V is for Vocabulary and Voice

On this 22nd day of the 2017 A to Z Blog Challenge, the featured letter is “V.” Two options came to mind as I considered “V” words that have something to do with writing. Not able to decide which one to go with, I am writing about both:  Vocabulary and Voice.

V is for Vocabulary

As I do on a fairly regular basis, I’m going to show my ignorance. One of the things I like about reading books on my Kindle Fire is that I can simply rest my finger on a word I’m not familiar with and its definition pops up on the screen. I even find myself doing that while reading a traditional book! I laugh at myself and reach for a dictionary.

When contemplating today’s post early in April, my first thought was to blog about “V is for Vocabulary.” I started jotting down new words that I was learning.

Bildungsroman

Since Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville, North Carolina agreed to sell my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in 2014, I’ve been on the independent bookstore’s mailing list. I receive e-mail invitations to author events hosted by the shop. On April 6, the e-mail announced that Jackson County author David Joy would discuss his new novel, The Weight of This World, on April 22 at 3:00 p.m.

I’ve read about David Joy and his debut novel, Where All Light Tends to Go, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it. It picks up on the widespread drug problem that plagues the mountains in western North Carolina just as it does the rest of the United States. (Bear with me. I promise to get to Bildungsroman soon.)

Here it is two years later, and Mr. Joy’s second novel has been published. I was not able to go to Waynesville on April 22 to hear Mr. Joy speak but I plan to read one of his books the first chance I get.

Getting back to “V is for Vocabulary,” it was when I visited the website for the Cabarrus County Public Library system that I discovered that the genre in which Where All the Light Tends to Go is categorized as Bildungsroman. I didn’t have a clue what that meant.

Since I was at my computer, I took advantage of Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. I learned that Bildungsroman is the combination of two German words: Bildung, meaning “education,” and Roman, meaning “novel.”

Hence, according to www.merriam-webster.com, a Bildungsroman “is a novel that deals with the formative years of the main character – in particular, his or her psychological development and moral education. The bildungsroman usually ends on a positive note with the hero’s foolish mistakes and painful disappointments over and a life of usefulness ahead.”

Anaphora

Ironically, later that same day, I read a post on JstinsonINK.com about the word anaphora. Quoting from Jonathan’s post, “Anaphora – This is a form of repetition where you repeat the beginning of a phrase multiple times in succession. Think the quote from The Help:  ‘You is smart. You is kind. You is important.’”

I talk to my dog, sometimes to the point that he gets up and walks away. He is a rescue dog, so he has self-confidence issues. I often say to him, “You is smart. You is kind. You is important.” Until three weeks ago, I had no idea that what I was doing was an anaphora.

I don’t regret majoring in political science in college but, if I’d known I would someday be a writer, I would have taken more English classes. It seems a shame to be my age and just now learn the meanings of Bildungsroman and Anaphora.

V is for Voice

A writer’s voice is his personality. It’s the way she expresses herself. Every writer has a unique voice.

Liebster Award

Since being nominated by Philip Craddock (philipcraddockwriter.wordpress.com) for the Liebster Award last April, I have found my voice on my blog. A criteria after being nominated for the Liebster Award is that you have to open up about yourself. It was then, in my April 6, 2016 blog post, that I “admitted” I have an illness that has my circadian clock off by about six hours, but I didn’t reveal the name of the illness. (I’ve always been a “night person,” but now I’m a “middle of the night person.”)

In my blog post on April 11, 2016, I listed 10 random facts about myself – which was required as a nominee for the Liebster Award. I explained that I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) as it’s known in the United States. In the rest of the world it is called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), so some of my readers in other countries might be familiar with it at ME.

My reticence

I was reticent to reveal this about myself because I didn’t want sympathy. I wanted people to read my blog because they liked what I had to say. I thought being open about my illness would hurt my chances of being represented by a literary agent and getting my work published.

Found:  My Voice!

What I discovered, though, was that sharing those very personal details about myself gave me the freedom to write more from my heart. I had found my voice!

Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read. If you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time.

Janet

Blue Ridge Books – Appropriate Place for My Book!

Our next stop in Waynesville, North Carolina last Thursday was Blue Ridge Books. What better name for a bookstore selling my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina?

Blue Ridge Books, 152 South Main Street, Waynesville, NC.
Blue Ridge Books, 152 South Main Street, Waynesville, NC.

I knew Arcadia’s sales rep had placed the book there in August, so I was eager to see it on the shelf and thank the owners face-to-face. (I wrote letters to all the stores in which the sales rep sold the book the week it was released.) I found two copies of my book in the Western North Carolina section of Blue Ridge Books.

Western North Carolina section in Blue Ridge Books, Waynesville, NC.
Western North Carolina section in Blue Ridge Books, Waynesville, NC.

I introduced myself to Christine, one of the Book Associates. She asked me to autograph my books and then asked if it would all right if she added them to the “Autographed Books Make Great Gifts” table near the front of the store. “Of course!” That was a no-brainer!

Proud author with her book on the "Autographed" table at Blue Ridge Books.
Proud author with her book on the “Autographed” table at Blue Ridge Books.

By then, Jo Gilley, one of the store owners had come out front, so I got to meet her and thank her for selling my book.

Such experiences are encouraging and gratifying.

Snow and Ice on the way to Waynesville

We enjoyed the scenery as we drove from Brevard to Waynesville, North Carolina last Thursday. It had snowed the night before and a dusting of snow remained in the shaded areas beside US-276. Some exposed rockfaces were encased in ice, while some had long icicles hanging from them. We took time to stop and visit Looking Glass Falls, one of my favorite waterfalls in our state.

Looking Glass Falls, beside US-276 in Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County, NC is 60 feet high.
Looking Glass Falls, beside US-276 in Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County, NC is 60 feet high.

There are two views of Looking Glass Falls in my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

Icicles  at Looking Glass Falls.
Icicles at Looking Glass Falls.

It was a cold but bright sunny day. I love driving on curvy mountain roads. US-276 is a good one. It was a great day!

Ice-covered exposed rocks in Looking Glass Creek.
Ice-covered exposed rocks in Looking Glass Creek.

We visited Mast General Store on North Main Street in Waynesville, North Carolina. No visit to Mast General Store is complete without a trip to the candy section. You pick up a basket and select how much of each wrapped candies you wish to purchase. You pay by the pound of candy; it’s all the same price. In addition to current popular candies, they sell some old-fashioned candies that were all the rage in the mid-20th century.

Mast General Store on North Main Street, Waynesville, NC.
Mast General Store on North Main Street, Waynesville, NC.

I was happy to find my book on display and for sale at Mast General Store. I hope it’s available at all their locations in western North and South Carolina.

My book displayed at Mast General Store in Waynesville, NC.
My book displayed at Mast General Store in Waynesville, NC.