Friday, June 04, 2010

Exclamation Station

Femme Assise,
Pablo Picasso,
ink on paper, 1938.

Probably what I look like this morning as I settle my wee behind in this derelict office chair. I've been massaging my chin to remove the imprint of vbn on it after the news about Dark and Disorderly being picked as one of the five first from Carina Press to go audio .

This morning I received a charming email from a narrator at requesting my assistance in the event he runs into difficulties with Gaelic expressions used in D&D.

One acquires the impression from various blogs over the years that once an author signs a contract and negotiates a copy edit, they are relegated to file-and-forget.

I have not found that to be the case.

I am technologically inept. It is an irony. Since a web page with all those neat links for samples and free stuff that authors have will not be available until early summer, and I would like to give you a taste of the final product, I thought I might post portions of the first chapter here on the blog.

I was standing there naked when a dead man sauntered into my bathroom.

That was the first frightening thing. I knew he was dead. I'd seen him buried beneath the cold clay of the old cemetery. His gravestone was due to be delivered within the week.

He sauntered. He didn't shamble.

That was the second frightening thing, because I always thought such creatures did. Stumble and stagger, that is.

I emitted an "Eeep"--like a paralized parakeet--and skittered backward until the shelves holding soaps and pretty bottles bit into my bare behind.

"Nathan!" I gasped. I shouldn't have. His name stopped the slow, blind swing of the sleek blond head and gave the viscous brown eyes focus. On me.

He curled back his sulky lips and leered.

That was the third frightening thing.


BernardL said...

Oh yeah! Aim for the head. :)

Bernita said...

Actually, Bernartd, I think it best to aim first for the knees.

laughingwolf said...

dang, a girl can't even be nakkers in her own bathroom without her dead hubster showing up... with evil intent! :O lol

why can't they hire one fluent in gaelic to make the tale sound realistic? pronouncing just the odd word correctly is lame...

sylvia said...

I remember reading that on EE's blog and knowing then that I wanted to read the whole thing. And now FINALLY I am going to. Hurray!

I live in fear of someone asking me to pronounce the terms I used. I found out halfway through that I was completely mispronouncing one of my character names! And then there's the scene using the dialect from Mainland in the Orkneys which is probably going to scupper any chance I ever had on an audio version ;)

raine said...

They are being very thorough. That's good to hear!
Lillie's reaction is priceless. My own might be...well, the bathroom might be the proper place...
(love the post title, lol). :)
(p.s.~~my word verification? "brain"!!! how appropriate!)

bookfraud said...

i am fluent in accents and come cheap. just make your check out to cash.

dead man leering at a naked woman --that's really, really creepy. even for me.

Bernita said...

LW,I don't see a problem, after all there are only a few odd Gaelic words and considering the arguments I read about what is "proper" Gaelic pronunciation...thing is, there are still wide regional variations and accents.
It occurs to me that Lillie wouldn't necessarily express them correctly.
It's the sense of emotion and story which is most important for the narrator to convey not the "correct" pronunciation of Cuchullain - of which I know at least two "correct" pronunciations ( and at least five different spellings as well!).

Sylvia, there's nothing consistent or uniform about the way families promnounce their names. I have heard four separate ways to say a French surname Robichaud all within a 150 miles (or less) of each other.

!! and !!!
Wortd ver is positively uncanny these days.

Bernita said...

Book, this guy is a real piece of work.

BTW, the narrator is a woman. I used "he" in my post because she has a very masculine first name and I didn't know she was "she."

laughingwolf said...

gotcha... and you're right, i've heard many 'correct' pronunciations, too, esp here in the maritimes! ;) lol

Charles Gramlich said...

I hope her visitor brushes his teeth before he tries to kiss her.

Charles Gramlich said...

I hope her visitor brushes his teeth before he tries to kiss her.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

dear laughing,

Gaelic speakers talk funny ... but they sometimes have cute knobby knees ...

O Miorbhail gràis! nach brèagh an ceòl;

'S e lorg mi 's mi air chall,

Air seachdran dorch', gun neart,gun treòir,

'S a dh'fhosgail sùilean dall.

When they get all Gaelicky, and roll their R's and slur their vowels, just smile sweetly and say:

Caea i fyny , Ffola. Chusana 'm!

hampshireflyer said...

'once an author signs a contract and negotiates a copy edit, they are relegated to file-and-forget.'

Ooh, not in my case. I'm likely to be tormenting 'my' translator (of a book I was involved with through work) for months :)

Bernita said...

LW, I believe I ran across a website dealing with "Canadian Gaelic..."

It's killing, not kissing, he has on his mind, Charles.

Now, Sha'el...

Now I have to reassure everyone I restricted Gaelic in D&D to a few simple nouns.

Alex, I hope I made it clear that hasn't been my situation with Carina either. They have kept me informed all during this process toward publication; and, in addition, are constantly providing advice and opportunities.

fairyhedgehog said...

I really love that beginning. I love your style: cool, clear, and deceptively simple.

I hope this goes into print at some point. It's easier than reading on a screen and I can't take the laptop to bed, it's too big!

laughingwolf said...

sha'el, a treasure ye be, lass ;)

charles, the joke goes:
did you brush your teeth?
yes, i did.
then you can bite my ass! ;) lol

bernita, even what should be resolved easily is constantly argued over, like:
is celts pronounced SELTS or KELTS?

i say: your choice! ;)

Bernita said...

Thank you, Fairy. I hope so too!
(In-my-hot-little-hands department.)

She is indeed, LW.

~sticking nose in air~
I prefer to pronounce it Kelts--half the time.

laughingwolf said...

ok, but first: did you brush your teeth? :O lol

wv: jughs [go figger]

DJ Kirkby said...

I'm new to your blog and a bit confused by the post around the excerpt. I would like to know more about your book though!

Bernita said...

DJ, how lovely to see you!
Am so glad you are interested in Dark and Disorderly!
The process of publication often confuses me as well, and I apologize for any perplexity.

It is like this: I'm a new author with Carina Press--Harlequin's new digital imprint that launches this coming Monday.Carina will release 8-10 novels a week during launch month. Mine is scheduled to be released the week of June 28.

Some writers acquired by Carina are known and established(unlike me) so I was astonished to learn D&D was picked to also be released in audio in July--so astonished that my jaw fell and banged hard on my keyboard ( letters bnm!) Truly, to say so is not that much of an exaggeration!

As part of the countdown to launch of the new imprint, Carina Press features one of its authors each day on their blog at
Posts about Dark and Disorderly were up on Memorial Day just past.
Or if you email me at I will happily answer any questions you might have.

stacy said...

Can't wait for this to come out on audio.

Bernita said...

Thank yuo, Stacy. It will be interesting for me to hear the story outside my head.

Barbara Martin said...

I'm certain, Bernita, the dialects in Gaelic will be pronounced just fine.

Bernita said...

I understand the narrator's concern though, Barbara. Her reputation might be affected if someone complains she's "not saying it right!"...even though vocals are never, ever uniform.

The possibility of D&D appearing in audio format never occurred to me, naturally (one is inclined to concentrate on hoping it will appear, period) or I might have added a preventive comment to the effect that "I expect I was saying the word wrong" or "He mangled the name" or something similar.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

When I was writing Pixie Warrior, I thought about using Welsh as pixie language. But, unless you're used to it, deciphering Welsh pronunciations is difficult. That, "the vowels are a e i o u and sometimes y and w" thing touches on Welsh pronunciation of "w" as a true double "u" and not a wuh sound.

I made up the bits of pixie language I used out of a nonsense adaptation of Semitic roots. [Now that was a tortured sentence if I ever saw one!] I made it sound Semitic (as in Assyrian, Aramaic etc.) without using any real words.

Only one person ever caught that. ... Smart man that. …

The little Pixie song is easier to sing that way. (And Maggie Mustico made it sound gorgeous).

Just give your reader all the feedback they want. As I said earlier, my main problem was in the voices she chose. I heard my own characters differently. Two listens through, and I was happy with it all.

Ask your voice-over person if they have a sample out there you can hear. Maggie has a web page with all sorts of samples, and she is very versatile. Take a listen to the sample of Pixie Warrior on or hunt up her web page and hear her sing!

If I had it to do over again, I’d make a few additional suggestions. Maggie gave Sha’el a young voice, a child’s voice. And in the story, she is a child. But she’s telling it from adult memory. I might have suggested the young voice for dialogue only. You shouldn’t have that problem though. …

Bernita said...

That is fascinating, Sha'el. Thank you.
I listened to the sample on Audible. She did the child's voice well, but I agree it might have been better to have saved it for dialogue.

SzélsőFa said...

that is one creepy excerpt!
it's so good to see you excited about the procedures of editing and publishing. it's such a great success!
*keep fingers crossed still*

SzélsőFa said...

I prefer to pronounce it Kelts--half the time.

now i recall a joke, if you don't mind:

math school for elementary school kids. the teacher is tired.
- i have been trying to explain for you that the expression 'half' refers to equal portions of someting, it's just the same as saying '50 percent'.
but the larger half of you still don't seem to get the point.

Bernita said...

SzelsoFa, it's all new and challenging.In retrospect I realize that writing the novel was the easy part!

I sympathize with that teacher -- having been one briefly, long ago and far away ( a part of my resume I prefer to forget!)

laughingwolf said...

i hear that a lot: cut it in half... and give me the bigger half! :(

Steve Malley said...

Wow. Sold!

And Rule #2: Double-tap.
(for all you fans of Zombieland...)

Bernita said...

Thank you, Steve!

For someone who knows nothing about zombies --"as she is writ"--seems Lillie gets it right!

Whirlochre said...

So late in on this one, I'm ashamed.

But what a way to catch up on the world.

Very exciting.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Whirl.
Astounding, really.