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Posts Tagged ‘words’

This month I’m going to talk about me. But not the flower-crazy, stick shift driving, word challenged, female who likes all things sparkly. No, I’m going to talk about me, Jansen Schmidt the writer. Have I mentioned that I’m also a writer?

While this picture is not my actual desk, it accurately reflects my writing style when I’m really in the zone. You writers out there know what I’m talking about. It’s not a mess, it’s research and, I don’t care who you are, do NOT touch my desk, my notes, my piles of papers. There is a method to the madness. Those post-it notes contain key points that must not be forgotten in the plot at any cost. The empty cups are a sure sign that my husband the cabana boy has retired for the night and there will no longer be anyone to bring me beverage refills or any other form of sustenance. But I carry on. I persevere. Just a thousand more words, one more chapter, six more pages of edits, then I’ll be done for the day.

Why do we do this? Why do we put outselves through this agonizing process called writing? I’ll tell you why I do it.

In 2009 I was bestowed with an Honorable Mention is the Writing on the Walls contest sponsored by The Storyteller Magazine. As part of this recognition, my short story, Dancing In the Middle, was published in the Writing on the Walls III anthology. (http://www.thestorytellermagazine.com/past-wow-winners.html)

I was over the moon with my very first real publishing experience! This was it! It’s official! I’m a legitimate author and I have a book out there to prove it. I have a book cover to post on my website. I signed a contract and everything! Of course it’s not mine alone, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

Dancing In the Middle is about a dance instructor with a secret who is unknowingly smuggling drugs into the United States from Mexico. It has strong romance elements and incorporates my love of all forms of dance. Dancing In the Middle was featured on a blog! How cool is that? You can experience that thrill here: http://sjdriscoll.com/?s=Jansen+Schmidt.

See how much more exciting my life is now that I’m a published author. I’m in demand. People can’t get enough of me. Okay, so maybe one guest blog feature has gone to my head, but it brightened my day immensely to be featured on Sally’s blog. I can’t wait for that first real book signing.

But I digress.

This Honorable Mention accolade boosted my enthusiam for writing and justified what I do as – REAL! I wasn’t just playing around any more. I was officially – an author. With that came added responsibilities, a reputation to uphold, expectations for future stories. Oh the pressure!

Fortunately, I carried on, putting more words on the page, drying up hundreds of highlighters and red pens, rubbing down countless erasers. Running the cabana boy ragged. My stubborness persistence paid off!

Writing on the Walls IV

In 2011 I entered the same contest with a different story. Finding Emily also received an Honorable Mention in the contest and will be available in the 2012 Writing on the Walls IV anthology, in either paper or e-book format in June 2012 at Amazon.com or Mockingbirdlanepress.com.

That’s right, now I have 2 book covers to post on my website. I entered the same story in the 2011 Silver Quill contest and came in second place. (http://www.thestorytellermagazine.com/silver-quill-winners.html) As a contest “winner” I received a cash prize. Oh the heart-stopping excitement! I have now received income from my writing. Before you get all gushy with kind words, I will confess that that prize money was almost enough to buy lunch for me and the cabana boy my husband. But hey, it was cold hard cash for a well written story. I’ll take it!

Finding Emily is about a tenacious private investigator’s inter-state search for a missing child presumed dead. With the help of a research librarian, he unravels the truth and sets out to find Emily.

For more information about the Writing on the Walls contest or The Storyteller Magazine visit: http://www.thestorytellermagazine.com/index.html

As a result of all of this craziness hard work, I now have the distinct pleasure of introducing myself as a multi-published, award winning author. That sounds more impressive than it really is, but I’m keeping it.

For more information about me, Jansen Schmidt the writer, visit my website at http://www.jansenschmidt.com. There you can find excerpts from my current works in progress as well as finished manuscripts waiting for some lucky editor to snatch up for publication. You can sign my guestbook while you’re there so I know you visited.

As this post publishes on the worldwide web, I will be at the start of my much needed vacation. But, please leave a comment and know that I will respond to each and every one when I return. I love seeing your comments. Oh, and don’t think that while I’m away you can borrow my cabana boy either; he goes where I go. After all what multi-published, award winning author goes anywhere without her cabana boy?

Word of the Day:  Gadroon

Fun fact about me:  I did not learn how to ride a bike until I was 13 years old. Sad – but true.

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Hello and welcome to my new adventures in blogging!

So blogging – what is that really? It’s words. And, I love words! I’m a writer and a scrabble player and a lover of cross word puzzles. Words like widget, trapezoid and extrapolate are fun. But others, like phlegm, not so much. And let’s face it, blog isn’t very attractive either.

And don’t you just hate it when you can’t quite find the right word? You can find something close, but not quite right. Sometimes I think there’s entirely too many words to choose from. But as exciting and frustrating as words are, I’m here to tell you to exercise extreme caution when using words. Words will mess you up my friends.

Some words may look right, but aren’t. Let me tell you, that can cause some really embarrassing situations. For instance, placing a new plaque on the auditorium wall is not the same as placing a new plague on the same building. They both look right, but while plaques are nice and relatively harmless, no one really wants a new plague hanging around. Just one tiny little letter changes everything.

And then there’s times when you use the correct letters, but get them in the wrong order. This too can lead to undue embarrassment. Case in point, I once sent a very professional business letter to a client asking her to come in and sing her Last Will and Testament. Now, granted, the singing of the Will might have been wonderously entertaining, but, I’m told it provides no authenticity to the document whatsoever. Apparently, it’s the actual signing of the document that makes it enforceable. Silly mistake, but somewhat awkward for me.

And then there’s those words that will trip you up because they have more than one meaning or they have similar sounds. They might sound right, but in reality, improper useage  changes the entire meaning of a sentence. A misconception is not the same as a preconception but when spoken out loud, they sound the same – sort of. And someone who sees words in reverse order has dyslexia not dyspepsia. Two very different things, and yet they kind of sound the same. Be careful.

And quite the opposite is also true. Some words are actually very much correct, but they just sound wrong. For instance if I were to ask you to remove your small lizard from the hole in my oak wine barrel, that sounds correct. But this is also correct: keep your little skink away from my bunghole. And yet that just sounds – well wrong somehow.

So, as you go forth in the world of poems and prose, business letters and weekly progress reports, use caution and choose carefully, and please remember to proof read before you hit that wonderful enter button, least you too fall victim to the wacky world of words.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you on a regular basis. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and WordPress.com and visit my website www.jansenschmidt.com.

So tell me, what improper word usage has caused you embarrassment? Don’t be bashful, it’s good to get these things off your chest once in a while.

Word of the day: Alacrity (Go look it up, but not right now. Post your comment first, then go.)

Fun fact about me: I have an extra vertebrae in my spine. (Unfortunately this does not give me superpowers, it just make me more susceptible to back problems.)

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