Wednesday, March 19, 2008

60,000 Words

Just before bed the other night, I caught a special called Human Ape on the National Geographic channel. Comparisons between ourselves and current day apes were made, with a final evaluation on which group has better cognitive, verbal, and reasoning skills, etc. As you can imagine, though some apes are indeed impressive, our human race won out pretty easily.

But with all the fascinating discussion, what I found most memorable was mention of the fact that adult humans have the average vocabulary of 60,000 words. Isn't that something? 60k! And of course as a writer, I couldn't help but think on how that's the minimum number of words expected for a novel. And I think that's very cool!

...And speaking of novels, I finished the rough draft of mine yesterday! I'll soon begin edits and polishing, and hope to send agent queries over the summer. It's a great feeling!

Wish me luck, and same to you with all your written endeavors.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Favorite Book

I was recently asked to name my favorite book. Sheesh, there are entirely too many great books to narrow it down like that. But one does stick out in my mind...

It was sixth grade English class, and the assignment was to read and do a report on a fiction book with some historical content. Though I'd always loved to read, history was something I'd not taken a shining to. So I hem-hawed around, becoming enthusiastic for no one title. My teacher, somehow, didn't get angry with me; instead she gave me guidance, working with me to find the perfect book.

Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene

Wikipedia summarizes it better than I could:

The story is told first person by a twelve-year-old Jewish girl named Patty Bergen living in Jenkinsville, Arkansas during World War II. The action focuses on the escaped German Prisoner of War she befriends and protects, as well as her relationship with her abusive father, uncaring mother, and their maid.
I can't tell you how much I loved this book. Bette Greene's characters were amazingly real to me, as I got caught up in the story as if I'd lived it myself. In fact, now I've got myself wondering if that was a defining time for me; one that told me this is what I want to do - write like this.
I think I should like to read it all over again.
What's a favorite book of yours and why? I ask you to post about it, and let me know you've done so. Call it an unofficial meme of sorts...
ETA: Pfft! Can't seem to adjust the format... so sorry the paragraphs are smooshed together...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Written Mystery

I just happened upon this story on Yahoo today. Seems a postcard dated 1957 reached its destination only recently. The message and its author have been sleuthed out; the delay in delivery still a mystery.

Check it out!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Merely A Definition?

Don't know if I've announced it on a large scale, though a few of you may have picked up that we're remodeling our house. We bought it almost two years ago knowing it needed a complete overhaul, but seeing the amazing potential. Anyway, we've come a long way, baby. Still yet, there's a lot to be done. And with the spring weather fast approaching (right? tell me it is, please?) the projects are coming to life again.

So a contractor my husband knows is helping us build our new front deck (and the new front wall for the entire house... someday I'll show pictures and you'll see why it's necessary...) on the weekends. He and I chatted a bit yesterday, and he asked, "You're an author right?" Though a part of me inside cringed, wanting to clarify the difference between an author and writer -- ongoing discussions have taken place on AW, arguing that one can only be considered an author when a book as been published in their name -- I just nodded my head. Then that inevitable question: Have you had anything published? I told him yes, articles in print and online, but felt like a fraud when he said, "Cool! Now I can tell people I know an author!" I've felt, in mere terms, like only a writer. I can only be an author once Bliss Lake makes it to print, true?

But then I got to wondering what the literal definitions of these two words are. Here's what I found:

An author, according to Merriam-Webster online, is one that originates or creates or the writer of a literary work (as a book).

And a writer is one that writes: as a: author.

It sounds to me like they could be used interchangeably. What do you think? And how do you categorize yourself?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Girl and Her AlphaSmart: An Adventure Begins

She's here!

Sally arrived and was opened this morning. I fed her the three required AA batteries, and she came right to life! I spent a little time perusing her instruction manual, but she's pretty self-explanatory. I even tested her out with a little of the WIP. And I'm proud to announce she did a fine job.

I've decided to journal about this exciting new journey Sally and I are embarking on together. Check out our new blog, Sally and Me.

...I wonder how upset Hubby would be if I gave Sally his spot in bed tonight. It is her first night in a new home, you know.