Unfortunate People Names
These are honest-to-goodness things Victorian American women were taught to do if they wanted to be desirable to a man.
1. Helplessness = beauty
“There is beauty in the helplessness of woman. The clinging trust which searches for extraneous support is graceful and touching.”1
2. Don't forget to brush your teeth!
"Notice her teeth, neck, hair and nails. Her clothes must be clean and neat, especially collars and cuffs, and the like."1
3. Practice cooking.
"If she's a cheerful helpful about the house, good to her mother, and can get up an appetizing square meal out of 'scraps', she's a jewel worth winning."1
4. Never argue with your mother.
"If she's a cheerful helpful about the house, good to her mother, and can get up an appetizing square meal out of 'scraps', she's a jewel worth winning."1
5. Don't forget, the boring girls are the most attractive girls.
"Don't be fascinated with a dashing creature...choose rather one of those retiring, modest, sensible girls, who have learnt to deny themselves."1
6. Make sure you have a wide array of good qualities.
"It is not enough that a young lady should sing and play and dance as well; she should be able likewise to sew and cook well. She should know how to darn a stocking as well as how to paint a panel."1
7. Never sleep in.
"Her body is enfeebled, and her eyes are heavy; her mind is stupefied, her devotions neglected, or hastily performed."1
8. Be wary of the horse-laugh.
"Immoderate laughter is exceedingly unbecoming in a lady; she may affect the dimple or the smile, but should carefully avoid any approximation to a horselaugh."1
1 ”Manners and Morals of Victorian America” by Wayne Erbsen
1) Ayn Rand, 1905 - 1982
2) Oprah Winfrey, 1954 -
3) Rosa Parks, 1913 - 2005
4) Princess Diana, 1961 - 1997
5) Jane Austen, 1775 - 1817
6) Susan B. Anthony, 1820 - 1906
7) Margaret Thatcher, 1925 - 2013
8) Anne Frank, 1929 - 1945
9) Helen Keller, 1880 - 1968
10) Anais Nin, 1903 - 1977
11) Gloria Steinem, 1934 -
12) Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884 - 1962
More often than not, movies based on books that leave us terribly disappointed. However, there are are few gems that actually got it right. These are my picks. What are yours?
1. Shawshank Redemption:
2. The Godfather:
3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy:
4. Forrest Gump:
5. The Silence of the Lambs:
6. To Kill a Mockingbird:
7. Gone With the Wind:
8. The Green Mile:
9. The Wizard of Oz:
10. Schindler’s List:
Me neither, Steve!
2. The first recorded person to use the word "book" was Alfred the Great.
Not bad, Alfred! And for those who are curious, this puts the first use of the word sometime between 871 AD to 899 AD.
3. The Japanese word tsundoku means: buying a load of books and then not getting round to reading them.
Shorthand for that: TBR pile.
4. The first novel written on a typewriter is said to be Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
5. People in India are the world's biggest readers, spending an average of 10.7 hours a week reading.
6. The smallest book in the Welsh National Library is Old King Cole. It measures 1mm x 1mm and the pages can only be turned with a needle.
Can you imagine?
7. Author James Frazer had to move out of his room at Great Court, London because the floor was threatening to give way under the weight of his books.
I'm feeling his pain!
8. In 2007, Stephen King was mistaken for a vandal when he started signing books during an unannounced visit to a bookshop in Australia.
9. A bibliophagist is a devourer of books.
That word even has my last name "Gist" in it. So busted!
10. Bibliosmia is the enjoyment of the smell of old books.
That gives "burying your nose in a book" a whole new meaning!
Even 55 years later, these timeless quotes from Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird can still teach us about ...
Reading in the bathtub. The best thing ever. I’ve ruined so many books, though, right? But now—drumroll please—a couple of folks have started a company, Bibliobath, that makes waterproof books!
So far, Bibliobath has made waterproof versions of four classic books with polypropylene (a type of plastic) pages that feel just like paper pages. And if it happens to be a tear jerker, no worries because the books are resistant to tears (and tears, too—as in rips). A really romantic hero? Again, Bibliobath has you covered—the books are actually drool proof. LOL.
So far they have Mark Twain's Short Stories; W. B. Yeats' Cloths of Heaven and Other Poems; William Shakespeare's Macbeth; and—totally random here—Sun Zi's The Art of War. Okay. Not your average beach-reads, but once they discover us girls who LOVE to read in the tub and on the beach? Look out!
Their books are, at the moment, still in the embryonic stage. Currently, Bibliobath has a Kickstarter open until this Wednesday morning (July 15) and as of this morning they’ve raised their $10K goal!
We've all felt it. We get to the end of a book or a series and, well, we can't believe it's over. Surely there's another sequel, we think, or another page. And then ... the process begins ...
"I absolutely refuse to believe it's over! After six books, it can't be over! It was just getting good!"
"No! You can't leave it here! It's not right! It's not fair to me, to the characters, or even the other fans! You MUST write another book!"
"Okay, I can be reasonable. I'll buy three of your other novels if you just write one more book for this series. That's all I ask. Come on, all I want is closure."
"It's because I borrowed those last three books from my friend instead of buying them for myself, isn't it? Your publisher wasn't making enough of a profit so they made you wrap up your story as quickly as possible. It was all my fault."
"It's over. I'll never get to see what they do next. All I can do is speculate and that's ... it's just not the same. I want to know how YOU see them after the last chapter ... but I'll never get to, will I?"
"I guess I can see how it'll all be okay for them ... in the end ... if I squint a little. And tilt my head. I'll never forget them, of course, but ... have you seen that new series? Maybe I'll buy it when I get my next paycheck."
7. New Book
I am constantly spouting off malapropisms. Just a few days ago, one of you caught me saying I was going to "button down the hatches" instead of "batten down the hatches." So embarrassing. *sigh* For fun, my son, his wife and I tried to come up with a bunch on our own. Here are eight from the list we made.
Note: a proper definition of malapropism is waiting for you at the bottom of the list, but chances are you'll have guessed the definition by then.
1) Barry the Hatchet
Malapropism: Barry the hatchet
Correct Phrase: Bury the hatchet
2) Mock My Words
Malapropism: Mock my words
Correct Phrase: Mark my words
3) Don't Take Me For Granite
Malapropism: Don't take me for granite
Correct Phrase: Don't take me for granted
4) A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moths
Malapropism: A rolling stone gathers no moths
Correct Phrase: A rolling stone gathers no moss
5) Self of Steam
Malapropism: Self of steam
Correct Phrase: Self esteem
6) Check Your Knee-flexes
Malapropism: Check your knee-flexes
Correct Phrase: Check your reflexes
7) Bowl in a China Shop
Malapropism: Bowl in a china shop
Correct Phrase: Bull in a china shop
8) Bump Beds
Malapropism: Bump Beds
Correct Phrase: Bunk Beds
Yep, you guessed it. Malapropisms are the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar sounding one, often with an unintentional amusing effect. What funny malapropisms have you said or heard? Let me know here, on my Facebook page, or tweet me @DeeanneGist!
I'm a self-diagnosed bibliomaniac--a person who has an excessive fondness for acquiring and possessing books. I not only acquire them, though, I actually read them! As such, I face unique struggles specific to my affliction. What? You, too? Find out the severity of your bibliomaniac malady by seeing how many of the below apply to you, then let's compare war wounds.
1) Finding a man like the hero in your books takes patience.
2) You never seem to get enough sleep.
3) Avoiding spoilers makes you look crazy.
4) You can't bring yourself to get rid of old books.
5) Because of that fact, moving day looks like this:
6) Book hangovers are totally real.
7) And character deaths are brutal.
8) All books. No money.
9) "Dog-earing" a page always garner this reaction:
10) You have no bookshelf space left, and are in complete denial.
In the end, the struggles of being a bibliomaniac are totally worth the rewards of reading. Even if getting a new book makes you do this:
1 to 3 - SEASONAL READER:
You typically only read during a particular season. Maybe you’re the summer reader who enjoys reading by the pool. Or maybe you’re a wintertime reader who loves to snuggle up next to the fire with a novel.
4 to 6 - REGULAR READER:
You love to read and would do so more more often if you could. You have a few favorite authors and try to stay current with their new books.
7 to 9 - BIBLIOMANIAC:
You love books. You read books. You collect books. You devour books. You decorate your home with books. The worst part? Your friends never understand your literary references.
10 - YOU SHOULD PROBABLY OPEN YOUR OWN LIBRARY.
Need More Books?
Deeanne's TIFFANY GIRL was rated as a *MUST READ* by USA Today!
Okay, so there's this new hair color trending, and at first I didn’t know what to think. Have y’all seen these young gals dying their hair gray?! The phenomenon is known as #grannyhair.
Now, before I saw a photo I was sure I would hate it. What were these young girls thinking? We dye our hair so it’s not gray. What in the world?
A few minutes of perusing Pinterest, though, and my opinion was starting to change. The color range was so, so pretty. Why did I never stop to consider how pretty gray could be?
I wonder if the #grannyhair movement has inspired anyone to let their hair go naturally gray. What about you, what do you think of #grannyhair? Would you ever dye your hair gray?
The instructions are in Portuguese, but the pictures are so clear you won’t have any trouble following the instructions.
Inexpensive, easy to make and so festive!
Love this. So cute!
Look how clever this is! Spines from old books that have fallen apart. You could pick these up at library sales or garage sales.
How cute is this? Just print it out, do a bit of cut and pasting and you’re ready to go.
This would be a great gift for grandma and one your kids could do!
This example used some die cuts, but really all you’d need is some scrapbook paper, some ribbon, some magnets and a pair of scissors.
10) Victorian Undergarments Bookmark
This is a bookmark one of my readers handmade for me! Isn’t it so cute? Thank you, Lisa J. from Oklahoma!
Researching historical backdrops are a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is my readers will, hopefully, feel like they’ve traveled back in time when they read one of my books. The bad thing is, I find so many fun facts that I want to incorporate them all. Unfortunately, I can’t. So how do I pick and choose? Here are my three secrets:
1) Avoid Information Dumps
Throwing too many facts at your readers at one time can end up reading more like a history textbook instead of a compelling story. If you have a feeling that your writing is getting kind of heavy, it probably is. Remember, less is more!
2) Ask Yourself: “Is This Helping Move the Plot Along?”
A great way to make sure you’re following the “less is more” rule is to ask yourself what the purpose of your scene is. If the scene is simply an interesting incident that occurred in history but it doesn’t cause the plot of your story to progress, then you should consider cutting that scene.
3) Consider the Pacing
Writing historical fiction can be a delicate balance because you want to give readers enough context to immerse them in the time period, but not so much that it slows the pace of your story. If you’ve written quite a few paragraphs but you haven’t seen much dialogue or action, it may be time to go back and make some edits.
For a more in-depth discussion of this, watch this 2-Minute Tip for Aspiring Authors:
“How do you pick your characters names?” My readers ask me this question ALL the time. And with uniquely named characters like Billy Jack, Flossie, Cullen and Essie, I guess there is a good reason for their curiosity.
My first step in choosing names is to do a little research. Luckily, I have the perfect way to get started. Awhile back, I got my hands on some old yearbooks from the early 1900s. Whenever I’m needing some inspiration, I comb through them to find names that were actually used when my characters were alive. When it comes time to pick out the name, I always go for a first and last name combination that has a nice ring to it, paints a picture of the type of personality I’m working to create, and is memorable for my readers. (I never choose both the first and last name of a real person, though, no matter how much I might like it. It would be just my luck that a descendant recognizes the name and emails me!)
Once I have my character names picked out, I write them down in my big writing journals (remember those?) to keep for future reference. This is incredibly helpful when I think I’ve picked out my new character’s name, but need to make sure it’s not too similar to a previous one. For example, if I had a character named Essie, I wouldn’t add a different character named Ellie.
And that’s my recipe for creating character names. It takes just a little bit of research, some creativity and a pinch of recordkeeping. Which character’s name is your favorite so far? I know I’ve got mine, but I’d love to hear yours! Leave me a comment on my Facebook page or tweet me at @DeeanneGist!
When I was a young girl, I fell head over heels in love with the Nancy Drew books my mother gave me to read. Since they were the original 1930s versions, they read like historicals to me. Nancy drove a roadster and she wore skirts and high heels while she investigated. I found it totally fascinating to learn about years gone by as I read. And before I realized it, I was hooked on historicals.
As I started to explore writing, it seemed natural to focus on telling stories of the past. Like most authors, I wanted to write the kind of book I loved to read. When I began researching and discovered all the nuances of historical fashion from different eras, it wasn’t too long before I began to play dress up as part of my job. Yeah … Best. Job. Ever.
When I start a book, I have one big idea. (In the case of Tiffany Girl, it was to fictionalize turn-of-the-century women who in spite of the odds against them, did a man’s job in a man’s world and completed Tiffany windows in time for the World’s Fair exhibit). But when I began to flesh out that idea, I suddenly had historical research, character descriptions, setting details and plot points to keep up with. I’d learned early in my career that organization is KEY to getting those ideas out of my head and into my manuscript. So I’ve developed a super organized writing journal to keep me on track. Without it, who knows where I’d be!
Now every author is different. Some keep their notes organized in applications specifically for writers. Some on spreadsheets. Some on flow charts pasted to their wall. There is no right or wrong way, it’s just what works for you. But if you’re an aspiring author and are in dire need of better organization, I thought I’d give you 3 easy steps for building a writing journal of your own just in case the method you’re currently using isn’t working for you.
1. Get your hands on a big binder. Personally, I like to use the Circa Notebooks made by Levenger. They’re heavy-duty and have plenty of space to hold all of my notes. The best part is that the pages can be taken out and moved around quickly and easily.
2. Print out a calendar of the year your story takes place and paste it to the inside front cover of your binder. When you’re plotting your story, this will help you keep track of how much time has passed, so you don’t confuse yourself or your readers.
3. Divide your binder into sections. I have tabs for characters, plotting, research and setting in my own writing journal. All of my information—including images and diagrams—stays safely in those sections so when I’m writing and need to refer back to something, it’s right at my fingertips.
That’s it! You’ve got your very own writing journal now and can keep adding to it as your notes and research come together. If you want more specifics about how I piece my own writing journal together, you can watch this video on my YouTube Channel for All the Juicy DeeTales. If you have any questions, post them on my Facebook page or tweet me at @DeeanneGist! I’ll do my best to answer them!
It’s no secret that every aspect of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair fascinates me. I loved camping there for the last three books I’ve written. I’ve learned SO much from all the research that I can picture it in my mind almost as if I’d actually been there. If only, right?
One of the many, many reasons the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair is interesting to me is because so many products that are still popular today had their public debut at the fair. Things like...