The Left-Hand path, Paul White's "Like a Cheap Rhinestone", Lynne Stringer, a glossary
August 13 is Left handed day, so all "southpaws" gather and learn some left-handed lore and meet a lefty or two.
First: 13 facts about the wonderful left
From scissors and smudged ink, spiral-bound notebooks to impossible-to-use tin openers, the lefties' struggle is real.
To mark International Left-Handers Day, which falls every year on August 13, here's some lovely left-leaning facts.
So take a moment to pause and appreciate the plight of your left-handed friends living in a right-handed world.
1)Just 10 per cent of the world's population is left-handed and this has remained roughly the case for thousands of years. 2)Men are also more likely to be left-handed. 3)Historically left-handed people were considered inferior, with the use of the left hand being associated with witchcraft. 4)Left-hand shakes are a sign of disrespect. This derives from the Middle Ages where people used to use their left hand to wipe after going to the toilet. 5)The word sinister comes from the Latin word "sinestra" which originally meant “left” but took on meanings or “evil” or “unlucky.” 6)Wedding rings worn on the third finger of the left hand originated with the Greeks and Romans, who wore them to fend of evil associated with the left-hand. 7)Tennis champion Rafael Nadal switched to being a left-handed player - and there's a myth that his coach and mentor Toni Nadal noted it would give him a bigger advantage on court. 8)A left-handed compliment is a criticism couched as a compliment; otherwise known as a backhanded compliment, such as “you are very competent for someone so inexperienced.”
9)The term "left- wing" dates from the 1790s, when in the French revolutionary parliament the socialist representatives sat to the presiding officer's left. Leftists at this time were considered hostile to the interests of traditional elites. 10)Christianity traditionally associated the left with evil through its description of a Last Judgement where the damned (“goats”) are sent to the left, and the saved (“sheep”) to the right.
11)In The Simpsons, character Ned Flanders set up a shop to recognise the plight of left-handed people. Named “The Leftorium”, it specialised in left-handed products.
12)Five out of the last eight US presidents write with their left-hand - Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Prince William, is a royal left-hander 13)Lefties are also called "southpaws". The term was coined in baseball to describe a left-handed pitcher. There's even a place called Left Hand. It's in West Virginia, US but sadly the town isn't named after its left-handed community. It's actually named after nearby Lefthand Run creek.
The left-handed struggle Left-handers are constantly grappling with a right-handed world. But one thing they can do? Tweet. Turning to the social network to document their plight of living in a world seemingly made against them, here are some of their gripes. A personal note. We have a lefty in our extended family. Tiny "Stell" my "Little Person" granddaughter who is, by the way, a gifted singer, spelunker, and song maker at just age 4 is also a lefty. The picture above is her Mom helping her practice her letters and numbers at home "pre-school". Go Stell!
Last week I interviewed Paul White. For the first entry this week, he's chosen an excerpt of his writing rather than a character interview.
Like a Cheap Rhinestone
Every now and then, when Tony was not paying attention, the chip on the rim of the whiskey tumbler caught his lip. He could have asked for another glass, but Tony knew well enough this was probably the best glass in the bar and, if he was careful, he could turn the tumbler around, make sure the damaged part of the rim was on the far side.
Yet, in a strange way, Tony liked the way the glass occasionally snagged his skin. The sharp pain was an indication he was still alive, he could still feel something. Although it was, he knew, a contradiction. Because the reason he was drinking was to dull his senses, to kill the pain, to stop him feeling anything.
Holding the glass up, turning and twisting it so the dull yellow lights above the bar shone on the rim, Tony studied the worn, rough edge. If he held it just at the right angle he could see the brightness of the broken glass; it sparkled like a cheap rhinestone.
Tony tapped the glass on the counter top to attract the bar girls attention. He stabbed a scrawny nicotine stained finger towards the amber residue lingering in the base. The girl poured a two finger measure of cheap, harsh whiskey into the glass. She never looked Tony in the eyes, she never spoke a word, just poured the drink and walked away to tend to the other customers.
It was the way she was with him. She hated him, loathed him, Tony knew it. If it was not for the fact she needed this job she would have leapt across the bar and stabbed him through the heart. Most probably have kept on driving the knife into him until she collapsed out of sheer exhaustion.
Tony knew that too. Which is, at least partly, why he was here. Which was why they were both here. Tony because he wanted to talk to her, to make her listen to him, to make her understand. She was here because it was the last place in town that would employ her.
Every other bar had ‘let her go’ after Tony’s persistent presence agitated the other customers to the extent the owners would not put up with any more complaints. But here, at the Casablanca bar, Tony was welcome. It was Tony’s brother’s bar and there was no way he would ever be refused, or not served a drink. It was the rule, the rule which she, Connie must abide by if she wanted to work and Connie wanted to work, she needed to work. She had a child to feed, rent on an apartment and bills to pay. Connie needed the job, needed the wages, but she did not need to speak to Tony. No one could force her to talk to him.
So, day after day, night after night the charade was played out. Tony sat at the end of the bar smoking and drinking. Connie poured the whisky and walked away. Neither said a word.
There was a time, not so long ago, when Tony would speak to her, over and over and over. But he was met with a blank stare, a muteness of indifference. Eventually, his words dried up.
Tony told himself, convinced himself, he was a patient man and patient men always got what they wanted in the end. Which is why, (the other ‘partly), he was here. He was waiting, knowing, or at least hoping she would eventually give in. Submit to defeat and speak to him, let him have his say, to explain, to tell his side of the story. But she was stubborn, like a mule, just as he was. Obstinate to the core.
Tony tapped the glass on the counter top to attract Connie’s attention again. To emphasise his order, Tony again stabbed his scrawny nicotine stained finger towards his chipped tumbler once more.
Connie poured two fingers of whisky into the glass and walked to the far end of the bar.
Tony watched her through the blue-grey smoke spiraling from the tip of his Marlboro, she was a fine young girl, pretty and lithe. She took after her mother in so many ways, those long legs and pert breasts. But it was her temper and her stubborn tenacity. That, she got from him.
Taking a sip of whiskey, the chip on the tumbler’s rim snagged Tony’s lip. He could feel a small nick on his lip and taste the blood. The sharp pain was an indication he was still alive, he could still feel something. Was that a good thing?
Tony licked his wound; a taste of iron, malt whiskey and cigarette smoke. A taste of time and passing. Of life passing. Tony spent far too many hoursin dingy bars, drank too many glasses of rancid whiskey waiting for Connie to look into his eyes, to acknowledge his existence, to speak a single word. Five years was a large part of anyone’s life.
Picking up the glass Tony downed the rest of the whiskey and walked out of the bar. He did not look at Connie, he did not look back. Turning his collar up and thrusting his hands into the pockets of his overcoat he strode along the street, an icy chill wind biting into the skin on his face. He breathed in deeply, savouring the sharp frostiness of the winter’s air.
For the first time in a long time, Tony saw more than the anxious depression of his mind, like the way the snow glinted as the evening sun caught its surface. He noticed how it sparkled like the edge of a worn whiskey tumbler, like cheap rhinestones sprinkled across the ground.
© Paul White 2015
My next author guest is Lynn Stringer!
What made you want to be a writer?
I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was four. I wrote for fun all the time and kept it up well into my twenties when I wrote my first full-length manuscripts. However, it never occurred to me to try and publish any of them. My father is also a writer, and I knew how hard it was to get published and how much work was involved in promotion and marketing, etc. I didn’t think I had a chance.
When I studied journalism and became the editor of a small newspaper, it taught me a lot about refining my writing and honing my skills. But apart from the articles I wrote during this time, I didn’t do any other writing. It wasn’t until I left that job that the urge to write fiction flared again, and I got the idea that inspired The Heir.
Tell us your book’s genre?
The Heir is a YA science fiction romance.
Tell us about your book and how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.)
The Heir tells the story of a girl named Sarah Fenhardt, who thinks she’s just a normal teen in high school. However, when strange things start happening around her, she realizes her life isn’t normal at all. There’s a murder, melting tables, and monsters in the bushes.
You can find The Heir on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Heir-Lynne-Stringer-ebook/dp/B00BS1O2RW
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
Essential. You need to know what’s going on, especially in your genre. It’s a good idea, in this regard, to read the most popular books in your genre, as they’re popular for a reason.
How did you come up with this fantastic idea?
I got the idea when my husband and I went on a holiday to the Sunshine Coast here in Queensland, Australia, where I live. For some strange reason, he loves laughing over cheesy pickup lines, and he was telling me some new favourites he’d heard. I was trying desperately to think of one, but the only one I could think of was a guy saying to a girl, ‘You are the only reason I was put on this planet’.
Not exactly a brilliant one! While I was thinking about it, I imagined a guy saying this to a girl, and she said, ‘Yeah, right!’ Then, to my surprise, he turned to her and said, ‘No, you are the only reason I was put on this planet.’ And I realised he meant it literally. I started to think, ‘Why is that? Why would he be here only for her?’ I spent all the time on our holiday starting to develop the story that became The Heir.
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
Sarah. She’s quite close to me in personality and I enjoyed bringing her to life.
Did the Bible or other spiritual works have anything to do with your idea for this novel?
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
That no matter where you come from in life you are still important. Just because some people have more money, clothes or popularity than you doesn’t make you less than them.
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Marketing. It’s hard to go out there as an author and tell people about your book. Most authors are introverts and prefer not to do that. That’s certainly true of me. ☺
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
I prefer writing in quiet, if I can, but I usually have a list of songs that inspire me as I’m creating. The Heir has a playlist on my website. You can see it here: http://www.lynnestringer.com/my-books/
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
My belief that no one would be interested in my stories.
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
My husband and son. They’re my fan club! I also had a specific group of women who supported me with The Heir particularly. The book is dedicated to them.
How do you market your book?
I try to be involved wherever I can, both on social media and by attending events. It’s hard to find new ways to get word out but I try to take every opportunity that presents itself.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
I’ve had a few. The most recent one said: ‘I loved your books so much and enjoyed every word of them!’ That’s always good to hear. ☺
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
My publisher has a group of editors and proofreaders and some of them go through the books before they go out.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people,
place, food, décor etc.
My first book signing was at a bookstore called A Lot of Books in Ipswich, about an hour from where I live. The shop was only in a small location, and they’d set up a little table for me in the doorway. I was worried people were going to trip over me as they came through!
I sat down and had been there for two minutes when a woman walked past on her way out of the bookstore. I offered her a chocolate, which is always my first approach. And she stopped and said, ‘What have you got?’ I told her about my book and she said, ‘That’s great. I’ll buy it!’ Then she marched back into the shop and purchased it. That was an encouraging start. ☺
Some silly questions!
What do you enjoy when you’re not writing?
Reading, watching movies, making up stories, spending time with family, gardening, walking
Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is.
My favorite food is dark chocolate. My favorite colour is blue.
Tell us your favorite novel?
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
A live drama or the opera?
Chips or crackers?
Hamburger or chicken sandwich?
Fries or onion rings?
Milk shake or smoothie?
Thunderstorms or star gazing?
Kindle or paperback novels?
I usually get things on Kindle first, then if I like them enough, I purchase them for my bookshelf.
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
Heaps. A word of advice to novice writers –don’t set you book somewhere you’ve never visited (unless you’ve made it up entirely in your head). I know I’ve got some things wrong. I think I’ll set the rest of my books on another planet.
What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?
Make sure you get your manuscript professionally edited before you start sending it around, and especially before you upload it.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but I may have another one out in the first half of next year. It will be set on the same planet as the second-half of The Heir. Not sure on any other details yet, though.
Blurb for The Heir
Sarah hates the prestigious high school she attends. Most of the other students ignore her. The only good thing about school is the presence of Dan Bradfield, the boy she adores. Dan is the heir to his father's multinational computer company, but he is dating Sarah's best friend, Jillian.
When tragedy strikes, Dan is the one who is there for Sarah, but she can't shake the feeling there is something strange about him. Is he protecting her from something? Is there something going on that she doesn't know about? And did she really see a monster in the bushes?
Sarah is desperate to uncover the truth, but it could take her to another galaxy, and change everything she believes about who she is. Will it bring Dan and Sarah closer together or tear them apart?
The Heir is the first book in the Verindon Trilogy.
Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lynne-Stringer/e/B00BT60S1K
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh0Pio7vL_yM47XR9RR2chQ
Book trailer 1 for The Heir: https://youtu.be/qafVPTILUwU
Book trailer 2 for The Heir: https://youtu.be/gedWO25YOPc
One of the things I began to add with my second book Going Forth by Day was a glossary and a pronunciation guide. I use many foreign terms and a lot of speculative slang. To the best of my ability, I've researched these and found a surprise or two. As for the pronunciation... Therein lies even greater speculation. Why? Because Ancient Egyptian has evolved over thousands of years so without taking a recording device on a time machine into the past, once can only guess. First, there were no characters for vowels in the hieroglyphics until the Greeks arrived. Second, Ancient Egyptian was a gendered language. Third, and most intriguing, proper names could be read frontwards and backwards. In Voices in Crystal Hordjedtef's name was stated as also having been Djedephor at one time. Whether the tale was speculative or not, I decided to employ the legend that there was enmity between he and his brother, Djedephre, who became king. He forbade anyone to call him Djedephor after that or even the nickname Dede because it was too close. Similarly Userre, father of Wserkaf is also seen as Raouser in some texts and is incidentally the name of one of Hordjedtef's hounds as a slight at another former rival. Here's an example of the first page of the Glossary I now include. If you have a copy of Book 1 and would like this glossary e-mail me and I will send you one.
Pronunciation note: the pronunciation guides are purely speculative and written in common American English pattern.
Akh (Ahk) – Intelligence after death, memory.
Akkad (Ah-cad) – Ancient name for the area of modern-day Iraq; a person from that region.
Amenti (Ah-men-tea) – Also known as Duat land of the Underworld – The West, Field of Reeds. The place of the dead.
Ammit (Ay-mit) – “Devourer” or “soul-eater”; also spelled Ammut or Ahemait, was a female demon in ancient Egyptian religion with a body that was part lion, hippopotamus, and crocodile.
Anhur (On-Her) – The Nubian Lion god. Also Aker (Ah-care)
Apedemeketep (Ah-ped-eh-meh-keh-tep) – Grandson of Akaru.
Apep (A-pep) – A huge serpent (or crocodile) which lived in the waters of Nun or in the celestial Nile. Each day he attempted to disrupt the passage of the solar barque of Re. In some myths, Apep was an earlier and discarded sun-god himself. Also called Apohis
Ariennu (Ah-ree-in-oo) – Similar meaning to name Arianna or Ariadne in Greek meaning “most holy”.
Asar (Uh-sar) – An Ancient Egyptian deity of the underworld and resurrection. Name of the Nile. Also called Osiris.
Ashera(h) (Ah-sher-ah) – A mother goddess who appears in a number of ancient sources “Queen of Heaven”, consort of the Sumerian god Anu and Ugaritic El (both bull deities) the word ‘elat’ is used to describe her as “goddess”.
Bakha Montu (Ba-ka-mahn-too) – The meaning of his name was “nomad”. The warrior nature of Menthu made him a bull god Menthu would also be represented as a man with the head of a bull. There were at least three great sacred bulls of the Ancient Egypt called the Apis of Memphis, Mnevis of Heliopolis and Buchis at Hermonthis (the Bakha).
Well, it's here! After nearly two years of trial, error, and rewrite, I think I have a winner and a worth follow to the other three installments of the Children of Stone Series. The print copy of Heart of the Lotus was published August 9 and the e-book is now in Pre-Order, with a September 9, 2018 release date. Here is the Amazon link! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GD818VZ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1534159454&sr=1-2&keywords=heart+of+the+lotus
In the meantime, look for specials, and Kindle Countdowns on the other three titles which will start at $.99 and gradually return to the standard price of $2.99. If all goes well I may also briefly drop Book 4's price to $.99 as well. Watch for announcements on my Facebook pages! I am looking for honest ARC readers who have read at least the first of my books and are willing to binge read the rest and review them before September 9 (the release date). Let me know, but only ask if you really intend to review the others first!
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FYMFSNJ/ref=pe_1884320_294603710_pe_re_csr_ea_ti tle SimilAYER project Pt 2 S L Dearing 8-7-18
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FJQ3WG1/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i3 Andy Peloquin – Darkblade Slayer 8-7-18
My next four issues and guests will be these: Stay tuned and do pick up read and review my own works in : Children of Stone
August 20 National Radio Day
Lynne Stringer’s review, Sarah Fenhart +
+ Bill Nash Interview Heart of the Lotus Promo #1 a map
August 27 National Just Because Day Bill Nash Character – Jack Slater +
Eric Johannsen interview & reviews Heart of the Lotus Promo #2 a dedication
September 3 Labor Day Eric Johanssen‘s character – Ji-Min
Carmilla Voiez Interview Heart of the Lotus Promo #3 Raemkai, a spirit who became a character
September 10 National Swap Ideas Day Carmilla’s characters pics
+ Merri Halma Interview Heart of the Lotus Release notes and what's next!