Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring has sprung

Spring is officially here and while I was looking for something inspiring for my desktop, I came across this picture of Pat and me. This was taken on our "girls trip" to Williamsburg in 2008.
The location is the Edgewood Bed and Breakfast.It was once part of the Berkeley Plantation. Pat and I are standing in front of the 1725 Benjamin Harrison Grist Mill. There is a beautiful garden in the backyard and we timed it just right. This was taken towards the end of April. The Berkley Plantation was home to two presidents: William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison.
This plantation house is located right on the main road for more information, check out this website: www.edgewoodplantation.com

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Book Review: The Writer's Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr.

Just bought this book yesterday written by James V. Smith, Jr. and it is awesome. Are you a writer who thrives on organization but can't seem to pull it all together? I have bits and pieces of my work scattered all over the house. I have learned from writing buddies; Jana and Irene, to get a notebook and dividers for my current work in progress. Still I am lost. I was in the bookstore looking for another book when I ran across this jewel.
Character cards for quick references. Scene cards. When editing, what is your goal? to write the tightest possible and have the words flow effortlessly, but how? It's in this book!
Pacing: are you having trouble pacing your manuscript? I was. I wrote everything in the first chapter and there was nothing left for the rest of book except the end.
This is not a book that you need to read from cover to cover but rather a reference book to help you focus on the area you need help with.
Plotting, dialogue, characters, scenes, passive verbs, POV, I could go on and on but you just need to pick up the book for yourself. It even has writing exercises for you.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Origins of Words and Used Bookstores

I love history and I could spend all my time researching. Today I went to the used book store to find a book on the origins of words. Just my luck there was a and Used Book S retired English major working in the book store and we looked through a lot of dictionaries before she found two that were what I was looking for. And all for the low price of two bucks! I have some newer dictionaries but they did not give where the word originated from.

For example the word inanimate comes from Late Latin- inanimatus.
animate=endowed, alive, spiritless.

The two dictionaries I found are:
Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language College Edition 1957
Webster's 7th New Collegiate Dictionary 1970
So if you have some old dictionaries, don't throw them out! They may come in handy.
Once you learn what prefixes, suffixes and root words mean you can pretty well figure out the meaning of other words.
Another thing I like to get at the Used Bookstore at our library is used magazines. these are really good if you are looking for a certain era. right now I am building a Southern Plantation in my head and am trying to equip it with the furniture they would have in that time period. I have old Southern Accent magazines that have what I need and all for twenty-five cents. I also help by donating my old books and magazines.