Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Author Spotlight - Petie McCarty talks about personal words

All authors are a tad eccentric. If someone accused us of that, we assuredly would cry "foul!" But honestly, think about it. How many people do you know who hole up for hours at a time and are often heard talking to themselves. Actually we are probably testing dialogue, but does the person on the other side of the door realize that? Of course not, only another author would. So it stands to reason, most folks would find us a tad eccentric.

This is not a bad thing, and the label gives us leeway to be creative -- or odd, as others might claim -- in new and innovative arenas. Take for example, new words -- personal words -- our own created words used only by us to juice up our writing. Or more importantly, to create voice.

Authors will take two common words, stick them together, and hyphenate them as a new adjective. We'll take two verbs and run them together to create an altogether new verb. Or we'll just pull a brand-new spectacular word out of our…thin air, like a magician, and call it our own. All of which drives our content editors to distraction for they want to pigeon-hole our grammar and word choice into acceptable guidelines, which is really a good thing in the grand scheme of safe and purchasable publishing. Yet some words just scream for their own time and their own stage. And we all have them.

Take for example, perseverate -- my old boss's favorite word, and he was a PhD in Environmental Engineering. A good definition might be "to persevere to concentrate" or in other words, you won't let the issue go and you stick with it like a dog with a piece of meat. You perseverate on the issue. Authors are adept at perseverating, especially if someone is editing their manuscript. Twenty years ago when the Doc came up with this, I couldn't find the word anywhere in Merriam-Webster, and it only appeared in recent years. Did my old boss coin the term as a personal word? Who knows? Anything's possible.

How about frinklesnatcher? What in the world is that? Well, it's a Petie-ism. [Actually now, my entire family and everyone in my office uses it.] The term started out as a descriptive word for the accoutrements found clinging to the grill at the bottom of the refrigerator. Little pieces of "I don't know what" that blew in and out with the air movements under the appliance. A good definition would be "that which no one recognizes and no one wants to touch or especially not to pick up." But frinklesnatchers do exist, and they did need a name, a name as unique as the whatever you don't want to touch. Thus frinklesntacher. Works in a myriad of situations. "Yuck! Look at that frinklesnatcher." Or "Ewww, pick that frinklesnatcher off my shirt." The word can also work for anything that requires a name and doesn't yet have one. I suspect as I get older and more forgetful, I will find more frinklesnatchers in this world.

And my segue back to this week's blog about Catch of the Day -- I do have a couple personalized words in my story, and my content editor was kind enough to leave them. I don't care what anyone says…pokety-outy is an absolutely perfect adjective when used properly.

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"4 Stars...CATCH OF THE DAY is Ms. McCarty’s second release and like the first one, EVERGLADES, presents the reader with likeable characters, a mini suspense, and an engaging storyline with an environmental edge. Great story and I am looking forward to more by this author." -- The Romance Readers Connection

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