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Catchphrases

What makes a catchphrase?

The dictionary definition is:  1) a phrase that attracts or is meant to attract attention. 2) a phrase, as a slogan, that comes to be widely and repeatedly used, often with little of the original meaning remaining.

I came across a list of “TV’s 60 Greatest Catchphrases” and looking at them out of context, how on earth did they become so engrained in our popular culture? I think the answer is the “context.” We attach significance to programs we watch that we enjoy, usually more than one time.

When we write, we try to make every word count, but I’m sure our readers like some passages/scenes more than others. It’s what makes writing challenging. Reaching out to readers and making their experience enjoyable. I hope they would read my books more than once.

Below are a few of my personal favorites. Click on the link above for all of those on the list.

1. “Heeeere’s…Johnny!” Ed McMahon hailed the arrival of Johnny Carson from behind the Tonight Show curtain for 30 years and it never got old. Just ask Jack Nicholson.

2. “Yada, yada, yada.” The ultimate show about nothing gave us more than its fair share of catchphrases, but this Seinfeld signature uttered by Elaine to gloss over a bad date and favored by George’s felonious girlfriend is still really something.

3. “And that’s the way it is.” Long before the advent of cable news, revered newsman Walter Cronkite closed his nightly broadcast with these iconic words. And we understood we’d just seen and heard everything we needed to know.

4. “It’s gonna be legen — wait for it — dary.” He’s a one-man one-liner machine, but our favorite Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) quote on How I Met Your Mother brilliantly captures his bro-vado.

Other favorites of mine (by older decades)

“Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!” — Adventures of Superman
“The thrill of victory and the agony of ¬defeat.” — Jim McKay, Wide World of Sports
“Ruh-roh!” — Astro, The Jetsons
“This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.” — Mission: Impossible
“Live long and prosper.” — Spock, Star Trek
“Who loves ya, baby?” — Kojak, Kojak
“Let’s be careful out there.” — Esterhaus, Hill Street Blues
“Make it so.” — Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation
“Resistance is futile.” — The Borg, Star Trek: The Next Generation

And then there’s is the movies…

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” — Rhett in Gone With The Wind

“I’ll be back.” — Terminator

And, so on.

Check out the list and see if your favorites are in the list and let us know which ones. Or, if there is a catchphrase you didn’t find but love, share it with us.

 
17 Comments

Posted by on October 10, 2013 in Popular Culture, readers, writers, writing

 

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A Kindle Way of Life

012Christmas before last, my husband gave me a Kindle Fire. Sure, I had thought about having an e-reader one day, but I was quite happy with having an actual book in my lap. My dream was always to write a book I could hold in my hands. I’m grateful I got to have just that before we all turn electronic one day.

After making my New Year’s resolution to exercise last year, I noticed that I could multi-task by using my exercise bike and utilize Facebook at the same time. Once I finished checking in, I could read email or an e-book while cycling away. I also use my Kindle to look for information on the internet.  Sometimes, I get quicker results than on my computer.

This past year I had some major editing to do on a manuscript, so I looked for a couple of craft books for inspiration. The two books I chose were available in e-book format, so I opted for the electronic version mainly because of the cheaper price. A nice surprise was that I could lay my small kindle next to my computer instead of two books. I’d zip through the pages of the reader as I worked and my husband got tired of hearing about how convenient this arrangement was.

Several authors have free or discounted e-books so I download them on my Kindle. I get excellent buys on 013books and easily store them on my Kindle, verses filling my already full bookcase or end tables. I like that my books are more affordable as e-books, too.

I look at my pile of magazines and think that I will start ordering them in e-book format, so I won’t have them lying around, and will be at hand on the Kindle I have in my bag when I’m out and about, or travelling to see my family. When I do travel my Kindle is smaller and lighter than my computer, and it is WiFi accessible.

Just before Christmas break, I worked with a high school student who likes to read but struggles with vocabulary/hard words. To help her understand, we looked at the other words in the sentence before and after to help her understand the meaning of the word. Her eyes lit up when I told her that on a Kindle you can touch the word on the page and the meaning comes up.

I love to read to my grandchildren. I started thinking that if I could have my favorite children’s e-books on hand where ever I am, then I’ll always have the opportunity to read to them while not having to carry the copies around.

I found some free and inexpensive children’s e-books. This past Christmas I got a chance to read them to my grandchildren. I did read hard cover books to them while they were here, and it was perfect just before bedtime. Yet, in the living room, I noticed how easy it was to pull the kids into my lap when they were fussing, getting bored, or tired, and open the Kindle Fire and read. The kids and I enjoyed the color pictures and how they slid across the screen. In my opinion, at that moment, they enjoyed the e-book version as much as the hard cover books.

It took me a little while to understand the value of my husband’s gift, but now I consider it to be a gift that keeps on giving.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Blogs, Boise, books, ebook, Family, Idaho, readers, reading, travel

 

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What is a Cozy Mystery?

Wikipedia says, “Cozy mysteries, also referred to simply as “cozies,” are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. The term was first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work in an attempt to re-create the.Golden Age of Detective Fiction …emphasis on puzzle-solving over suspense, a small-town setting, and a focus on a hobby or occupation are all frequent elements of cozy mysteries.

I love a good mystery and I’ve always thought I’d like to write a cozy. I’ve imagined something like the Snoop Sisters (1970s television series), retired and snooping into some crime or another when no one suspects a couple of old broads to be any trouble. Their life experience helps solve the crime.  As a matter-of-fact, I’m growing older, so soon I may have some of my own experiences to write down on pages.

What could be finer, I think, than writing about a crime where the murder happens quickly and I don’t have to worry too much about the forensics of it all? I wonder if the book would be much easier to write without romance in the story. Yet, I imagine it is just as difficult to write without these elements, to create good material that focuses on puzzle solving.

For inside information, the sleuth could be married to a police officer, or medical examiner. Or, a good friend, neighbor, niece or nephew could be on the inner circle. Who wouldn’t share a tough work situation with someone who listens and cares and is trustworthy?

The sleuth most likely has a college degree. She is usually a woman and might be occupied as a homemaker, cook, librarian, teacher, retired, own a bookstore or flower shop, involved in a hobby, when not fighting crime.

www.cozy-mystery.com says, “I think that people who read Cozy Mysteries probably have their own unique ideas about what they think Cozy Mysteries should be…”

My contemporary books have a weave of mystery through them, but they identify with romance. I love reading and writing romance into a story, so how can I weave romance into a cozy? Maybe by throwing in a couple that’s important in the sleuth’s life. Yet, cozy mysteries are supposed to have a quick plot, not labored down with a relationship. After all, the cozy is foremost about the mystery.

www.cozy-mystery.com adds, “I have to admit that lately, authors of what are considered to be Cozy Mysteries are adding more graphic language and “adult situations” >>> I am not sure if this is because their publishers/editors want this or if it is because the public wants (buys) more “adult situation” Cozy Mysteries.”

I guess I’m not alone in wanting romance. Will readers and writers change the definition of a cozy mystery? I find it sad that they might. I want the old definition to stay the same, as sometimes there’s nothing like reading a good cozy mystery.

Do you have any favorite cozy mystery authors?

http://www.maryvine.com

 
20 Comments

Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Blogs, Boise, books, Cozy Mysteries, readers, reading, writers, writing

 

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The reader

Readers. Every writer wants them and we all have our own tastes and likes when it comes to what we read. Like most writers I am a voracious reader. I just counted and I have 38 books on my TBR pile – everything from YA , romance, fiction and non-fiction. Yikes. I tell myself that I won’t purchase another book until I’ve read at least half of those books . . and that falls completely by the wayside when I walk into a bookstore or read a good review.

I took a workshop where the presenter informed us that women tend to read decision based plots and men like time-clock plots. (Decision – conflict resolution depends on a decision by the characters. Time-clock – conflict resolution operates under a timeline). A lot of romance books fall under the decision based category, while a lot of thrillers hit the ticking clock list. The presenter mentioned this as one of the things to keep in mind when we are writing. What is our target audience?

Frankly I hadn’t thought of it like that. I write the stories I love. And I love both romance and thrillers. And darn near everything else.

My local bookstore owner said that she has a lot more men reading paranormal romances now that she has moved some of them to the fantasy section. And the YA section is right in front as you walk in because it is so popular with both young adults and older ones.

Is it a label that draws a reader? YA? Chick Lit? Romance?

I was in Subway last week and I noticed a gentleman sitting by himself. He was burly, wore a baseball hat and a t-shirt and had a long, scruffy biker’s beard. It’s terribly judgmental of me, but I would have steered clear of him if I saw him by myself at night. I couldn’t see the title of the book he was reading – and believe me I tried – but I could clearly see the buff heroine with the long sword. Urban fantasy with a strong kick-ass heroine.

Never in a million years would I have paired that man with that book.

It made me smile for the rest of the day. I’m smiling now just remembering it. I hope I have a reader like that when I am published. He could not put the book down. I’m positive he will buy the next book by that author. Whether it’s a label, the cover or where the book was placed in the store – it certainly had him hooked.

Do you tend to buy books in certain genres? Do bookstore displays catch your attention? Do you have an audience in mind as you write?

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2012 in Idaho

 

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