Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Author Book Signing

Join me this Saturday, February 2nd, from 1-4 p.m. at Books-a-Million, 6718 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN.  Hope to see you there!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Talkin' Tween Lingo Lesson: 5 Words You Should Know...

Dance-utante: A breakout girl who was a “nobody” before a school dance and then knocks out her party-girl moves and becomes superpopular.
Usage: Did you see that dance-utante bust her moves in front of everyone? Now everyone wants to ask her out.”

Double ditching: When you ditch class and do something else bad on top of it like smoking in the bathroom or kissing your boyfriend.
Usage: “I got soooo busted for double ditching. Now I have detention for two days. Major drag!”

Hall hugger: Someone who needs moral support hugs between classes from boys and girls alike in order to make it to his or her next class. 
Usage: “Geez! I would be on time to class if it weren’t for all these hall huggers blocking the way. Get a life!”

Teacher breath: The stale, rancid air emanating from teachers when they exhale or talk really close to you. 
Usage: “I offered my Ms. Jones an Altoid after getting a whiff of her teacher breath. So nast!”

Tweentrum: An uncontrolled outburst of emotion by a tween that can happen at any time or place without warning. When it occurs, always blame it on the hormones. Cry when need to.
Usage: “I almost got out of being grounded but then threw a tweentrum when told my curfew was 10:00 p.m. Why doesn’t anyone understand me?”

Watch the tweentrums!!!

(From Lucy and CeCee's How to Survive (and Thrive) in Middle School)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Is Said Dead or Making a Literary Comeback?

           In an effort to publish our rubbish, is said really dead when it comes to writing dialogue?  Why should we merely have our characters say something when they can boast, gasp, snarl…or even chortle? 

            Dialogue tags are a sticking point for writers.  You have your Cormac McCarthy/Hemingway types who hardly use dialogue tags at all, preferring their prose clean with the sparsely scattered said or stray asked.  And then you have authors who adore their boasting, gasping, snarling chortlers.

            No matter what side you write on, the bottom line is characters don’t just say.  They shriek when they’re scared, murmur when in love, boast when they’re proud, and sneer when they’re enraged.  By tinkering with dialogue tags, we hope to reveal tone and subtext, while others contend it’s cheating, distracting, and just plain lazy.  After all, to be creative with dialogue tags is to commit the ultimate writing sin: tell not show.  It gets into that purple prose territory and let’s face it – when a character bloviates or asseverates, it can be an exercise in reader exasperation. The polished writer prefers to communicate tone and subtext through action, voice, and body language – not through tedious multisyllabic dialogue tags they lift from Roget. 
            I come down somewhere in the middle.  Said is simple.  It’s clean.  It’s lean.  The reader’s eyes seamlessly glide right over said without so much as a hiccup.  This perfect little word works like a drone bee so that you can attend to more important matters when characters do their chinwagging.  But there’s nothing wrong with an occasional boast, gasp, or chortle. Depending on the situation, sometimes your characters do just that.  And that’s okay, I contend.