October is my favorite month all around, but after just coming through the hottest, driest summer of my lifetime so far, I'm especially excited to welcome it this year! Time to start filling the house with the smell of baking pumpkins, take the last cuttings from the herb garden, clean the chimneys, build up the woodpile, and plow up the garden. And for the more leisurely side of things, too - long, long walks through the autumn woods, listening to the leaves fall, watching thousands of geese pass overhead, looking like pencil sketches of mountain ranges as they fly in their mismatched Vs, making tea in the old camp pot over fires in the woods, laying on a hillside soaking up the last of the year's sunshine, getting ready for trapping season... I love life in the country.
And, this October, I'm very excited to be hosting the first-ever book giveaway here at the Writer's Lair! Here's how it's going to work:
October 16 is Dictionary Day - a fun holiday, I thought, for writers and readers and word-lovers-all-'round to observe. We're going to be having a lot of fun with words in general here at the Lair over the next couple of weeks, but October 16th is the day the winner of the contest will be announced.
And, since I know you're all dying to know, the book I will be giving away is (*drumroll*) a brand-new copy of the Flip Dictionary by Barbara Ann Kipfer.
I can say without hesitation that this book is the single most valuable monetary investment I have ever made in my writing career. I have used it almost every single day for four years. As the cover says, the Flip Dictionary is 'For when you know what you want to say but can't think of the word'. And it really works! By looking up a key word or phrase, you can find just about anything you're looking for in this dictionary.
Can't remember the word for a person who says something hilarious with a completely sober expression? The word is 'deadpan'. It's in the Flip Dictionary under 'Serious face when telling a joke'.
Need to know what those rib-like beams in the hull of a ship are called? It's a 'futtock', and you can find it in the Flip Dictionary under 'Ship and Shipping Terms'.
The lists in this book are great, too. Look up the word 'Purple', for instance, and you come up with a list of fifty-two different words for colors of purple.
It also works great as a thesaurus. Say one of your characters is laughing, but you want a word that's a little more specifically descriptive than 'laugh'. Well, look up 'laugh' in the Flip Dictionary, and you find a list of synonyms... though I'm not sure I would recommend using the word 'cachinnate' in something you plan on submitting for publication. 'Howl' or 'giggle' might be better. ; )
Excited yet? Me too!
With my novel, Son of the Shield, currently out in the wilds searching for a home with a publishing house, I'm trying to add as many followers as I can to this blog, so SotS will have as big a welcoming committee as possible once it finds its way into the world of published books.
So, Rule #1 of the Dictionary Day contest is that you must be following the Writer's Lair. If you're not currently doing that, you can do it by clicking the 'Join This Site' button on the right-hand sidebar, just over the 'Followers' list.
If you're already a follower of the Writer's Lair, all you'll be required to do is follow the instructions that will be announced the Saturday before Dictionary Day. (Don't worry - they won't be hard.)
However, if you would like to increase your chances of winning, you can announce the contest on your own blog and refer your readers to the Lair. If you do this, leave me a comment letting me know you've done it, and include a link to your post. Doing this will give you an extra slip in the hat when it comes time for the drawing!
Word-of-mouth referrals are greatly appreciated too, though for obvious reasons I can't give extra credit for those. If you have friends who love Christian fantasy, send them this way!
Beyond that, the only thing you have to do to enter this contest is follow the instructions I will give you closer to Dictionary Day itself. Remember, the winner of the Flip Dictionary will be announced on that day, the 16th.
I'm so excited that God has given me the opportunity to do something like this, and I'm looking forward to the 16th!