Monthly Archives: May 2014
….words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. — Patrick Rothfuss
Words. What would we do without them? They give us basic things, necessary things – like communication and understanding. But words can go beyond that, too. They can delve into realms of magic and mystery, places we didn’t know existed. Their cuts can make us bleed, their beauty can make us cry, their depth can make us hope …
Readers love them. Writers live by them.
In honor of the beauty of words, I’ve dug up a few that are not only beautiful, but which have wonderfully unique meanings. I dare you to read them without getting inspired.
selcouth: (adj.) unfamiliar, rare, strange and yet marvelous
hiraeth: (n.) a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home that may have never been; the yearning, nostalgia or grief for the lost places of your past
fika: (v.) drinking coffee along with eating something sweet
sillage: (n.) the scent that lingers in the air, the trail left in water, the impression made in space after something or someone has been and gone
sciamachy: (n.) a battle against imaginary enemies; fighting your shadow
aesthete: (n.) someone with deep sensitivity to the beauty of art or nature
psithurism: (n.) the sound of the wind through trees
feuillemort: (n.) the color of a dying leaf
whelve: (v.) to bury something deep; to hide
nelipot: (n.) one who walks barefoot
murr-ma: (v.) to walk along in the water, searching for something with your feet
cicurate: (v.) to tame or reclaim from wildness or madness
ailurophile: (n.) a cat-lover
inglenook: (n.) a cozy nook by the hearth
moiety: (adj.) one of two equal parts
onomatopoeia: (n.) a word that sounds exactly like its meaning
palimpsest: (n.) a manuscript written over earlier ones
petrichor: (n.) the smell of earth after rain
If you could create a unique word, what would it be, and what would be its meaning?
Things are coming along with my book, and now that my ARC copies are floating hither and yon, I have been keeping my eyes open for those first reviews. It’s a nerve-wracking thing, knowing your words are being read by someone with the intend of critiquing them. Maybe they will like the book… maybe they will love it! But then again, maybe they will detest it. Worse still, perhaps they will merely shrug and immediately forget it. *shudder*
But bad reviews will come along with the goods ones. I’m ok with that … or that’s what I tell myself now, anyway 🙂 And I’m thrilled to say that my very FIRST review was quite glowing! Go over to Goodreads or Amazon and read it if you don’t believe me!! I think God knew I needed those first encouraging words, and I’m so glad I’ve got all of you to share them with!
Now onto some more exciting news …
Ok, so it actually began a few days ago over on Goodreads, but you’ve got loads of time to enter your name! And you’ve got more than just one shot, too, because I’m giving away FIVE COPIES of The Word Changers after it releases on June 23. All of them signed by me … for whatever that’s worth! 🙂
So pop over to Goodreads and enter your name if you haven’t already, and spread the word to your friends as well.
… oh, and have an awesome week!!
Pass the word to your friends, share it on Facebook and Twitter! And if you decide to purchase a copy, don’t forget to leave reviews (Amazon, Goodreads, blog, wherever!). I will be holding giveaways (to be announced at a later time) for every several reviews posted on Amazon, so keep that in mind! Probably something fun like a Starbucks gift card 😉
This leads me to my next announcement: A call for reviewers!
My publisher has eBook ARCs ready to be sent out, and I’d love to have you grab one. You must be an active blogger, and preference will be given to those who have Amazon and Goodreads accounts.
If you’re interested in reviewing an eBook ARC of The Word Changers, email me at ashleew(at)zoho(dot)com with links to all your social media and/or sites.
The eBook ARCs will only be available for a short time period, so if you’re interested, hurry! If you’re not interested, but know of someone who may be, please pass on the news!
The paperback of The Word Changers is still set to release June 23, 2014 (just over a month!), and I’ve got plenty of other fun things planned for around that time, so be on the lookout!
Thanks for your support, lovely friends! I couldn’t do this without you.
Fairies have been around in our stories and legends for many years. Their lore exists in every country of the world in some form or another. Books have been written on them, places have been said to be inhabited by them, people even claim to have seen them.
Fairies, just like any fantastical creature born in the imaginations of men and women, can be whatever we wish them to be, take on whatever form we fancy, speak and do the things the writers of their stories make them speak and do. It’s hard to pin down characteristics of a group of creatures who have been seen in so many different lights.
But then again, that’s the beauty of them, too.
Here are some fun things rumored of fairies.
- Freckles are really just the kisses of fairies.
- Fairies live where there is the least chance of human contact – in forests, up trees, in hollow places, on mountainsides, and even – in some stories – in invisible realms right among humankind.
- Fairies love honey cake, milk, nectar, and sweet butter.
- Fairies watch over and protect the natural world – woodlands, trees, rivers and growing things.
- Many fairies like to play practical (and sometimes not-so-practical) jokes on humans and even each other.
- Iron negates a fairies’ magical powers and causes them pain.
- A sudden chill breeze, or ripples across the surface of water, are often indications that a fairy is nearby.
- Fairies can live to be hundreds of years old.
- Rheumatism in a human is sometimes said to be the result of pinches from angry fairies.
- Fairies are magical by nature.
- Fairies love to dance.
- Many legends claim fairies are prone to kidnapping human babies, leaving a changeling in its place.
- The oldest and strongest fairies are fallen angels.
- Some fairies were once humans who simply got lost in fairyland.
- Fairies are quick to do you a favor … and even quicker to demand payment for it.
- Other terms for fairy: fae, wee folk, fair folk, elf, pixie, nymph, sprite, gnome, imp, leprechaun, brownie, hob, sylph, enchanter.
As a reader, I never tire of discovering the different versions of fairies that storytellers come up with. As a writer, I look forward to perhaps trying my own hand at writing something new about fairies someday. If you could create a new characteristic, attitude, role or practice for the fair folk, what would it be?
“Only with a leaf can I talk of the forest.” ― Visar Zhiti
Forests, in literature, can mean many, many things. Adventure, escape, danger, evil, magic, temptation, mystery, freedom, death, life, or shelter. Depending on the story, the setting, the characters, the author, or even the reader’s interpretation – a wood can be seen in endless lights.
No matter what a forest says to us, it’s hard to deny the enchantment that is cast on a reader when an author uses such a place to good effect. A murky wood, or a sunny glade, can come alive in a well-told story. They can almost become a character itself within the tale. A wood told of by one storyteller may be a place of darkness and fear, while the same wood in the hands of another may come alive with hope and safety.
A forest itself is changeful and moody – try walking in it from one week to the next in the springtime and you’ll find it a different place each time. Vines curl, flowers grow, trees fall, animals build and burrow, life pulses in every hushed inch of it.
“You could almost feel the trees drinking the water up with their roots. This wood was very much alive.” – C.S. Lewis
So, what is it that is so potent about the forests we all love in well-known fairy tales and fantasies? What is it that remains in our imaginations years after the stories have been put back on the shelf? For each of us, that answer is different.
Whether we are reading about a band of merry outlaws, a headless horseman, a red-capped girl traveling to visit her grandmother – whether we are watching Puck and Oberon make mischief, or envisioning a boy with a lightening scar running from a dark specter – we are entranced. We are drawn in. And what’s more, we remember, long after the pages are closed and our lives have moved on.
Some of my personal favorites are listed below. But I’m eager to know which books and stories involving forests have influenced you the most, and for what reasons. Please share!
1. Green Darkness by Anya Seton
2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
3. Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood by Meredith Ann Pierce
4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
5. The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
6. What Lies on the Other Side by Udo Weigelt
7. Guenevere Trilogy by Rosalind Miles
8. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Be sure to watch for my next post about real-life forests that have inspired famous stories!
We pray before we commune with God. A spiritual thing.
We pray before we respond to someone in anger or grief. An emotional thing.
But I’m curious – does anyone pray before reading?
The newspaper, a magazine, the novel on your bedside table, a textbook from school. These are mental things. Sometimes they can be emotional and spiritual as well. Maybe even the physical comes into play – I’ve been known to have heart-pounding, breath-catching moments of suspense or fear or excitement while reading!
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2a)
I like the NIV version of this verse, which uses the word “pattern.” The pattern of the world is destructive. It’s negative and pessimistic and sinful. It’s proof of mankind’s Fall. A pattern is something we fall into automatically, mindlessly.
So how are our minds to be renewed if we don’t monitor what goes into them? How are we to be transformed if we don’t ask God to transform us? And how will God transform us if we don’t ask Him to do so … through prayer?
Why should it be different for books? All readers know that books can strengthen us, nourish us, give us hope, teach us something new. But how often do we pray, “God, please let the words I read give me the strength to follow You, nourish me with Your blessings and wisdom, remind me of the hope I have in You, teach me of Your depth and greatness”?
I don’t do it. I never have. That is, not until it dawned on me one day quite recently how odd that is, and how tragic. God gave me my mind, and if I’m to use it for His glory, I need to practice caution, awareness, and wisdom when choosing the words I allow to enter it and, what’s more, the ways I allow those words to transform me.
And what better way to do that than prayer?