Showing posts from March, 2011

The Idiom Exchange

I wrote a review last month for the Portal, and one of the stories had slang that really bothered me.  It wasn't because the language was foul.  It bothered me because the author had an American Southerner calling a television a "telly."  Much of the slang and nicknames he used just didn't ring true, and it almost ruined the story for me.

Most of my stories are through the eyes of a Montana rancher, and all of the slang I use is derived from my family.  I really like dialogue to sound authentic.  Below, I've written examples of idioms and slang that my family uses, especially the older members.  In the comments below, please offer up slang, accents, and idioms from the places you've been, but be sure to tell where you've heard them.
Grandma's Idioms
"I feel like I've been rode hard and put up wet."  (People always gave me funny looks when I said this at college, for some reason.)
"I burnt the hair right off my tongue."  (Coffee was…

Lutherans of the Pagan Synod

This is a local sign that has always made me smile.  Both of my husband's parents are Lutheran Pastors in the ELCA Synod.

I think this church may be from the Pagan Synod.

Writers and Small Town Cliches

I grew up in a town so small that traffic lights were, and still are, completely unnecessary.  There were seven bars, but to balance things out, there were also seven churches.  Main street was only a couple of blocks long.  There were only about 80 kids grade 7-12 when I was in school, and that number has since dropped to around forty or so.  I started shooting a rifle when I was four, just like all of the other country kids, and I started driving about the same time.  (No lie.)

According to the latest census, seventy-nine percent of the U.S. population lives in urban/suburban areas.  I don't know if seventy-nine percent of U.S. authors live in urban areas, but I think it's safe to say that the majority of America's authors do. 

To me, the disparity shows.  If a small town is used in a setting in a story, it's nearly inevitable that one of the following negative stereotypes will be included. Nosy gossips.Ignorant yokels.Inbred, ignorant yokels.Homophobic, inbred, an…

It's On Like Donkey Kong


I've been kicking around titles for my work in progress for ages.  It's working title is The Rider of Nealra, but every one I've considered has problems.  After reading this great post at Books & Such, I've been putting more thought into the matter.
These titles fight so voraciously in my head that sometimes I think I need to call a referee.  Or, a shrink.  You'll find the description of the novel to your left.  Which do you think is best overall?  If you don't like any of them, give ideas, suggestions, or revisions in the comments below.

Quizzes by

No One Wants to Read a Diatribe

I realize that the stories authors tell about all of the times they almost quit are usually coming from the I got published and now it's all worth it perspective.  My nearly-quit story is not.  I am unpublished.  I'm plowing through my edits like crazy.  I'm cautiously optimistic, but I'm not going to proclaim that I'm gonna be the next big thing because I fully realize it may never happen for me.

I came to writing in a weird, roundabout way, mostly due to high levels of physical pain and social isolation.  I've always been a little odd to talk to, a little strange to look at, and looked at the world in a weird way.  Just ask my high school classmates, who could probably regale you with tales of apocalyptical theological discussions in the girls' locker room.  In my defense, I was going through a phase.

I started writing as an adult while recovering from a surgery that wouldn't heal.  I nearly quit after realizing the first draft of my first nove…

The Author's Guide to Psychopaths-Are They Born or Made?

Note:  If you haven't read the introduction to "The Author's Guide to Psychopaths," you may want to take a few minutes and look it over.

Most of us probably view psychopaths as the epitome of evil.  They very well may be, but despite the intense distillation of evil that seems to envelope the psychopath's personality, they don't have the corner market on evil.  I've always believed that all of us carry the potential to do evil.

I'm not talking about telling white lies, fudging your taxes, or slacking off at work.  Under the right circumstances, the most ordinary, law-abiding person can make decisions that would result in pain or death for another.  I wouldn't be surprised if many of the upper level Nazis were psychopathic, but the horror that was Nazi Germany couldn't have happened without the active participation or tolerance of hundreds of thousands of non-psychopaths.  (If you need convincing, check out the Milgram Experiment.)

I rea…

Psychopaths-To Be Continued

I'm working on the next post regarding psychopaths in fiction.  I hit a few roadblocks, so I'm going to restructure my thoughts this weekend while I'm in Great Falls with my hubby's rock band.


See you when we get back.

Alt Hist, Issue 1

My new review of Alt Hist, Issue 1 is up at The Portal.  Take a peek!

I have to say it was exceedingly difficult to write.  I tried very hard to give feedback as I would work with a vocalist.  I hope it worked.