9/28/2013

Dear Editor: There's a Name For That, Too

#2 – Metonymy
Good morning and welcome back to my place. *sips coffee* Help yourself, make yourself at home, just don't dip a wet spoon in the sugar bowl, okay?
I'm talking about editing lately, giving things some serious thought. When I got back my first round of edits, I was shocked as all get out to discover that I really didn't know how to write as well as I thought I did.
At least, that's what it looked like, with comments all down the margins and changes throughout the document.  I confess, I seriously thought about throwing it all in. Then I girded my loins so to speak, and waded in.
Turned out a lot of those changes were typos that had escaped my notice, and my beta reader's notice as well.
A lot of the comments and suggestions made perfect sense, and I proceeded with the feeling that I was making positive changes in my story that would improve the reading experience for everyone. Then I hit this one.
            His eyes roamed around the room, restlessly seeking distraction from the unwanted sexual awareness.
It was tagged IBP.
I scratched my head. Then I went to my support group of people, the ones who talk sense into you when you're being all crazy…and I asked them.
Independently Moving Body Part.
There was much back and forthing as they told me what this meant.
Silly me.  It never occurred to me that ANYONE would think that my hero's eyes popped out of his head and started wandering around the room looking at things whilst his body lounged still on the sofa.
I didn't like it, because something told me that your overtly na├»ve assertion that people would think such a thing was er… disingenuous.
But I changed all the roaming eyes to gazes, which then led me to wondering how many times I used the word gaze…and that was an entirely different rabbit hole.

www.lexcovato.com 

It's a long way down the line, and I've edited a lot of books since then, and read thousands more – mainstream and ebooks, classics and contemporary works, literary and genre fiction.
And I think its time we were honest about that IBP.
It's a little trick of rhetoric developed way back in the early days of writing by the ancient Greeks called metonymy. That means that you're substituting one thing for something closely associated with it, whether for ease of comprehension or flow, or what have you.
So, rather than say 75 times in my ms that someone's gaze did something? Sometimes I might prefer to say that their eyes did it.
That doesn't mean I'm writing zombie fiction.
After all, when Shakespeare wrote, "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears"' no one took that as stage direction to pelt the actor with actual ears, did they?

Readers are clever enough to understand figurative language. I trust them not to picture eyes wandering about the room on little stalks. If there are readers who are sensitive to that structure, then perhaps they might conclude that my writing style isn't for them. 

9/24/2013

Risking It All Gets 4 Stars at scatteredthoughtssandroguewords

Stumbled on this awesome review of Risking It All, Truth or Dare #5 while reading reviews of the Chances Are series the other day. *grins* Rick was a challenge to write, and I'm so glad to see that he is appreciated! 




"I felt Rick had depth to his character and liked how Brazil created a character who is dealing effectively with his past abuse.  Too often we are given stories populated by characters broken by their past, it was a nice change to be given someone who has surmounted his past and we get a glimpse into how he has achieved this remarkable goal.  I found Rick believable, likable, and totally someone I become fond of immediately."

You can read more at the reviewer's blog





The Truth or Dare Series  in Order

Keeping House (m/m)
Telling the Truth (m/m/m)
Giving Up (m/f)
Taking the Dare (m/m)
Risking It All (m/m)
Donovan's Deal  (m/m)

Available at 



And other ebook retailers. 

9/23/2013

Top Five : 80's Dance Songs






I probably danced to these songs at my prom in 1985, I can't really remember what exactly they played. But these are among my favorite dance songs of the 80's. Maybe you remember them too?

Just hearing them today is guaranteed to get me bouncing in my seat or taking a bop around the kitchen. .




1.  Like a Virgin - Madonna
2. Everybody Wants to Rule the World - Tears for Fears
3.  I Wonder If I Take You Home _ Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
4.  Freeway of Love - Aretha Franklin
5.  Sugar Walls - Sheena Easton


9/22/2013

Looking Back: I've Learned A Lot About Being An Author


Come October, it's been three years since I started doing this writing for a living gig. *bows* Thank you. How's it going? Well, I'm content with where I'm at although I've stumbled along the way.

There are dozens of things I wish I'd known three years ago, things about editing, about cover art, about reviews, and blogs, and promotion and it goes on and on.



When I started, I knew one thing.

The story I wanted to tell.

That's how easy I thought it would be. The story in mind would go onto the page and out into the world. I'd always been told, since elementary school that I had a natural gift for writing. My essays earned high scores and eloquent comments…

My favorite comment came from a college professor in a rhetoric class who wrote in red across the top of my essay, "Have you always written with such grace?"

Grace.

I'm blushing now just thinking about how I felt seeing that and more than twenty years have passed.

I started out that October with all kinds of preconceived notions about how I would behave as an author.

Arrogant, selfish and rude weren't on my list.

But I've been accused of all of them at more than one point over the last three years. (Oddly enough, never to my face.) Many of things I thought I'd do, I've been forced to adapt over the years. Who knew that just thanking a reviewer was frowned upon? Three years ago I thought it was only polite to say thanks on every review I received, as I found them. Turns out that is just one of the things I've been wrong about. I wish someone had told me back then.

And maybe that guy who called me arrogant was right, because I think that there are things I've learned over the years that others might benefit from knowing. So consider this fair warning. I'm going share what I've learned. Bits and pieces of things I wish someone had told me along the way.

I’m not telling you what to do, or how to do it. I'm sharing what worked for me, and how I achieved a level of success that I am comfortable with.

Some of what I have to say may be common sense, some of it may seem controversial. You've no doubt seen some of it before. Some of it is so trivial that you're going to wonder why the hell I've even bothered to mention it.

Take for instance, this bit.

When you put yourself out there as an advocate for equality, you make fair-mindedness a part of your brand.
When you then make sarcastic or jocular remarks that show what a low opinion you actually hold of some groups, whether they are race, orientation, gender, or body-type based, you tarnish your brand.
Think about who you are as a writer and what you stand for.
Let that image be your guide.
I can't really believe in your tolerance and avowed stance that "love is love" when I skim the news feed and see your public statements that show me your prejudices.  
You think it's funny to denigrate someone based on a physical characteristic, to equate intelligence with appearance, or size, or socio-economic background.
It's not. Because the gay community you claim to support isn't just made of "gay".
It's made of rich, poor, middle class working folks. It's made of pretty, beautiful, austere, stark, angular, round folks. It's made of geniuses and artists, savants and average Joe's. It's made of models and writers and gas station attendants and doctors and lawyers and teachers and chefs…
So when you point at the one guy and laugh, and wave the rainbow flag in your other hand…
It doesn't really matter, does it?
If you're an orientation bigot or a size bigot…
It's all the same.

Think before you post.

Because I'm not just an author; I'm a reader, a teacher, a chef, a musician, an OCD bleach freak, a long haired hippie, a procrastinator, a Catholic, a friend, a lover, a spouse, a loner, a sibling… and I care about equality for everyone, and tolerance for everyone.






Be Yourself

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955