Guest Post

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Do you believe the English language is difficult?

cj Sez:  Here are a few of the community outreach programs that Simon & Schuster is doing:

Besides partnering with storm-relief national and local nonprofit organizations to provide books for displaced adults and children AND donating 250 “Best Of” titles to Texas public schools and libraries affected by Hurricane Harvey (Librarians who need information on the offer should email education.library@simonandschuster.com ), it has been announced that S&S will be offering the same support to Florida organizations affected by Hurricane Irma.

Yay, Simon & Schuster !

A reminder of how fluid and difficult the English language is (from a 2014 post):

This quote came from fellow blogger, Sol Sanders a few years ago:  “Perhaps the glory of the English language is that it so expressive. Its remarkable heterogeneous origins have given it an almost limitless vocabulary. And American English, particularly, has used that tool with an enormous flexibility to make it the international means of communication. One is able with a minimum of linguistic dexterity to capture every meaning, or almost every nuance.”

Mr. Sanders’s comments were part of an introduction to his essay on what today’s journalism and media do with the English language. The gist of his blog was that journalism and media people over-complicate their sentences with words that muddy their meanings—changing nouns into verbs and, perhaps, calling a shovel a “hand-held, earth-moving tool.” My take is that media and journalists employ an old trick of confusing the issue to persuade readers to their (the writer/editor’s) points of view

I’ll admit to a few personal dislikes of those words with muddied meanings. One is the word “impactful;” a noun turned into a verb turned into an adjective by adding ful on the end. What the Sam Hill does that really mean?

The fact is, the English language is a living language. It’s constantly evolving as we create new words and new definitions in response to new technology. The rather sad result is that the generations cease to understand each other at an almost exponential pace. Many times I need an interpreter to understand teen-talk, and I can’t text (a noun turned into a verb because of technology), like my family does for fear I’d forget how to spell.

Still, for me as a genre writer, the gloriously expressive English language is what makes my craft so fascinating. I adore language and anyone who accurately uses a large vocabulary with familiar easeespecially if he has a warm, baritone voice and a sense of humor. Oh my.

Yes, I use nouns as verbs. Yes, I deliberately obfuscate . . . and add the disclaimer that it’s for the sake of mystery. I am drawn to the syntax, symbolism, and syncopation of a well-drafted sentence that is the hallmark of successful mystery/thriller/ suspense novelists. It’s using that “minimum of linguistic dexterity to capture every meaning, or almost every nuance” that appeals to me, and, I think, to readers of those genres. They want to try to decipher the code, find the clues, and solve the crime. Mystery writers like trying to confuse the issue.

I’m still working on my craft. How are you doing with your genre?

Okay, that’s all for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
“Bad Day at Round Rock” in The Posse Western anthology of 8 short stories @99 cents
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
California Kisses—10 book publisher’s bundle (includes Deadly Star) @ 99 cents
The Great Outdoors  8 book publisher’s bundle (includes Choosing Carter) @99 cents
Bodies in Motion — 10 book publisher’s bundle (includes Choosing Carter) @99 cents
Note: The “look inside” invitation on the book bundles gives you a taste of the first book.
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Stop by my author pages for more info . . .
Pop Quiz: The royalties on the publisher’s bundles are shared among the number of authors in the bundles. Guess how much that amounts to. (Obviously, I write for the sheer joy of writing ... I do, but I’m also thrilled to be a published author. Thank you.)   


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Trouble in Tallahassee launch...Bouchercon in Toronto

cj Sez: Summer is winding down, and one of my favorite cartoons illustrates the lament of most everyone returning to their regular fall, winter, and spring school and work schedules…

I, however, am eagery looking forward to moderating autumnal temperatures on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. The summer heat has been hellacious this year (or at least it was to me). I haven’t ventured into my yard for longer than thirty minutes at a time since June, and boy, do I have the weeds to prove that. The flowers seared by summer heat will soon relinquish their places to autumn replacements, and my potted vegetables will give their all for a few more weeks of bounty.  

The arrival of September also brings with it the launch of new novels. One of those is Trouble in Tallahassee  . . . Familiar Legacy Book 3 . . . which launches September 12.

Trouble in Tallahassee, written by Claire Matturro, is a romantic mystery featuring that super sleuth Trouble, the black cat detective. This is book #3 of the new series called FAMILIAR TROUBLE. In this novel, Trouble finds himself in Tallahassee and wanders into the lives of young attorney Abby Coleridge and her temporary and troubled roommate, law student Layla. When the student disappears, leaving behind a blood-splattered note and a stash of cryptic flash-drives, Abby sets out to find her. Trouble, the black cat detective, lands in Tallahassee, Florida, in the nick of time. Can he sniff out the salient clues and save them—and himself—from a fiery end?  Ooooh. Sounds like a mystery to me.

Available now on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2eMtf77

Upcoming conference:  Bouchercon, the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention, is an annual convention of mystery readers, fans, writers, and enthusiasts. This year it’s being held in Toronto, Canada, October 12-15. http://bouchercon2017.com/   I went to Bouchercon 2016 in New Orleans but will miss Toronto. Are you going this year?

 In the Did You Know department . . .

On the Writers in the Storm blog site, guest blogger Susan Spann, a California transactional attorney whose practice focuses on publishing law and business, offers advice on the important do’s and don’ts about workshop and conference-related blogging and social media shares. Read more about possible copyright infringement here:


That’s it for this post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
Qrtly newsletter sign-up:  cjpetterson@gmail.com
Bad Day at Round Rock” in The Posse  --8 short story Western anthology @99 cents
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
California Kisses—10 book publisher’s bundle (includes Deadly Star) @ 99 cents
The Great Outdoors  8 book publisher’s bundle (includes Choosing Carter) @99 cents