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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I met an online writer friend

in person for the first time, today. Whee!

It was a fun lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, and then we had to check out B&N to find our fellow writer friends' books.

And I made a new bookstore friend. I hope he works there forever -- he was really smart about the books, knew where everything was, had terrific suggestions. *sigh*

It's nice to find a bookstore worker who actually knows a lot about the books. I wish he worked on commission.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Since my brain is fried,

and I can't pull together a coherent blog post of my own, I bring you a spot-on post from author Holly Kennedy.

Just so that you know why I forget to call you back...for six months. It's not you, it's me.



P.S. Weather in the Phoenix valley: warming up to 60, finally! Monday we had snow on the mountains again, and ice (read: ICE!!) on the car windshield. You could sell an ice scraper here for a hundred bucks. Thank goo'ness we still had one in the car from when we drove here from Michigan.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Slang and stuff

WEATHER in the Phoenix Valley: Forty degrees and raining at 2pm. This is insane.

On to the topic of the day. When writing historical fiction, it's a bonus when you can find slang terms. For the first historical I wrote, it was harder because the characters spoke German and lived in England, slowly learning English, and man, that was nuts trying to accurately nail the process, while still writing the entire book in English.

On my second historical, which I'm just starting (yeah, we had a few paranormals in between), life is easier for two reasons. One, I grew up there and know the local dialect with Dutch influence, subtle as it may be (oh, knock it off). Two, a simple Google search brings up websites with slang of the 1920s...it's the berries (aka bee's knees or cat's pajamas)! Though getting used to the word "Bimbo" being used as a compliment (A tough guy) is a little difficult. Insert the word "Bimbo" into a book without proper context could have your readers scratching their heads.

"Bum's rush" today has shades of a sexual nature. In 1925, it meant to get kicked out of an establishment.

"Butt me" sounds, um.... but it was a common phrase referring to lighting up a cigarette, and a "Dick" was, of course, a private investigator.

If you write anything other than present day fiction, a great place to check your slang words is an etymology dictionary. I used it to check the word fink. Did that word exist in 1930? If so, how was it used?

But, as one wise commenter mentioned in the previous post, technology has come a long way in the past 20 years, and the language has changed along with it.

So writers, don't be a pill. Get on the trolley, or you'll be all wet.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Researching is FUN

You may disagree, but I think researching is a fascinating adventure.

I'm working on a new novel that takes place in 1930, in the town of my birth. The setting is one I know well -- not because it exists anymore (well, the land is still there), but because I've spent so many hours researching it that I feel like I know it well -- I can picture the buildings, the landscape, the views... yes, the view hasn't changed much in 80 years. And I've been to the site many times.

I'm so excited about this story. Sometimes there's nothing more exciting than real life in a small town in 1930. I'll tell you more as I make some progress.

Meanwhile, I'm reading a history of the 1920s, so I have a very good understanding of the political, social, and economic environment leading up to my story.

Next time: Fun slang words from the 20s and 30s. Some of them might surprise you.


Oooh, Snap

It's been cold here in the desert. Temperatures in the 20s at night have caused people's water pipes to burst and damaged citrus crops (not to mention my two 20-foot tall ficus trees).

So while you East coasters have been lounging in the January heat wave, we've witnessed a cold snap like we haven't seen in years around the Phoenix valley (so they tell me, anyway). Now's your chance to point and laugh. I mean, like, my swimming pool temp is like totally down to 46 degrees.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


"Once On This Island" is a musical, set in Jamaica.

My daughter just landed a small part in the Actor's Youth Theater production of this.(squeee!) After having a blast with The Three Musketeers last fall, she thinks this one sounds equally fun, maybe even more so. Rehearsals start Saturday.

Performances in early March.
Tickets: $10 for adults and...um...less than that for kids 10 and under.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Beaker apparently wasn't an option

You Are the Swedish Chef

"Bork! Bork! Bork!"
Your happy and energetic - with borderline manic tendencies.
No one really gets you. And frankly, you don't even get you.
But, you sure can whip up a great chocolate mousse

So, hordes of minionses...

where are you? I'm waiting. *tap tap tap*

I know, you're taking down your plastic trees and Menorot*. I'll be here when you're done.

*edited for proper spelling, hat-tip to Sasha