After my wee rough patch earlier this week, things have gone much, much more smoothly. A huge thanks to everyone who offered advice and suggestions for how to unstick myself at the last check-in. It was a lovely reminder of why community is important; without all of you, I would’ve ended up sitting alone and feeling very sorry for myself, convinced that my rough patch was a sign of complete and utter failure. Instead, I managed to pick up the pieces and move on. Thanks, all!
A brief update on my goals:
Writing: tell me no lies is coming along quite well, and I’ve been keeping up with my Camp NaNoWriMo daily goals (roughly 1500 words/day). The MS is a little over 13.5K long (!). In the week to come, my major goal is to sketch a skeleton outline of the plot, just so I can have a roadmap of what’s to come.
Thesis: Work on the final section of my results and analysis begins on Monday, and I’m actually excited to get started. I’ve got good feelings about finishing up this project, and I can’t wait to dig in.
Blogging: One of my goals for this round of ROW80 has been to consider ways to give my blog a bit of structure. I’ve decided on attempting theme days that allow me to talk about a range of topics, from my WIPs and the research I’m doing for my thesis, to book reviews and other fun things. Here’s the tentative line-up:
- Monday Inspirations: A peek at the various elements that I’m drawing upon as I explore my WIPs.
- Things I Love Tuesday: Fun posts about my current obsessions and things that make my smile.
- Thesis Thursday: Little blurbs about my MA thesis (a textual analysis of 1920s wedding etiquette), including a look at primary sources, short bios on the authors in my study, and other fun historical tidbits from the period.
- Friday Free-for-All: Anything goes here — flash fiction, book reviews, cocktail recipes, random youtube videos…. I gave the Free-for-All a try the other day with a silly post about my favorite actor ever, Hugh Jackman, which was way too much fun to write.
One of the things that I love about working on tell me no lies is the ability to utilize 19th century American slang. Colloquialisms from the period involved incredibly vivid imagery and metaphors, like the one that I’ve used for the title of this post: “A huckleberry above a persimmon,” which is the rough approximate of “a cut above the rest.” While steampunk worlds don’t require strict historical adherence, I think my tale (and my MC’s voice) will gain a bit of life and vivacity.
Some of my favorite phrases:
- “biggest toad in the puddle”: most important person in a group
- “cap the climax”: to beat all; to surpass everything
- “to see the elephant”: to see it all; to experience everything
- “to fix one’s flint”: to settle a matter
- “little end of the horn”: the short end of the stick
- “savage as a meat axe”: extremely savage
- “one’s weight in wild cats”: to defeat a powerful opponent
For anyone interested, there are some great resources that I’ve found online, including Craig Hadley’s Dictionary of 19th Century Slang (I love this one because it includes dates and examples from literature) and John Bartlett’s Dictionary of Americanisms (originally published in 1848).
Another great source is Walt Whitman’s essay, “Slang in America.” It’s a wonderful discussion of how languages evolve and change through the emergence of colloquialisms. As he writes, slang is “the wholesome fermentation or eructation of those processes eternally active in language, by which froth and specks are thrown up, mostly to pass away; though occasionally to settle and permanently chrystallize.”
That’s all from me for the moment. Hop on over to the other wonderful writers sharing their ROW80 progress and cheer them on!