Sunday, August 26, 2007

The 3-Day Novel Contest

I've participated in National Novel Writing Month twice and "won" once (i.e. met my 50,000 word count) but I don't know if I would have the nerve to try writing a novel in three days. But for those of you with nerves of steel (and a little time on your hands), you might be interested in this 3-Day Novel Contest over Labour Day weekend.

Grand Prize: Publication (summer 2008)
2nd Prize: $500 cash
3rd Prize: A great literary prize pack

You have to register for the contest by August 31, 2007 so if you're interested, you'd better hurry up and sign up. And be sure to check out their Survival Guide and the Community Forums... I would imagine that both of them are probably essential if you're to maintain some shred of sanity during this event.

For those of you who decide to do this: Good luck! And may whatever gods of writing you worship be with you during this period of temporary insanity.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Vocabulary Rant

I was visiting a forum today on which I'm a semi-regular contributor when I was attacked for using the word "erudite." That was my only offence and, according to the reaction of the poster, it was a grave offence indeed. To which I ask: why? Why should my vocabulary be the source of consternation to someone so wholly unconnected to me?

My last post notwithstanding, I love words. They are both my work and my hobby. I love neologisms, whether they're just for fun (e.g. "dinosaur blog") or put into actual use in the language (e.g. "netiquette"). I love precise words (why say "second last" when you can say "penultimate"?). I love word origins (did you know that Shakespeare coined over 1700 words currently in use in the English language?). I love colloquialisms, especially context-dependent ones such as "Macgyverism" or "grassy-knollism." I love creative spellings that horrify many linguists (such as "grrls" and "boyz"). Sometimes I love to write as formally as someone from a Jane Austen novel. At other times I like playing fast and loose with my dangling participles, indulging in run-on sentences and starting my sentences with such no-no words as "and" and "but." Why any of this should offend someone else is incomprehensible to me.


If I had a friend whose big hobby was... let's say football, a sport which I know very little about except that the big trophy in Canada is the Grey Cup... I think. If my friend spoke about football using proper football terminology, I would probably have little idea of what was being said. But I would not assume that my friend was (a) trying to flaunt their knowledge and/or (b) trying to belittle me for lack of same. I would simply acknowledge that this was a subject that they were passionate and knowledgeable about but was of little interest to me.

So why do people react so differently when that hobby is language? Why do some people take it so personally? I like my vocabulary. I like to expand my vocabulary. I like to use it or not use it as I choose. And those choices have nothing to do with anyone else. I just like words, dammit. And to those individuals who have a chip on their shoulder about that, I say get over it already.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007


This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. The purpose of this blog is simply to write about all manner of subjects related to writing, books and language that inspire, amuse, vex or interest me. For questions about this blog, please contact cara at weirdgrrl dot ca.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. From time to time, there may be some posts on this blog for which I receive a small amount of compensation. These posts may not always be identified as such, but they are always about products or websites that I support and they absolutely reflect my honest opinions. The only thing that will ever be influenced by any compensation received is the topics I choose to write about. My words and opinions are my own and not for sale.


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Coda in G Minor

July 22, 2009
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1133 Kensington Rd. NW
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Calgary, AB

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1 part shy intellectual, 1 part edgy chick, 1 part sophisticated woman, 1 part mental patient (after all, sanity is a type of conformity)... what's your mix?