Friday, September 22, 2017

First Sale Friday: From Dream to Reality

by Lisa Jordan, @lisajordan
When I was sixteen, I read The Promise by Danielle Steel. By the end of the novel, I knew I wanted to write books--I wanted to create that same heart sigh with my readers. I majored in fiction writing in college but then left to marry a handsome Marine and have a family.
Over a decade ago, I decided to get serious about becoming a published author. I wrote during NaNoWriMo, joined ACFW, attended conferences and worked with amazing writing mentors. I wrote a novel, making many newbie mistakes, and ended up shelving the book several times. 
Then, in 2009, I entered the ACFW Genesis award, taking 2nd place in my category. Additionally, I had pitched it to Love Inspired editor, Tina James and literary agent, Rachelle Gardner. Both requested the full manuscript, but Rachelle asked me to send it to her first. After submitting to Rachelle, she offered representation. She submitted my manuscript. 
On January 7, 2011 at 3 PM, I received the call that turned my dream into reality--Love Inspired editor, Melissa Endlich had read my manuscript, loved it, and wanted to offer me a book deal. I cried so hard my poor husband thought someone had died. 
Lakeside Reunion debuted in November 2011. The following year, it won the ACFW Carol award in short contemporary romance. 
This is the story of my heart and a love letter to my husband because Lindsey's fears about her former fiance's job keep her from finding her second chance at love. When Hubby and I were married, he was a military policeman in the United States Marine Corp and dreamed of becoming a police officer like his dad. I was so afraid of losing him in the line of duty that I begged him to give up his dream. And he did. At the time, I wasn't a Christian and didn't have God to carry my anxieties. When I told him this novel was my way of having closure of keeping him from his dream, he reminded me he was the one who made the choice. 
With the encouragement, mentorship, and prayers of good friends, I've been able to fulfill my dream of becoming a published writer. Since then, I've had the privilege of working with Love Inspired to publish 4 more novels. The thrill of seeing my name on a book cover doesn't get old. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Words, Words, and more Words

Christina Rich, here and I love words, especially weird and outdated ones. I recently wrote a novella set in 1909, an era completely new to me. After researching things like modes of transportation, clothing, and popular food items, I did a search of slang terms and found an interesting list.

absotively – absolutely and positively
acknowledge the corn – admit responsibility for
Adam’s ale – water
all to the mustard – excellent
almighty dollar – money, god of America
applesauce – blah, tripe, nonsense, foolish talk
go to the bad – attend Sunday movies, dance, or otherwise offend the Rotary Methodist god
birthday suit – nature’s garb
cake eater – tea-hound, lounge-lizard, lady-bug
snake’s hips – something excellent
flumadiddle – humbug, flummery, nonsense
full of prunes – you’re crazy, you’re wrong
gibble-gabble, mulligatawny – foolish talk
to ride the goat – to be initiated into a secret society
fluzie – a daughter of joy, prostitute
Heavens! – formerly, god’s resident; now, an expletive
hotsy-totsy, tootsie-wootsie – a girl all to the mustard, all O.K.

#56, A Dictionary of American Slang

You might recognize a few of them and some are down-right silly, but I couldn’t help adding them into the story. Of course, I checked to makes sure they lined up date-wise.

You may be wondering what the big deal is with knowing the history of words. Well, you wouldn't find the Gestapo fighting alongside Genghis Khan and cavemen would not have used an airplane. I'm sure it seems a little ridiculous to you, huh? Honestly, though a genteel lady wouldn't tell a companion she needed to use the outhouse, not in Regency England, but she would ask for a powder room. Of course, a genteel lady probably wouldn't mention such things anyway, but if she were, she'd most likely use the word privy and bathroom would be completely out of the question since hat word, although used for a few hundred years, didn't come to mean what we Americans know it as until the 20th century.

As an historical author I try to take care with the words I use. If I'm not, I'm bound to receive hundreds of emails pointing out my mistakes.

What the Dickens?

Yeah, really! I'm not fooling you. Readers, especially those who enjoy and know their history, aren't always forgiving and since a lot of us writers are readers too, that means we probably know our stuff, especially when it comes to slang. I’m one of those guilty readers who looks up the usage date.

You want to know something interesting? You probably already know it, but I'm going to share it anyway. Much of the slang I've encountered are creative exchanges for curse words. *GASP* I know, right!
Just look at jiminy crickets. Do you know where it originated? No, not Walt Disney. According to the Internet, cause y'all know we believe everything we find there, jiminy crickets was used in England as a curse word to keep the speaker from being guilty of taking the Lord's name in vain. Seems it was used in a few movies before Pinocchio even made the screen in 1940, but who knows when it actually came into use.

Remember the good 'ol days of Leave it to Beaver? Jeepers, Wally! Yeah, those were the days when children were respectful, moms cooked, cleaned and looked like they spent the day at the spa, and dads used gentle discipline. It was a real, right upstanding show with lots of moral values. Now, I'm not saying anything against the Beave, because I loved watching all the reruns, but Jeepers is another one of those words used in exchange for the Lord's name. The word came into existence sometime in the 1920s, most likely made up by a good-little-church-girl turned flapper.

Here is one of my favorites, mainly because I've been dinged (and if I'm to be honest I probably dinged a few writers for it too) for using it prior to the 1800s. What the Dickens? I mean it only makes sense that this term is coined after Charles Dickens, right?


I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my husband had him of. What do you call your knight's name, sirrah?
Merry Wives of Windsor
William Shakespeare

That's quite a few years before Charles Dickens was born. Over two hundred years to be exact. I'm sure you already know what it means, but just in case, it's what the devil.

I love discovering the origination of words, not just because I need to know them for writing, but because I find them interesting. Guess I'm weird like that. 

What slang did you grow up with or have used over the years? Do you know the origination or why it came into existence? Care to share? Can you guess which three phrases from the list I used in my most recent novella?

*portions of this post have been previously published by Christina Rich