting about them. If you've just read a book you couldn't put down, I'd love to hear about it.

Her Grammarness

Here's more than you ever wanted to know about the adverb ALREADY and its friend, ALL READY! But here it is anyway.  First, they're not the same words. They have two meaning and, as you can see two spellings. Unfortunately, some writers treat them as siamese twins. They're not even fraternal twins. 

ALREADY means IT--whatever IT is--is done, finished, kaput. 
In American English we often say, "I already edited that manuscript. I'm not doing it again." (I suggest writers don't say this to their editors.)

The Brits kind of keep "already" for use in the present perfect. You know those Brits! "I've already edited that manuscript, you obtuse critic, you."  

ALL READY is reserved for "Are you all ready to publish your book?" Meaning, "Are you prepared to get that @~# manuscript out of your C Drive?"  OR "I am all ready to become a New York Times Bestselling author." There's a small gap between those two sentences in terms of time, but PREPARED is the synonym for all ready in both.  BTW I just read a book that had these words ALL WRONG. Oops!

Do you have any burning questions for Her Grammarness? If I can't answer them I have an army of linguists to tap into. They love grammar, phonological and semantic questions. Makes them feel needed.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Insecure Writer Me Takes Flight in 2013!

Insecure Writer Me Takes Flight in 2013!

Happy New Year

May 2013 not have any 





and most importantly


Let us all chant together:

Down with Insecurity!
Up with confidence!

Just to be sure none of us in this monthly support group backslide, please give each one a visit and a gentle pat on the head. You'll get an, "Ahhh. Thanks" in return.