wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Dialect in Writing

 

Dialect 

If one or more of your characters have a dialect or accent that you feel is important to note in your novel, I would suggest that unless you are very familiar with those regional speech patterns or accents, use them sparsely so they don’t distract from the story. The safer way to do it would be to choose a few instances of the dialect and use them in dialogue. Try as much as possible to have the rest of the writing in plain English.

Falling out of character by messing up the dialect is going to do damage to your credibility as a writer and to the credibility of the character.

I’d like to give you some examples of how I have used dialect and accent of a character in my novels.

One of my secondary characters in The Wind Weeps is Monique, a French-Canadian girl. I wanted to show that she spoke with a French-Canadian accent, but I didn’t want the phonetic spelling of every word of her speech become a chore for the reader. My solution was to limit Monique’s dialect and accent to a few of the most obvious speech habits that were typical of French speakers of English.

Saying the soft sound of “th” (as in “they”) is often difficult for speakers of French origin,  so, for example, instead of saying “there,” Monique would say “dere.”  For the hard sound of “th,” she might say “somet’ing” instead of “something.”

In French the sound of “h” is not used, so in English, Monique would have a habit of dropping the sound of the letter “h.” I showed this by placing an apostrophe in its place.  If she were saying, “It’s time to have something to eat,” she would say, “It is time to ’ave somet’ing to eat.”

That reminds me of the last clue to Monique’s speech being different; she would not use contractions. Instead of “can’t,” she would say “cannot,”  or she would say “it is” instead of “it’s, and “I ’ave” instead of “I’ve.”

By using these three changes in the dialogue, the reader could instantly identify that it was Monique who was speaking.  Just to be sure, I gave Monique two more habits of her own. I added the odd case of her swearing by having her say, “Tabernac,” once in a while. I also had her use an expression that was all her own by having her conflate two common phrases she had heard used in English. When she wanted to say “For sure” or “Sure thing,” as she had heard others say, she ended up saying, “For sure t’ing.”  Whenever this came up in the book, we would always know it was Monique speaking.

If you’d like to check it out yourself, you can find The Wind Weeps and its sequel, Reckoning Tide, at all amazon   (click on amazon) outlets and at smashwords.com (Click on smashwords.com).

My books are all marked down to 99 cents US so you can load your e-reader with bargain reading.

You can find a review of The Wind Weeps, by clicking on this blog post by Diana Wallace Peach.

P.S. For those who follow both my blogs, I have copied this post for both this one time. I don’t intend to make that a habit.

 

 


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The Necromancer’s Daughter

Diana Wallace Peach has done it again. She has written a novel that you won’t be able to put down.

All the emotions of human nature play their part in this exciting novel. Love, adventure, and intrigue, with just enough of a touch of magic to be believable, all feature in this page turner.

 

A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant, and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, he breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she learns to heal death.

Then the day arrives when the widowed king, his own life nearing its end, defies the Red Order’s warning. He summons the necromancer’s daughter, his only heir, and for his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade.

While Barus hides from the Order’s soldiers, Aster leads their masters beyond the wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a land of dragons and barbarian tribes. She seeks her mother’s people, the powerful rulers of Blackrock, uncertain whether she will find sanctuary or face a gallows’ noose.

Unprepared for a world rife with danger, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

A healer with the talent to unravel death, a child reborn, a father lusting for vengeance, and a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.

 

Please see my review of Diana Wallace Peach’s amazing new novel on my other blog: https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/

 

The Necromancer’s Daughter Links:

Amazon Global Link: http://a-fwd.com/asin=B0B92G7QZX

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-necromancers-daughter-d-wallce-peach/1142003172

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-necromancer-s-daughter-1

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-necromancers-daughter/id6443278849

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1160370

About the Author

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

 

More about Diana Wallace Peach:

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach

 

***** Don’t forget the review of Diana Wallace Peach’s amazing new novel on my other blog: https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/

 


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Words like Gold Nuggets

I was reading “Fortune’s Rocks” by Anita Shreve and had a mixture of reactions throughout the experience.

First, I was dismayed at the use of such stuffy language, but I soon realized that it suited the 1899 New England setting perfectly. This was the way people in the wealthier class spoke and thought in those days.

In a short time I stopped noticing the stuffiness of the language, and felt immersed in that time and lifestyle.

So it was, that I scoffed only mildly when the mother who was hosting guests at her summer home did not want her photo taken. One of the guests had taken up photography and the hostess was not a fan of these new contraptions called cameras. The reaction of the hostess was not out of character, but had me chuckling about her overly sensitive personality.

When I read on, I was absolutely thrilled with Anita Shreve’s description of the photography session that followed.

This quote from the book tells how it played out as the other guests, one by one, sat to have their photos taken.

Even Olympia’s mother, in the end, relents and allows herself to be photographed, albeit behind a veil with eyes lowered, flinching each time she hears the shutter click, as though she might be shot.

This description had me laughing out loud, as I imagined the scene. It was then that I realized that much of the writing was so precisely worded that I was able to picture it clearly in my mind. Reading this book became like watching a movie.

I kept chuckling over the above quote for some time and finally decided I would write a short note to the author to tell her how much I was enjoying her book. I Googled her name to get a webpage contact, but immediately the search told me that Anita Shreve had died on March 29, 2018 at the young age of 71.  My happy mood was dashed and I felt shocked and saddened to find out this bad news.

Still, Anita has left a legacy of many fine books for us to enjoy.

Now I am wondering if you readers out there have had similar discoveries of passages that are nuggets of entertainment.

If you have, why not share them in your comments. Book title, author, and quote. We’d love to see what you’ve found.

I’m posting this on my anneli’s place blog as well, so you can comment on either one (or both).


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Flower Power

I was happy that my orchid was blooming bravely through the winter, but the room cheered up considerably when our dinner guests brought a pot of primulas. Such bright colours made it hard to be anything but happy.

 

The winter colours all around,

Seem mute, and stay benign,

But springlike colours popping up,

Are bright and so divine.

 

Absorbing rays that warm and heal,

The blossoms open wide,

Displaying cheer, inviting joy,

I know they’re on my side.

***** If you like writing, why not pop over to my other blog that is dedicated to books and writing, at https:///annelisplace.wordpress.com.

 


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Der Struwwelpeter

In a recent post on Peter Klopp’s blog, I was reminded of the book I’ve treasured since I was a small child.  I still have that book which my family brought to Canada from Germany in 1953, and about 50 years ago I managed to buy a newer copy of it in Vancouver. The old one is on the right, and the new one on the left.

They are almost identical, but in the new one, these first two pages (below) do not appear.

The poem on the left is about the expectations of how children should behave:

Eat your soup.

Don’t forget to eat the bread too.

Play with your toys without making too much noise.

Take Mama’s hand when you’re out with her for a walk.

And if you do all these things, the Christkind (the being who delivers gifts at Christmas) will bring you some nice presents, and a very pretty picture book.

My mother often read this to me when I was very little, and encouraged me to say the words with her. The last line was always, “But we don’t tear it.”

It was years before I realized that the last line was not part of the poem. She had just added it as if it belonged there, and I repeated it, thinking it did.

 

On the second page was a picture of a child (Peter) whose hair was all “struwwelig” – officially “strubbelig” I think (messy, to say the least), and his fingernails were dirty and long. This boy never allowed his Mama to comb his hair or cut his nails, and he was a horrible boy (not what any good child would want to be). He was called Struwwelpeter (messy or slovenly Peter).

 

NOW things get more controversial. The stories (in rhyme) which follow are now considered harsh and brutal and not fit for children to be exposed to, and there are many adults who believe they should be banned.

But in spite of the shocking way the lessons in childhood behaviour are presented, I want to say that although the stories had my full attention at a young age, they did not give me nightmares or upset me. I grew up in a loving home and when my mother read these stories to me, she assured me that I was safe with her and that the awful things in the stories only happened to very bad people.

Meanwhile, I loved the cadence of the words and the rhymes and the often justified (at some level) endings.

 

Here is the story of Friederich, who was a very cruel boy. He tore the wings off flies and was mean to animals and to his sister. A dog getting a drink from the fountain looked like an easy target. Friederich sneaked up on him and hit him with his whip. The dog cried and howled, but then he’d had enough. He bit Friederich’s leg and ran off with his whip.

 

Now comes the part that I liked. Friederich had to go to bed. The doctor was called and Friederich had to take some medicine that was very bitter. (YES!)

Meanwhile, the dog ate Friederich’s supper of liver sausage, and he even had a drink of wine (not so sure if that was good for either dog or boy). He had brought the whip with him and kept a close eye on it.

 

This next story about little Pauline was very, very sad. It brought out every bit of empathy I had in my small child’s body. Thinking back, I remember this story so well because the poor little girl ended up burning up.

Much later, as an adult I thought, “If only a certain little boy I knew (in real life), had been told this story, maybe he would not have done exactly what Pauline did.” Luckily, he only burned down the family home and not himself or his family.

The beautiful thing about this story/poem is the rhyme. The repeated refrain that tells the warning from the cats, Minz and Maunz, really hits home. 70 years later, I still know who Minz and Maunz are.

Pauline had been told not to play with matches but the temptation was so great, she had to do it anyway. The cats warned her again and again, but she wouldn’t listen to them. At the end of the story, you can see how upset the cats are. If only Pauline had listened to her parents. I was impressed as a child, that all that was left of Pauline was a pair of red shoes.

Kaspar is one guy I didn’t feel sorry for. All he had to do was eat his soup. But no! He had tantrums (another no-no) and refused to eat his soup every day even though he got thinner and thinner.

I see that his Mama must have missed him and loved him a lot because even beyond the grave she was still trying to get him to eat his soup. See the bowl on his grave?

This one about Philipp who misbehaved at the table left me cold. I didn’t feel sorry for Philipp. He got what he deserved. But Philipp’s Mama, in every verse, did the same stupid thing. She put her handheld spectacles to her eye and looked around the table wordlessly. The Papa, on the other hand, did a lot of admonishing,  but he also got no respect from me. He let his son ignore him. And see in the picture – look how he is holding the knife!

Well, Mama and Papa may have been ineffectual parents, but natural consequences taught them all a lesson and none of them got any supper that night.

I have to add one little anecdote. Whenever my mother made Jell-o at home, she called it Zappel-Philipp. For years I thought that’s what it was really called, but she only called it that because Philipp from the story “zappelled” (fidgeted and rocked around)  just like the Jell-o did.  Unless Jell-o is really called that and I don’t know it.

The last story is one that upsets a lot of people because the tailor comes with his huge shears and cuts off Conrad’s thumbs.

But hey! His Mama told him not to suck them. She told him what would happen if he did.

Okay, I’m just kidding. It is a bit brutal, but again, I did not have nightmares or even take the story seriously. You’d have to be pretty stupid to believe that this would really happen. Unfortunately there are many people who would ban the whole book for being too real and brutal and upsetting for children.

The truth is, I loved these stories. I loved the rhyme and the cadence and the funny pictures. This story has stayed in my head all the years of my life since pre-school, and I still love how it starts with,

“Conrad, sprach die Frau Mama,

Ich geh aus und du bleibst da.”

(Conrad, said his Mama,

I’m going out and you’re staying here.)

It’s such a catchy little rhyme. And then after she tells him to be good and not suck his thumbs or the tailor will come with the big shears and cut them off, he can hardly wait until the door closes. I love the word that tells how he puts his thumb in his mouth – WUPP!

And then the sound of the tailor coming in the door. BAUZ! (pronounced like BOWTS).

 

 

There are more stories in the Struwwelpeter book, but this post is already quite long so I’ll leave you with a couple of thoughts.

Before you say how horrible these stories are, consider that it makes a difference how they are presented. I agree that I would not raise children using these stories as examples nowadays.

But I also feel that we don’t need a witch hunt to eradicate every book we don’t agree with, and those who consider themselves holier-than-the-rest-of-us don’t have a right to deprive everyone of the opportunity to see what went on in our history. It is not their right to erase our past – good or bad. We can learn from it either way.

 

 


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Rufus

 

 

 

Still, still, still I sit,

Feathers fluffed and light,

Chill, chill, chill is it,

Going to freeze tonight.

 

Save, save, save my strength,

Lest my legs do fold,

Brave, brave, brave at length,

Need to be so bold.

 

Eat, eat, eat the seeds,

For the night is long,

Meet, meet, meet my needs,

Hope I can be strong.

 

Spring, spring, spring will come,

Bringing sun and life,

Sing, sing, sing and hum,

Ending winter’s strife.


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A Harsh Surprise

The skiff of snow we had the other day was just the prelude to get us in tune for the magnum opus.

Some snow for Christmas was a fine seasonal touch, even if it was a bit hard on the birds, but the snowfall we had in the last two days, coupled with a drastic drop in temperatures and an increase in NW wind – well, let’s just say I’m praying for the return of my old friends, wind and rain.

Since the Arctic winds are coming from the north or northwest, I decided to put more birdseed on the leeward side of the house. Out of the wind, the picnic blanket won’t blow away or freeze to the ground as readily.

So, not being particularly house proud, I sprinkled bird seed liberally by my front door and in the dry edges near the house on the south and east sides.

Emma can’t believe her eyes. So many birds. You know she’s a “bird dog” but that is not supposed to apply to songbirds. She’s in shock that birds are right there on the other side of the glass – you know, that glass beside the door where she always looks out when she’s left behind.

“Wow!” she says. “A varied thrush!” And she tells herself to stop drooling.

“Oh, it’s you again,” says Vera Thrush. “You should stop poking your nose into the glass pane. You’re mucking it all up with noseprints.”

“On second thought,” thinks Vera, “I should maybe check out another area and come back later when that maniac killer dog is having a nap. But … does she ever sleep?” Vera turns to go. “Better safe than sorry…. Hmmpf! Can’t believe I said that. Such a cliché.”

Vera’s feathers fluff up soft,

Keeping warmer air aloft

Trapped beside her chilly skin,

She will not let winter in.

 

Hard to fathom so much cold,

Although pretty to behold,

But the chill is not a thrill,

It is often known to kill.

 

Thankfully, the seeds are spread,

All around the front door tread,

Even though they don’t belong,

Matters more that we stay strong.

 

First comes need and then decor,

Later we’ll clean up the door,

But we’ll wait till Emma’s busy

So she won’t get in a tizzy.

 

All these seeds are such a gift

Hard to find them in a drift,

Front door feeding works just fine,

Think I’ll grab some, make them mine.

 

 

 


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Visiting at Luanne’s

 

My sweet Emma and I are happy to let you know that we are guests at Luanne Castle’s blog today. Why don’t you stop there for a quick visit?

   

 

Luanne Castle has written a lovely review of one of my books, Julia’s Violinist.

I’d be delighted if you would visit her blog post and find out more about this novel that is so dear to my heart.

Please visit: https://writersite.org/2021/12/20/my-review-of-julias-violinist-by-anneli-purchase-and-note-from-the-author/

 

 


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Book Bargains

In the month before Christmas I have marked my novels down to US $.99. This way you can load up your e-reader with five novels to keep you turning pages for about $5.00 total. Hours of entertainment for very little cost.

What will you get for 99 cents each?

Orion’s Gift

When Sylvia receives devastating news, she knows she has to leave her California home. While hiding away in the Baja Peninsula, living in a camper van, she meets a man with a similar dilemma. Both must avoid the spouses pursuing them, or be forced to return to the intolerable misery of their past. Will the sparks they feel for each other help see them through or only make their problems worse?

Baja camping is not without its dangers and both runaways must learn to trust and mistrust at the right times.

*****

The Wind Weeps

Andrea leaves big-city boredom in Ontario to search for love and a new life on B.C.’s rugged coast. The love of two men and a woman leads her into the world of commercial fishing. But soon, her adventure becomes a nightmare. The beauty of her surroundings is at odds with the terror that she lives every day. Trapped in an isolated cabin on the coast, she will need to test her newly acquired wilderness skills if she ever hopes to escape. Be sure to follow up with the sequel, Reckoning Tide.

*****

 

Reckoning Tide

 

*****

 

Marlie

Unlucky in love, Marlie flees a bad relationship. She accepts a teaching job in the remote Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii). The beauty of the islands and the rugged challenge of northern living enthrall her. A good-looking artist has his eye on her. The perfect gentleman. Or is he? And what about that handsome fisherman? Is he just a bit too real for her with his hunting and fishing? Just as Marlie hopes that her life has made a turn for the better, disaster strikes. She is shocked to see her life spiraling downwards yet again. How could she have made such an error in judgement—an error that sets more bad luck in motion?
Not willing to lose control, Marlie takes a deep breath and sets out to get her life back on track. But can she do it alone?
Set in the remote islands of coastal British Columbia, Marlie is a heartfelt romance of love and loss and love again.
Experience the fears and joys of northern island living and delight in a second chance at true love.

 

Julia’s Violinist

Julia’s Violinist takes us to postwar Europe for an unbiased story of a love triangle.  Julia is widowed with two children at the end of WWll. She remarries and hopes to pick up the pieces to put her broken life back together. It isn’t going well. A letter arrives from her first love from twenty years ago. After all these years, he is alive and wants her to join him in a new life. She struggles with morality and a chance for happiness. Life’s decisions are not always easy and they can come at a huge price.

*****

To find out more about these novels, you can visit my website:

www.anneli-purchase.com

You can also click on the book cover images at the side of this post to go to amazon. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can go to smashwords.com to get these e-books for all types of e-reader formats.