Making the Short List . . .

Words of wisdom! If your really considering writing – a good read!

Words Count

wordlistNo, I’m not referring to the NYT Best Seller list, or the Dean’s List, either. I’m referring to a very powerful tip that will help you to strengthen your writing, speed up your editing and lead you to write much cleaner first drafts, over time.

I’ve been involved in a document purge at my home and office. This was necessitated by my inability to fit one more client file in the file cabinet designated to hold such things. And, I couldn’t get the drawers open, without moving all of the banker boxes that were already full of the overflow.

Yes, I’ve been planning on doing it for a while, but another manuscript came in, or another conference was beckoning, or….

So, what better time than right now? I could think of a lot better times, all in the “later” realm, which is how my storage room got to look…

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UPDATE! Still looking for her!

She STILL has not been found! Sharing her fathers words below. Please keep your heads up, and keep looking for her!

And don’t forget to share the post! NO MATTER where you live.

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Hey folks please, please, keep sharing. No word from my daughter herself, and no proof of any kind that she is ok – it gets harder and harder every day. Not knowing much of anything it kills me.

Please keep sharing – as soon as I know anything, I’ll let all of you know. Right now I want to know she is alive and safe.. I love you Palynn Ferguson always have and always will. Please call me.

Our Grammar is a’changin’

The struggle was VERY real for me. I didn’t necessarily speak, Queen Ann English.

I had to really listen to my editor. I had to let go of all those old ways. And replace it with a more refined perspective – or a new “head space”.

It really did come down to the power of word. Once I saw that – the power of word. I ripped my manuscript to shreds – re wrote it fifty times.

I could never really put a dollar value on the lessons I took from my editor. But the end result on my pieces  – priceless my readers.

I had to be adult enough to listen. And big enough to learn…

Words Count

DictionaryLanguage does change over time. Sort of an ever-evolving thing, language changes become “acceptable” through usage; Whether we like it or not.

For instance, when I was growing up, I often heard an elder tell me, “Ain’t isn’t in the dictionary, young lady.”

But it is, today. The fact is that “ain’t”  is a word used so often that it now resides in the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster as well as most others.

According to the OED public information, approximately 90 new words will be added to the dictionary this month. Many represent updates of words not updated in more than 90 years, such as white, ear and earning. How about lookalike? Or XL? Or white stuff? Watch out Scrabble players everywhere!

But I’m here to tell you that ALL RIGHT is still two words. Yes indeed. It is NOT alright–it is all right. No…

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I get asked ALL the time…

“Why do you use a pen name?”
Here is why I use a pan name.
My maternal grandmother, her middle name was, Opal. She dearly hated her middle name.
Alexandria, was my mama’s Saint name – she, was a devout Catholic.
Now I wanted it to be Alexandria Opal – BUT the way books are registered, edit said it would be best if it was, Opal Alexandria.

Shonda means stone in native teachings – Opal is a stone, a cursed stone at that. SO, Opal Alexandria – was born!

AND if I had to take a middle name to add to my pen name in my Bi-Polar state! It would be, Constance – after my Aunt Connie.

There is just not a day that goes by that I don’t carry these woman with me… every morning while I was sitting at my key-board, I felt like they were right with me – the whole way through.

THE CONTAMINATED WELL

(excerpt)

HOW TO READ THIS BOOK

Dear Reader,
Very probably you have never read anything like this book. But you just may know someone like this author. Could even be yourself, I don’t know.
What I do know is that we all have the same spirit in us. We all need love, kindness, compassion and a steady hand to guide us. Without those things in our lives, from the beginning, life is a very dangerous and scary place.
The author uses a pen name not because she is hiding, but because she is not. It is her tribute to the strong women who ultimately tethered her to a world of love and courage, one she can experience now more often than ever before. One that she doesn’t take for granted, not one single day. And because the road has been long, she’s written the book in a series. This is Book One–the beginning of the journey.
It is her fervent hope that her words will help a parent to recognize a child in distress, or a child to realize the path being contemplated is not a good one to take. She hopes to be an instrument of healing and hope, by exposing her own pain, struggles and hopelessness.
Yes, the story is told by an addict who was also once an active member of the drug trade. A junkie, she says. We have disagreed about her use of that word. She uses it because she won’t pretty up her mistakes and bad judgements; won’t hide from the implications of the word. It is what she was; someone hopelessly hooked on drugs that ran her life. But my argument is that she’s now a recovering addict. I know something about the world of addiction and alcoholism: I had to be “dried out” when I was born.
Addicts and alcoholics who cease using their drug are always in “recovery” but not “cured.” People in recovery address their lives every moment, without partaking of their poison. And people stay in recovery mode by sharing their journey and helping others along the way. So, that’s why I argue that the author is no longer a “junkie.” And she’s committed to not skating on the issue. And since she’s the author, she wins.
Please read these words with a generous spirit and let them work for you. Or, someone you know. She might educate you, scare you, comfort you or make you laugh. But I do know that her words will touch you and maybe even change you, too.
They sure did all those things for me.

The Editor

(Get your copy today!)