When Did “Interesting” Become a BAD Word?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Language changes. I get that.  Old words or usage fades away and new words become accepted. 

Think of all the new words or new meanings to old words that have come about over the last two decades: net, cell (meaning cell phone), Internet, Web, Website, ebook, blog, and text. These, as you know, relate mostly to technology.  One of the words, “texting,” has produced a whole new language in and of itself. 

Yet even the new abbreviated words in a texting dictionary have suffered confusion. For example, when you send LOL are you “laughing out loud” or sending “lots of love?” Folks still get those confused, sometimes with hilarious results. You have to grab the nearest teenager to interpret what is being said, emailed or texted.

Then there are phrases that when spoken mean the opposite of what the words say they should mean. Consider, no way, get out, hold the fort or yes way, or that’s so sick or so bad. No wonder folks trying to learn English have trouble.

That brings up the word that started all this – interesting. It’s interesting to me that when I moved to the South, suddenly things couldn't be “interesting” anymore. When a neighbor sent over a lovely dessert and I described it as “interesting,” she said, “Oh, so you didn't like it?” She took offense. I was flabbergasted. I meant no disrespect. I thought I was giving her a compliment. Her dessert was "interesting" as in different, unusual and unique. Her “interesting” dessert was also delicious. 

Just so you know, coming from me “interesting” is a good thing.  So, if you receive a critique from me and I say your new book was “interesting,” please know that I found your work to be something of importance or consequence that engendered curiosity on my part and made me take notice, like the dictionary says.

What words that have taken on a different connotation bother you? 

Your Writing Career: It’s More Than Your Books

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

     Once you’re published, many new adventures come your way. It’s not just about your book(s) anymore. Folks will become interested in you; who you are, what you write, why you write and how you write? You may not have bargained for more than an autograph party or two but like anything in life, when you finally achieve a goal, there’s always more waiting for you than meets the eye.

     Speaking at a local school was the first request I received. Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of presenting to school children from Alaska to Florida, and British Columbia to London, England. I’ve spoken to parent groups, other educational organizations, at library and educational conferences on the local, state, national and world levels, and even addressed business meetings; sometimes about my books but more often about the process of living and working as a writer.

     Last week, I had the pleasure of joining Gretchen Griffith, author of Lessons Learned: The Story of Pilot Mountain School, and other works of non-fiction and children’s books as well, to offer a class on memoir writing that we titled, Preserving the Past: Collecting & Recording Family History & Life Experiences.  Between the two of us we've authored five memoirs including nurses serving in the Persian Gulf War, a female pastor in the Salvation Army, the story of a school, and an early entrepreneur who built stagecoaches, brought roller skating to North Carolina and helped people turn moonshine into gasohol. 
     This opportunity came to the two of us because others heard about our books and wanted to know how to write their own memoir. So, we took our knowledge and experience and turned it into a two-hour workshop. It wasn't a session on “how to” write a memoir. Our focus was directed at our process; what each of us did that was similar and more importantly, how our processes differed. We looked at gathering and organizing information,  researching facts to enhance the memoir, resources to help and legal things to consider, just to name a few.  Our goal was to encourage students to develop their own strategies because, in the end, no matter how many classes or webinars or seminars you take, when it comes to writing, you have to take that information and make it your own.

     If you’re already published, then you know what I’m talking about. If not, get ready. Your time is coming, hopefully, sooner than later.

     If you’re already published, please share the most unusual request you've received for a presentation or one that took you by surprise.
     Gretchen and I are ready to take the memoir writing class on the road. If you know of a group that might be interested, please have them contact us at one of the following websites:

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About Me

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Hi! I’m Sandra Warren, a writer with very eclectic writing tastes. I’ve been fortunate to have publications in multiple genres including children’s, gifted education, parenting, how to, poetry, journal, educational activity guides and biography as well as audio and video production. I'm a city gal recently transplanted to the mountains of NC where glorious mountain vistas inspire latest renderings.

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