Thoughts from a word-catcher

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Old fashion words never go out of style, they just seem to be brushed aside. However, from Old-English to around your grandmother’s kitchen table, a person comes across these once familiar words like old friends. Although language is evolving, and word mutations have entered modern day language, it is not uncommon, especially for writers who wish to authenticate their jargon, to add flair and accuracy to their works.

And so, today’s blog plays tribute to the retired words, and like good soldiers they should not be forgotten. Whether you express yourself with brevity or tend to be long-winded, there is always room to rediscover.

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Shameful perhaps, however, I hope it is more thought of as a helpful guide, I have slipped into my blog conversation my title, Once Upon a Time Words: Definitions of Often Read but Seldom Spoken Words. As you might imagine, I am a word lover.

 

A little writing guidance grows a story

self-made

Writing styles are affected by various attributes such as genre, time and culture settings, social backgrounds, personalities of the characters, and the mood of a scene. Fiction offers a distilled representation of the ways in which writers are among the most significant touchstones in another’s life.  However, as much as a writer may have the zest and passion to write, there is always that time in the day when she or he asks  “is this story any good?”

Today’s post is dedicated to those writers that could use a bit of push in the right direction. The rubric below may help you get back your confidence. Getting opinions are helpful, but self-guided direction may be the first step to improving your story.

Directions: Reread your story. What do you need to do to make it better? Use this rubric to help you decide. Check the sentences that describe your story.

Looking Good!

The beginning makes my audience want to read more. It introduces the characters, the setting, and the problem.

The middle shows how the characters deal with the problem.

All of the events are in order and are important to the story.

The ending shows how the problem works out.

Details make the story come alive!

My characters have a voice, and the story sounds the way I wanted.

There are almost no mistakes in capitalization, punctuation, or spelling.

Getting Stronger

The beginning could be more interesting.

I haven’t told how the characters deal with the problem.

I forgot to include some important events.

The story doesn’t sound finished.

Details need to show, not tell, about the characters, events, and setting.

My story doesn’t sound the way I wanted.

There are a few mistakes.

Back to the drawing board

The beginning is boring.

There is no clear problem.

The story is confusing. Important events are left out.

The ending just stops. How does the problem work out?

Where can I add details?

My story is written in a dull, flat voice.

There are a lot of mistakes.

***

Wouldn’t it be nice if life had a rubric…but then perhaps it would be boring!

Humbled by this book review

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Although it was a cloudy morning things began to glow when I received notice that my most recent publication,  The Fortune Teller and Other Short Works earned a 5-star review.

Thank you Red Headed Book Lover for your awesome recommendation! And so, without anymore fanfare here is an excerpt from her review.

“Anthologies are soon becoming my favorite type of reads, why? They are the perfect books to pick up and get lost in if ever you are having a busy day. I adore anthologies but only if they are written flawlessly with each story being supremely well developed with a wealth of information. The Fortune Teller and Other Short Works is just this; a perfect anthology book that has flawlessly written stories written throughout it that will compel, intrigue and excite you from beginning to end! Nanette L. Avery, the talented author of The Fortune Teller and Other Short Works, is an incredible writer whose work needs to be recognized and read by all readers so, please book lovers, if you adore anthologies and books with brilliant stories then you will love this! If you are not entirely convinced just yet then read the rest of my review to learn more about this exceptional book! ….

The Fortune Teller and Other Short Works is, of course, an anthology (a collection of short stories) and so the readers get to experience many different stories and witness many different lives and circumstances, however, all of the stories are written from a woman’s perspective which I think is brilliant! Each story in this excellent collection is unique and different from the other one. They never once sound similar, and that is a hard quality to achieve with an anthology, so already I have to applaud Avery for her talent to write original, creative stories! ….”

***

The entire review can be read on her wonderful book reviewer’s site “The Red Headed Book Lover!! 

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

Esteemed thinker: Christopher D. Morley

cherry flowers changing The earth is most ingenious; for her ability to transform herself is akin to our flipping over the days on the calendar. For example, it was only a week or so ago that she celebrated the spring equinox (although somewhat arbitrary depending upon which side of the hemisphere you live) This is an occasion, when put into scientific terms, marks that special moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator going from south to north. At the equinox, Earth’s two hemispheres are receiving the sun’s rays equally…day and nights are approximately equal in length. Hence we get the word equinox from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night).

But for earth… this is really just a wardrobe crisis; much like hanging up one’s suit of clothes and exchanging it for another. Here the winter apparel has been put into storage and out comes the spring attire, which to our delight is much more colorful and often rather bold. For like those designers that dictate to us what colors are now “in”, so does Mother Nature play couturier with the seasons, choosing which blooms will festoon the trees and shrubs.

So, now the sun rises earlier, the flowers are sprouting, and the days are getting longer. So it seems that we have more time, an illusion created to fool us into believing that the 24 hours allocated are now more!

Christopher Darlington Morley_ Today’s blog introduces the esteemed thinker: Christopher D. Morley (1890-1957), a clever and prolific American journalist, novelist, playwright, and poet. Born in Haverford, PA, he was a Harvard Graduate. Morley wrote for the New York Evening Post (1920-1923) and the Saturday Review of Literature (1924-1941), which he helped found. Out of his keenness for the Sherlock Holmes stories, Morley helped found a group of Holmes enthusiasts, the Baker Street Irregulars. His 1939 novel Kitty Foyle, was made into an Academy Award-winning movie.

Here to brighten your day with a bit of wit and reminder of the vernal equinox and spring; from his book Mince Pie, I bring you the words of Christopher Morley.

“ Once a year, about the approach of the vernal equinox or the seedsman’s catalogue, we wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning. This is an immediate warning and apprisement that something is adrift. Three hundred and sixty-four days in the year we wake, placidly enough, at seven-ten, ten minutes after the alarm clock has jangled. But on this particular day, whether it be the end of February or the middle of March, we wake with the old recognizable nostalgia. It is the last polyp or vestige of our anthropomorphic and primal self, trailing its pathetic little wisp of glory for the one day of the whole calendar. All the rest of the year we are the plodding percheron of commerce, patiently tugging our wain; but on that morning there wambles back, for the nonce, the pang of Eden. We wake at 6 o’clock; it is a blue and golden morning and we feel it imperative to get outdoors as quickly as possible. Not for an instant do we feel the customary respectable and sanctioned desire to kiss the sheets yet an hour or so. The traipsing, trolloping humor of spring is in our veins; we feel that we must be about felling an aurochs or a narwhal for breakfast. We leap into our clothes and hurry downstairs and out of the front door and skirmish round the house to see and smell and feel.

It is spring. It is unmistakably spring, because the pewit bushes are budding and on yonder aspen we can hear a forsythia bursting into song. It is spring, when the feet of the floorwalker pain him and smoking-car windows have to be pried open with chisels. We skip lightheartedly round the house to see if those bobolink bulbs we planted are showing any signs yet, and discover the whisk brush that fell out of the window last November. And then the newsboy comes along the street and sees us prancing about and we feel sheepish and ashamed and hurry indoors again…”