Tuesday, February 9, 2010

You talkin' to me???

First a question for the Seekerville regulars: How often do you start reading a post and immediately know which Seeker wrote it even before you read the byline?

That’s because you recognize the author’s voice, her unique way of framing her thoughts--everything from word choice to syntax to punctuation and paragraphing. Sol Stein (Stein on Writing, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2000) says, “Recognizing an individual author’s voice is much like recognizing a person’s voice on the telephone.”

Our own Camy Tang explains voice in her article “Finding and Honing Your Writer’s Voice” (A Novel Idea, ChiLibris, Tyndale House Publishers, 2009). “Voice sets the stage for the story,” Camy writes, and “serves to distinguish one writer from another.” Stein explains that voice has “two components, the originality of what is said and the originality of the way it is said.”

When editors or agents try to quantify what they look for in a publishable manuscript, quite often it comes down to “a unique voice”--a comment that often leaves writers scratching their heads. How do I find my voice? How will I know when I’ve found it?

Sol Stein recommends an exercise to help writers find their voice and “discover what they alone can do.” He explains the process in detail in chapter 22 of Stein on Writing, “Tapping Your Originality.” The short version is to imagine you’re standing on a rooftop about to address the crowd below, and you’re only allowed one sentence, the sentence the world will always remember you by. What will you say, and how will you say it?

Seen in this light, voice becomes more than mere word choice, arrangement, and inflection. Voice carries the message of who we are as individuals. Voice conveys the theme of our lives.

Finding your voice doesn’t just happen--or maybe it does. It certainly can’t be forced. It happens when you silence your internal editors and censors and just let the words spill onto the page. It happens when you stop imitating the voices of authors you admire and just be yourself. It happens when you’ve written and written and written until you finally figure out what you really have to say.

Just for fun, here are excerpts from past blogs by each of the Seekers. If you think you know which Seeker goes with which quote, post your guesses in the comment section. I’ll report back this weekend with the correct answers.

Excerpt #1:

I hate to compete in anything because I hate to lose. Disappointment can stab like a knife to the gut. (In my case a liver biopsy comes to mind.) So I’d rather avoid the pain by running from the source of that pain. A writers’ contest can bring momentary glory or sheer misery, anger, loss of self esteem, frustration.

Excerpt #2:

Sit back and relax because today we're going to chat it up about influencers and I don't mean the kind who post kindly reviews on B&N or pass a new novel around, drumming up new readers.
Nope. This kind of influencer, good or bad, is all up to us, the writer.

Excerpt #3:

Why do we keep writing when we keep getting slapped down? Perhaps we have some God-given drive that keeps us at it. Or that last contest win helps us hang in. Or maybe we’re just too stubborn to quit. Whatever enables us to persist, I believe if we don’t give up, good things will happen. And when they do, the fulfillment of our dreams is worth every scrape and bruise.

Excerpt #4:

I have the soul of an artist. My creative juices are fueled when I can let my mind wander. I love long walks and whiling away hours in the garden. I hate to be rushed. But like the rest of you, I have a life, commitments, obligations—the many details of which must be attended to whether I like it or not. As a writer, I have to MAKE time to write.

Excerpt #5:

So what's your excuse for not writing? In truth--I really don't want to hear your excuses, and I doubt if you really want to hear mine. We both know we have a drawer full of sorry rationalizations, when we should have a drawer full of manuscripts, short stories or articles to peddle.

Excerpt #6:

If you must blog about your disappointment, thoroughly disguise the details and certainly don’t name names! The Internet has a long, l-o-o-o-o-n-g memory. Better yet, avoid any kind of Internet-related commentary. Eat chocolate until the urge passes.

Excerpt #7:

First chapters make or break a book so start with an opening that grabs the reader.

Luckily, first lines do not have to be written first. Discern where the story’s going and how you want it to unfold. Launch the characters on their journey then go back and rework the opening.

Excerpt #8:

Okay, lock the door and pull down the shades—today we’re talkin’ multiple POVs. Yeah, yeah, I know, we’re all gonna have to go to confession afterwards, but that’s the price you have to pay for taking risks.

Excerpt #9:

I remember once, I was injured in an unfortunate brainstorming accident. I told the situation and ended with, "It's a romantic comedy." My brainstorming partner...who is NOT a Seeker...just gave me this weird, dead serious look and said, "There's nothing funny about that situation. You can't make jokes about that."

Well, hello Death from Brainstorming.

Excerpt #10:

Now, as I was saying, the critique group. While attending my very first meeting of my local RWA chapter, I found a group of romance writers who lived relatively close to me and met monthly, rotating meetings at the homes of the members. Each month we brought 10 pages of our best work, distributed copies to each member and then proceeded to read aloud our genius.

Excerpt #11:

Good morning Seekers and friends. Pour yourself a cup of aromatic chocolate velvet coffee or some blueberry herbal tea and lets talk researching the contemporary novel.
Research? A contemporary? Wouldn't you simply write what you know from experience? Don't we already know the styles for clothing, the types of transportation, the currant issues? Why do you need to research?

Excerpt #12:

When you THINK you are completely done, double-check the rules one more time. If you haven’t done something (like write your check, or put postage on the return envelope) write it at the top of the rules and highlight it. In your excitement, it’s much too easy to get to the post office and seal that sucker up
, forgetting all about the return postage and/or your check.

Excerpt #13:

Tension is tension. It can be external or internal, positive or negative. But mostly, keep upping the stakes, meaning make really bad things happen to your character. Make their worst fear come true. Give them two choices with equally bad consequences and make them have no other choice than to choose one. LOL!

Excerpt #14:

I had so much fun reading this book. Her heroine bordered on unlikeable because she could be snotty. But I just loved her anyway. What made her sympathetic was that she was at a crisis point in her life and career, and you just had to pull for her. Plus, she was hysterical. She would say and think things that I might wish I had the nerve to say! :)

Excerpt #15:

I know this sounds hard, but a writing retreat is for you to WRITE. And it’s too easy for people to call or email or IM and say, “I know you’re writing, but…”

Excerpt #16 (yes, I know there are only 15 Seekers)

I live to offer unsolicited advice, watch out when it's solicited. The short and sweet of my advice today is that an aspiring author is no different than an aspiring anything else. You must ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice to accomplish your dreams. Then you must ask everyone else in your life what they are willing to sacrifice for your dreams.


BTW, someone who comments on today's post will receive a copy of one of my Heartsong Presents romances, winner's choice of Autumn Rains or my latest release, Romance by the Book. Watch for the announcement in the Weekend Edition!

In reality, Sailor Kern is a swimming instructor at her local YMCA in Birkenstock, Missouri. But in her dreams, she shares a life with famous romance writer Chandler Michaels. And now she's about to meet him in person! And not only meet him, she gets to be his assistant the whole time he's visiting Birkenstock. But romance and reality don't always mix, and Sailor is in for some big surprises. Will Sailor follow her dream man, or will she see the true hero God has placed before her, right in her own hometown?


K said...

I have just started reading this blog so I don't recognize 'voice' of any of the excerpts, but I definitely enjoyed reading them! I am looking forward to seeing who has written each excerpt!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh mylanta, I only know MAYBE half of them.....

How bad is that?

I have to go back later and see if I can discern the other half. Well... Six....

Holy cow, I thought I'd nail them all instantly.

No. Sheesh, I'm kind of dumbstruck here. And we all know that doesn't happen nearly often enough, LOL!

I brought coffee. Lots of coffee. And I did notice that my excerpt did not include cyber food so that was smart, Myra.... No "gimme" there.

What a fun post... So we need fun food for a fun post like this. Coffee's a rule. And tea, I'm doing chai this morning, soooooo yummy.

And I STILL have a dozen left-over cannolis, so I'm putting those up for the taking. Breakfast is Southern style this morning, in honor of our Seekers below the Mason/Dixon line. Let's do grits and gravy, sausage patties, no scrapple, I can not, in any way, shape or form, do scrapple.... home-fried potatoes O'Brien with peppers and onions, Texas toast, and strudel...

I've got Mama making strudel in my newest book for Love Inspired and I've got to tell you, strudel has got to be one of God's most amazing creations. Apple. Cheese. Strawberry, mixed berry...

Oh my goodness, it is SO good.

Okay, enough chit chat about food. I'm hungry already and it's not even 6 AM yet.

Good grief.


Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning Myra, I'm with Ruthy, I'm spending too much time trying to figure out who said what. I think I have most of them so can hardly wait until the weekend edition.

But we would definitely know Ruthy from all the food if you had included that. LOL

Ruthy, I'm not complaining. I LOVE all the food. Cyber food is the only kind I should eat. Thanks for the goodies.

Leigh said...

Good morning, and what a fun post, Audra! I know a couple right off the top of my head (Camy wrote #15 because I loved the post on writing retreats, and #9 has Mary's personality all over it). I'll be back later when I have a chance to think about some more ... since I'm sure I shouldn't really be working or anything like that. :-)

And, Janet, congrats on your new release! Yesterday was very Monday-ish so I never made it by the island. I know you're excited!


Rose said...

Well, I think #8 is Ruthy and #9 is Mary. I don't remember the #, it's the last quote, I think about double checking contest entries and my guess is Tina for that one.

I'm with Ruthy, I only know maybe half of them. I'll need to re-read the post when I'm fully awake!

However, voice recognition or not, all the quotes are great advice!


Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Ok that was cool! Can't get a better example on showing your voice than that! Fun Fun!!!

I think I could pick out a couple. Sheesh I'm bad at taking tests.

Janet Dean said...

Fun post on voice, Myra. Love Stein on Writing.

I am really struggling with this. I think, think mind you, that I recognize me. And a couple others. Which says something about me. And it isn't good.Maybe I haven't had enough coffee. Thanks for making me feel like a failure first thing in the morning.


Janet Dean said...

Thanks, Leigh, for the congrats! Today's the day I'm visiting The Substitute Bride. I hope she recognizes my voice.


Audra Harders said...

What a fun post, Myra!! I can't believe I live with these guys and can't pick out the voice in everyone!

Yep, make mention of food in a post and automatically it's stamped with RUTHY all over it. How predictable is that??

Okay, so it's zero degrees here in balmy Colorado this morning. Pass the coffee and strudel. Warm strudel. Bubbly filling and melting icing.


I'm going back to dissect the examples. I've got to score at least 50 per cent or spend the day very shame-faced.

Thanks, Myra!!

Pam Hillman said...

I recognized a few of the excerpts, but not all. I can usually recognize Ruthy, Mary, and Tina's voices right off the bat.

And I knew today's post wasn't one of them. I also could tell it wasn't Missy, Camy, or Cheryl.

Wasn't Audra, Julie or Janet (well, Janet posted yesterday) either.

I knew *I* didn't write it! lol

So that left Glynna, Myra and Debby, Sandra and Cara for the post itself.

And it's too early to analyze any further! lol

Lindsey Parker said...

Since I'm new I don't know any of the voices, But I have to say I love the excerpts there are so many good tips and helpful words to store away and chew on.
If I were to stand on a rooftop and had one one thing to say that everyone would remember me for, what would I say?
Wow!! what a question! Thanks for this blog Article it has has given me a lot to think about.

Pam Hillman said...

You want grits?

Okay, here's some grits from a true Southerner.

Cook plain grits with just a sprinkling of salt. Add lots and lots and lots of butter. Oh, my clogged arteries.


No cheese grits for me. Or gravy. Gravy on grits? Ewwww!!!

I'll add to the menu this morning. Tomato gravy on homemade buttermilk biscuits with SUGAR. Mmmm, that's good stuff.

PS. One of these days I'll explain how to make biscuits in a duck's nest. That's the way my mama taught me to do it, and hers before her.

Pam Hillman said...

And if I had to stand on top of a building and address a crowd below in one memorable sentence? I would scream:



sherrinda said...

Oh goodness, if Ruthy can't recognize all of them, then I'm not even gonna try. Though, I was think the liver biopsy one might be Mary? ;)

I love the subject of Voice, and the mystery that surrounds it! I'm so new to writing I'm sure mine hasn't emerged yet, but someday maybe it will pop out and surprise me.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Fun post, Myra!

I'm about to have to run out the door, so I'll try to figure out the voices when I get back!

Pamela Mason said...

I'm also too much a newbie to recognize who wrote which. I'll take a big wild guess & say Missy wrote the research entry, just because it sounds like something she'd say. And another guess--did Janet write the one on making the characters' choices between bad & worse?

I brought biscuits. Big ones, for sopping up that gravy.Is that sawmill gravy Ruthy? And I love the cyber strudel, yum!
When's ya'lls virtual cookbook being published?

Julie Lessman said...

GRIN ... Myra, what a clever idea!! Love the title, love the blog, but I have to admit, most of the Seekers are so professional and nice, that I can only recognize the really quirky, irreverant ones ... uh, like Ruthy (who I'm guessing is #5 or Mary, who I think is #9 or Tina, who might just be either #5 or #15). All I know is that when I start reading a Seeker blog, I can AWLAYS tell Tina's for sure and most of the time Mary and Ruth's ... uh, of course, the picture helps too ... :)

But I totally agree voice is crucial and when I am reading a Seeker book, I can always hear it very distinctly, which is fun.

Sometimes I just think voice is being who you really are ... on paper.


Mary Connealy said...

Here's what's really weird. I don't recognize MYSELF. Maybe you didn't use an example from me.

I had one possible guess but I really don't remember saying that stuff either.

I'm gettin' an F.

Mary Connealy said...

I think the liver biopsy one was Julie. She's always suffering about something.

Mary Connealy said...

And 8 is Ruthy. Confession...big clue

Myra Johnson said...

Good morning, all! As you may have figured out, I am NOT a morning person. Thanks for serving up the breakfast buffet, Ruthy. I always know I can count on you! ;>D

Yes, certain Seeker voices stand out immediately--definitely Mary, Ruthy, and Tina! Maybe the rest of us need to loosen up a bit more???

Rose, one of your guesses is wrong--not sayin' which one. Julie, you are on the right track!

HINT: #16 is a Seekerville favorite but not "really" a Seeker.

Myra Johnson said...

Mary. You are WAY off base. Try again.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post.....please enter me....love to read. Thanks!!!

Myra Johnson said...

Sherrinda, try again on the liver biopsy guess. Y'all are gonna be surprised!

Mary Connealy said...

I'm fired. Now I think Ruthy wrote the coffee excerpt. She's in charge of food mostly. :)

And a lot of these have a very BOSSY tone. Which, honestly, that could be ALL of us.

We might be too bossy, ladies. We can't ALL be bossy. So, you all quit. Then only ONE of us will be.

Vince said...

Hi Myra:

I think this post is too dangerous!

It’s like telling a woman she looks like someone who is famous. You never know if she will be complimented or insulted. : ) My wife says you never tell a woman she looks like someone else or a writer she writes like a more famous writer.

I’d hate to try and get any of the voices wrong!

You were even a little sneaky. I can tell Ruth’s writing from across the room by the typography but you didn’t select a typical Ruth quote – from a visual POV. : }

Now about voice: I think it helps to think in terms of ‘tone’. In advertising copywriting tone is very important. I list some tones below. Can you identify your own tone from among these?

Light hearted
Tough hued
mot juste

Has anyone ever thought of their voice in terms of ‘tone’?


Casey said...

Okay, I only thought I knew maybe two. I think #6 is Mary Connealy and #7 is Camy Tang. I look forward to seeing who really gave the comments! Fun excerpt voice. I still haven't found mine...

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I am totally in on the idea of a cyber cookbook!

That would be too much fun. We get to sample EVERYTHING, right????

I'm all over that. All that food and no weight gain. I live to exist in a virtual world, at least as far as weight goes.

The rest???

I'm a reality chick.

And I brought fresh coffee.

It's the middle of the day here in NY, and a mid-day coffee snap is vital to the well being of any one who comes in contact with me.

And mayhap a bit of chocolate. No one brought chocolate today????

Oh mylanta, do I have to do everything??? :)

Mary Connealy.... hand me a Snickers bar, won't you? And I'm just going to mention, Betty White was a really good sport in that commercial and I'm a HUGE Pam Tebow fan.

Great story, one tough cookie. Love it.

Myra Johnson said...

Casey!!! Way off!!! Guess again!!!

Vince, good point about tone. Yes, I can see (hear?) it now. It's kind of like our general outlook on life. Are we irreverent? Fun-loving? Philosophical (a la Vince)?

Everyone, think about Vince's list as you reread the excerpts. Listen for the tone and see if it helps you "hear" the author better.

Myra Johnson said...

Okay. I'll admit my ignorance. What in the world is . . .

"mot juste" ?????

Leigh said...

OK, I'm back -- my reward for knocking out Part 1 of my work deadline this morning (and no, I'm not procrastinating getting started on the next chunk of work at all ... well, maybe. But that's the beauty of working from home, right?).

1 - Cara
2 -
3 - Janet
4 - Glynna
5 -
6 -
7 -
8 - Julie
9 - Mary
10 - Audra
11 - Sandra
12 - Pam
13 -
14 - Missy
15 - Camy
16 - The lovely Marlena Fortune

OK, I'm obviously having work-focus problems today. Ruthy and Tina have similar voices so it's hard to distinguish between them sometimes. Back to work, and I'll let the rest of you figure out all the others. :-)


Mary Connealy said...

Hi, I just stopped in again to see if my thinking has cleared.

You know, Seeker ladies, maybe we need to LEARN from this. Maybe we need to work harder on Voice.

For example, Ruthy, I'm going to assign you to just speak only Gaelic from now on. That would smooth things out for us. As far as knowing who was writing.

Tina? Italian.

Camy? ??? There are a lot of Asian languages, pick one. Good luck typing in it.

Missy, from now on, use y'all in every sentence.

Except Pam is kind of y'all-ish, too. Work that out amongst yourselves.

But if we're going to sell books, I reckon we need to do this, li'l darlin'.

Myra Johnson said...

Leigh!!! Did you CHEAT???? Google the excerpts???????

Or are you just THAT GOOD?????

Wow. I am majorly impressed.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, Mary, good point.

Vince, I'm going with irreverant and a splash of mot juste followed by a little whimsical on the rocks.


I love that Tina and I sound alike. I should be THAT blessed, LOL!

But Vince thinks he can spot me across the room. I LOVE THAT!!!!

Now if I can only diversify enough that my NEW characters don't sound like mini-me's of the OLD characters.

Can one refer to a character as OLD if one's book has yet to be fully released to the discriminating American reading public????

Does anyone in the world have a clue what I just said???

Do they care?


Debra E Marvin said...

Vince is always messing with my head.
Mot Juste...
ah... yeah... that one must be mine because I have NO IDEA what it means.

I thought I was pretty good at knowing who is posting before I get to the end, but this is a tough test!

Myra Johnson said...

Mary, I think you're right. Cultivating our unique voice is something we should all be working on. Not to stand out as totally weird, but just to be able to be ourselves on the page.

Or maybe we are afraid of our real selves and don't want to expose ourselves to the world.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Myra, That is a point. We may not want to admit to the real us.

However Ruthy has no qualms about that. LOL.

But we can in our books because we can blame it on the heroine.

ps I picked mine out right away because of one clue that had nothing to do with voice.

And I'm not bossy. hmmmm. Well I guess I am really. sigh

Edna said...

I love this blog, and comment a lot as most of you know, ha ha

I would love to win a book,


Vince said...

Hi Myra:

“Mot Juste” is a literary style in which the most appropriate word is used in every situation. It is the most time consuming and precise writing style. Gustave Flaubert is the father of this form of writing.

From Wikipedia:

‘Flaubert was fastidious in his devotion to finding the right word ("le mot juste"), and his mode of composition reflected that. He worked in sullen solitude - sometimes occupying a week in the completion of one page - never satisfied with what he had composed, violently tormenting his brain for the best turn of phrase, the final adjective.”

Flaubert’s ‘mot juste’ style influenced many famous writers in the twentieth century.

Today the most ardent adherents of ‘mot juste’ are the best direct-response copywriters who will tell you that they would not change one word – even at $10,000 a word -- in a successful advertisement; that is, an advertisement so well crafter that it brings in many times its cost every time it runs.

I added ‘mot juste’ to the list because I have one writer in mind. Of course, I would not say who she is but you are free to guess. : )


Vince said...

Hi Ruth:

When you wrote:

“Vince, I'm going with irreverent and a splash of mot juste followed by a little whimsical on the rocks.


Were you describing you or me? I do think it is perfect for you. For me, I’d have to add a dash of philosophic irony, stirred and not shaken.


Vince said...

Hi Myra:

I read something once that might help with developing a unique voice.

“Write in such a way that no one else could have written it.”

This helps me.


Myra Johnson said...

Thanks for the clarification, Vince? Or should I say, "definition"? Or maybe "elucidation," "interpretation," or "revelation"?

Sandra??? Bossy??? Aren't you the one who rousted everybody from sleep at ten minutes before dawn every morning to ride our mountain bikes up the island volcano and back???

Tina Pinson said...


I don't know any of these writer's voices. I don't usually show up at SEEKERVILLE, so trying to ascertain the differences is much to hard for me... LOL

I read it last night and thought I knew some of them, but looking at it in the light of day with keener vision and mind that's somewhat awake. I just don't know.

Strangers, they're all strangers. The torment of trying to distinguish is excrutiating :0)

But you're we all need to have our own voice, and realize God gave it too us and we should use it. But I must say, when I try to write like someone else I feel better and sell more books... NOT

Missy Tippens said...

I loved this, Myra! But I'm not doing well on it. I hardly recognized myself! I think you picked some hard ones to stump us. :)

I'm going to check Leigh's list to see if I got myself right. LOL

You know, one of the biggest compliments I've gotten was from my college roommate after she read my first book. She said she could hear my voice as she read it, as if it was just me talking, telling her a story.

And now as I'm working on my post for next week, I'll be thinking of my voice! Pam, I call using y'all! You have to find something else. (BTW, what on earth is tomato gravy??)

KC Frantzen said...

In accordance with #5, I'm going to quit the excuses of reading the oh so excellent blog and work on the manuscript. :)

I'm still fairly new here & don't have a clue. But I have learned SO MUCH already ladies... Thank you thank you.

This topic IS fascinating. Appreciate your bringing it up and having us guess! Fun!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Missy's working on her post for NEXT WEEK????????

That's all I'm sayin'....

As I pick my jaw up off the floor.

PatriciaW said...

I thought #5 was Ruthy, and #8 ws Tina, but what do I know? The problem is, although distinctive, all of the voices of the Seekers have the same yield -- fun and laughter while learning.

Myra Johnson said...

LOL, Missy, well, I couldn't pick dead giveaway lines, now, could I?

If the word "mylanta" appeared in an excerpt, would y'all (yes, I also say "y'all") know who that was?

If I had picked one about spreadsheets and data collection?

If there had been one talking about passion in Christian fiction?

Myra Johnson said...

Okay, here's an excerpt from a Seekerville comment many moons ago. See if you can identify this person:

"Time to write me memoirs. An epic tale, no doubt. Hmm, let me see. Where to begin. We were sailing off the coast of Malta, when I saw her...ripe and ready to plunder.. ."

Project Journal said...

GREAT post, Myra!! However, usually I read them first then comment, today I'm waiting because I don't want to peek. You see, I LOVE puzzles! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! So, I tried this one. Guess what....it was tough! Lol! But you knew that already : ) Here are my guesses:

16)Marlena Fortune(?)

Even though a bunch might be in the wrong places, I figured we had all the names, so I mine as well put them in places, right!? This was so much fun! I've spent the past like 20-25 minutes on this actually : ) I didn't even realize it had been that long (heehee!) I think you all should do more puzzles!

By the way, congrats Janet on your book. Today's the day!!! WOOHOO!!!!

I'll check back a little later to see if you've "graded" my test : P Gotta go study for my Psychology test for tomorrow! Lol!

EmmZa said...

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Emma said...

Romance by the Book sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway. augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Cindy W. said...

I'm terrible at guessing people's voices over the telephone let alone the written word. I am working on it. I get my nephews mixed up all the time. They enjoy it though!

I love your blog. You give us all a lot of meat to chew on.

I would love to be entered into your contest for a free book.

May God bless you all!

Cindy Woolard
- or -

Janet Dean said...

You know, Leigh and Hannah, I thought #3 might be me. And Myra didn't slap you down. So three of us knew my voice. Well, two for sure. LOL!


Missy Tippens said...

Ms. Logan Herne, please do pick up your jaw off the floor. I'm only tossing around ideas, not actually writing yet.


And Myra, would that be Capt. Jack?


sherrinda said...

I had to share...

My daughter, who is a junior in high school, just came in and told me her scores for an essay in her English class. They get scored in different categories. Guess what category she got the lowest score in?


I had to laugh and then was able to share this post with her! Amazing how timely certain posts are. Thanks for the homework help! :)

Myra Johnson said...

Good try, Hannah! Here are the #2 you guessed incorrectly:

2, 6, 7, and 13

Yes, Missy, you know Cap'n Jack when you hear 'im!!

Janet!!! You DO know your own voice!!!

Tell your daughter to hang in there, Sherrinda. With a mom for a writer, how can she go wrong?

Myra Johnson said...

Good grief. I must be getting tired. Hannah, that should have been the #s, not #2. Although you missed #2 too.

Gee, that sounds redundant.

Project Journal said...

#7s wrong!?!?! REALLY??? Are you sure? I was positive on that one : ) Lol!

Anyway, I'd say that's not too bad, lol! However, I'm not sure how others are doin *grin* I'm determined not to look until after I get this right now that I'm so close!

1) Cara
2) Ruthy
3) Janet
4) Glynna
5) Tina
6) Myra
7) Debby
8) Julie
9) Mary
10) Audra
11) Sandra
12) Pam
13)Cheryl (I think I'm positive now....this is quite obvious! I think I remember the post and the "LOL!" gives her away if it is Cheryl!)
14) Missy
15) Camy
16) Marlena Fortune (really was taking a bit of a stab in the dark on this one before! I guess it was better than I thought! Lol!)

Okay, I'm trying again : )

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I'm laughing here, because I don't think anyone has gotten mine right...

Unless I'M WRONG, LOL!!!!!

Oh my stars, this is toooo funny.

I have to check again, and now I'm realizing I'm probably wrong on a couple of the gals.

Oh, Myra, this is TOO fun.

And Mary wants to be the only bossy one. Well, she's the MOST bossy one already, so THAT WORKS...

And she messed mine up, too.

I love it.

Remember you have two former Catholics and two other practicing Catholics, baby-cakes.

And knowing you like I do, Connealy, I'm going to bet the word confession has entered your vocabulary more than once, even without a priest involved, LOL!

Let's see what you make of that...

And Sandra's has a GOOD hint in it.

Jessica said...

Alright, don't hate me, but I never know who's posting (except Julie 'cause she posts cool pics of herself, lol). I always have to look at the author to see who wrote the post.
That said, there was one entry that sounded a little tiny bit snarky... LOL I had a guess who that was, but don't want to get myself in trouble.
This is a really cute post Myra! I have Stein's book but haven't made it to ch 22 yet. :-)

Leigh said...

Oh my ... Myra, did you actually ask if I cheated on this?! Sniff, sniff. What a shock to this teacher's child! My sister and I always said that if we ever tried to cheat or do something bad at school Mama would find out before we were finished (Yep, our school really was that small -- only 23 in my graduating class. But I digress.).

Cheating, never. Research, sure. Looks like Hannah is a research queen too. As the old saying goes, you don't have to know everything, you just have to know where to find it. And I know the island has wonderful archival storage. Must be the cooler temps in the mountain caves that help preserve things. :-)

Cheating, she asks. I think I need to break into the kids' pre-Valentine chocolate to soothe my wounded soul ...

Debby Giusti said...

Oh Mylanta! It must be Ruthy!

Nope, 'cause it's 10:30 Eastern and Ruthy is an early bird who goes to bed with the chickens...roosters? What's the phrase? Anyway, she's long gone.

It's actually Debby, who deeply appreciates Vince introducing "mot juste" to all of us. I'm with Flaubert -- that one word, correctly chosen, can make or break the writing!

Myra, thanks for a fun blog that has all of us thinking about voice and tone and how we need to improve our writing when we blog on Seekerville. I'm already worried about next WED, when I'm up. :)

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

I just got home from work. This was fabuloso!!!

Well done, M!!!

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

My guesses.

1. Janet
2. Julie
3. Myra
4. Glynna
5. Tina
6. Audra
7. Debby
8. Camy
9. Mary
10. Cara
11. Sandra
12. Pam

13. Cheryl
14. Missy
15. Camy
16. Marlena

Gina Welborn said...

Oh my satellite dishes! How did I miss this post? Probably because I spent the day pondering "lust, lies, and murder techniques." Y'all went all chatty on me too. I would have tried guessing prior to reading the comments but my brain is fried....well, make that lost.

Since I'm here all by myself, I'll take this plate of crumbs and hightail it outta here.

Loved the exercise, Myra. Clever of you.

But as far as voice goes, I'd much rather read a compelling story than one written in a distinct voice. I told a dear writer friend over the weekend that I'd rather readers be able to tell my writing by what I say and not how I say it.

Is Julie talking about sex tomorrow?

Okay, don't anyone get outta bed to answer. I'll come back tomorrow.

Just me.

And this plate of crumbs.



When I won't be alone wondering if anyone can here me.

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

~signed, anonymous person

Camy Tang said...

OH MY GOSH MYRA THIS WAS THE FUNNEST POST!!!!! I really did not know for most of them, is that awful or what?

Myra Johnson said...

Woohooo, Hannah, you got 'em all that time! You are one rockin' Seekerville fan!!!

Myra Johnson said...

Tina, your correct answers are

4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

But I'm not surprised you know Marlena Fortune's voice so well. You two hang out a lot together, if I'm not mistaken. How's the dear lady doing these days? It's been way too long since she flicked her hat brim in Seekerville.

Myra Johnson said...

Leigh!!!!! I'm sooooo sorry if I offended you!!!!! I mean, you came SO CLOSE to getting so many voices right. I bow to your superior ear . . . er, research!!!

(Can I have some of your chocolate, PLEEEEEEZE????)

Project Journal said...

Did I REALLY?? LOL! You do not even know how funny that is Myra! I spent a long time on those last 4 except Cheryl (so technically 3) and ended up like guessing because I like could NOT figure it out!! Ruthy was the one throwin' me off, to be honest with you.... I would think I had it, then I'd be like, "No, wait! Ruthy's MUST be wrong!"

Woohoo! *big sigh of relief!* That's so cool!

So, I went back and read the comments and LOL Leigh, I guess we know our Seekers better than themselves, eh!? We should be like honorary Seekers or something...ummmmm....like our pictures should get put up next to theirs ; ) Wait no! You wouldn't want MINE up with YOURS!

Oh well, well done Myra! You must've started at least a week in advance (hint, hint Missy)!
Thank you so much for all the fun! You guys should do something like this again : D

Project Journal said...

By the way, I was rereading my comment, the picture part of my comment about not wanting my picture with yours meant that you wouldn't want MY face anywhere near YOURS, trust me! Lol! I'm saving you : P

Just clearing that up....

Missy Tippens said...

Hannah, I hear you! :) I just can't decide what to do. Talk about pressure!!


Project Journal said...

Awwww! Sorry Missy! NO PRESSURE, girl! We'll love anything YOU write *grin*