Getting Recognition as an Editor

Getting Recognition as an Editor

Today I want to tell you about one of the gifts I’ve received last year. I also have a video for you to watch.

To set the stage, let me first tell you that in mid-February of 2014, Wording Well, my main website, was born. In addition to being a blogger and a freelance writer, I began to offer editing services as well. (I’ve since added blogging coaching/consultation services to my list.)

It’s amazing what can happen in two years of blogging! Not only did I receive recognition for my editing skills, but… Read More

Enter a Book Giveaway! (Dec. 12 to 24th)

Black Fountain Goddess cover

Do you like good fiction novels? I do.

Do you like contests/giveaways?  I do.

Do you like autographed copies of books?  I do.

Enter a Giveaway!

Wording Well is pleased to announce that Laying It Out There is currently running a giveaway of The Black Fountain Goddess.

This book is Jean Moynahan’s second novel, and it’s really, really good. (I have a copy of her first book, The Illuminated Vineyard, which is on my list of books to read.)

Read the Book Review

In fact, this novel is so good that I’ve reviewed this book on Goodreads and have also blogged about it, on my author site, Laying It Out There.

Enter the Giveaway!

I’ve have done a few giveaways in the past, but never have I used Rafflecopter to do so.

But there’s a first time for everything!

So I’m using Rafflecopter this time, and I’m really, really hoping to make this giveaway a huge success!

I’d like to invite you to read my review of this book, learn a bit about the author, and enter the contest.

You can do so by visiting this link.

Hurry! Enter NOW!

Win an autographed copy of The Black Fountain Goddess!

Readability: How “Readable” is YOUR Writing?

Young Boy reading a book, and struggling to do so

Is your writing “readable”? How do you know?

To introduce the concept of readability, I have some more questions for you.

Have you ever used “big” words in an attempt to seem smarter than you are? Have you ever looked up a word in the dictionary . . . and then had to look up the words found in its definition?

I can see most of you nodding your heads. I can see a few smiles, too. 😉

Now let me ask you:

  • Have you ever wondered if the words you choose to use are too difficult for others to read and/or understand?
  • Have you ever wondered what others really think of your writing (whether it’s found in a blog post, an ebook, a novel, an essay, an article, etc.)?
  • Have you ever read something that was hard to understand (because of all the words you didn’t know the definitions to)?

I bet all of your answers to these questions are “yes.”

But . . . do you know what “readability” really is?

What this post on readability will do for you

This post will:

  • teach you what readability is
  • discuss some history behind how readability is measured
  • indicate the different methods for how readability can be measured
  • give you links to the free, online readability calculators that writers, bloggers, and freelancers should use
  • two additional articles you can read to expand your mind, and
  • it will also mention a brief announcement from Wording Well

You NEED to Consider Readability

Have you ever seriously contemplated the readability of your blog post, books, or articles, and then tailored your writing to your specific audience?

If you are shaking your head shamefully, that’s okay; most people don’t.

Perhaps you didn’t know what to do. Perhaps you didn’t know that you could check the readability of your text.

Perhaps – and this is the more likely option – you’ve never really considered what readability means, how it affects your readers, and how important it actually is.

If you are an author, blogger, writer, freelancer, student (or wannabe author, blogger, writer, freelancer or student), there are a few critical things you should know about readability.

Smiling Senior Woman Reading A Book

What is Readability?

Readability is the measure of written language that makes it easy to read and understand.

Readability tests, which are mathematical formulas, were designed to assess the suitability of books for students at particular grade levels or ages. They were also meant to save time – because before the formula were used those decisions were made on recommendations of educators and librarians who read the books. These people were taking books already written and figuring out who were the appropriate reading groups.~ Source: All About Readability

The tests were intended to help educators, librarians and publishers make decisions about purchase and sale of books.

Readability, however, is dependent upon many characteristics: age, race, culture, and education. The use of slang also plays a part in readability. I think we all know that each culture (heck, even each generation!) has its own slang words or phrases!

Slang

Slang refers to a type of language that consists of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal, are more common in speech than writing, and are typically restricted to a particular context or group of people. To brush up on or learn some American slang, I’d recommend opting to get 10 randomly chosen slang expressions from their database.  You’ll be amazed at what you’ll learn!

Of the 288 factors that were identified, format or design factors were found to be among the three most important clusters of contributors to making a text easier or more difficult to read.

Reading and Writing

One of the reasons I love reading and writing stems from my love for word. When I read and write, I get to be exposed to more words!

When I encounter a word I’ve never heard of, I look it up so that I can add it to my lexicon. I also try to use it correctly in a sentence.

These two practices are something most teachers instruct their students to do in elementary school, and, in fact, were taught to me by my teachers.

They have stuck with me throughout the years, too. I love adding words to my lexicon, and I love using those words properly. When I am writing, I often search for synonyms to use to enhance my writing. However, I try not to use too many “big” words, for two reasons:

  1. Most people won’t understand what I’m saying.
  2. Keeping things simple makes for a more widespread understanding. Most people are not university educated (like I am). Many people cannot read complex sentences. Some people cannot read at all. (Of course, those people won’t be reading this!)

pie chart showing how many people can read

Literacy Statistics

It is estimated that 17-20% of the people in the world cannot read or write. Read More

Steps I Took To Self-Publish My Book + An Important Announcement about Wording Well)

Ebook Cover - Risky Issues by Lorraine Reguly

If you have not yet self-published a book but want to, there are certain steps you could take to do so. Most new authors do things haphazardly, however, because they are uninformed of what to do first.

Sometimes you have to learn the hard way. Other times, you can listen to someone who has self-published a book and has “been there, done that.”

Self-publishing my book took me a long time only because I procrastinated a lot. In actuality, I could have gotten that darn thing out there a lot sooner than I did. (And yes, I know I shouldn’t call my book “that darn thing” but it’s my book, and I can call it whatever I want!) 😀

Steps I Followed to self-publish (which you should, too)

Here are the steps I followed to self-publish my book.

This link will bring you to my author site… which brings me to my announcement.

An Important Announcement about the future of Wording Well

Dear Reader, I really enjoyed my vacation, and it’s good to be back. 🙂 The time off from blogging allowed me to figure out a few things that have been weighing on my mind.
I have decided that I’m going to refrain from posting information about self-publishing on Wording Well and am going to post it on Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There instead. I’m also going to be posting all future book reviews on my author site as well.

I want Wording Well to focus on offering freelancing tips, writing tips, and blogging tips.

I want my author website to offer book reviews, and tips on self-publishing, and personal stories about me (something previously found on Lorraine Reguly’s Life – the name of this blog before it became Wording Well – but which are still found here on Wording Well, in the archives).

I also need to focus more on my freelance writing and editing business. It’s time that I make these important changes now, especially since my Amazon Author Central page is linked to the blog on my author website. (This page also displays my latest Tweet!)

Originally, when I started blogging, I had no direction. I was still learning what blogging was all about. Granted, I know there are still things to learn (there always is!), but I’ve come a long way since my early blogging days, as I’m now earning money from writing and editing (which I love). 🙂

It’s going to take some time to get both Wording Well and Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There to a point where they are clearly defined and where I want these sites to be, but I know that I can do it. I have diligence. 🙂 Juggling more than one blog is tough, but I know it will get easier with time.

Many bloggers have multiple blogs, depending on their niche.

Although both of my sites pertain to writing, their niches are actually very different (or they will be, soon)!  Wording Well is going to have an emphasis on freelancing and blogging, with the niche for Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There having an emphasis on books (whether they are written by me or not!), book reviews, and self-publishing (and all that self-publishing entails, which is a lot).

Furthermore, I’m writing posts about different blogging tips for Dear Blogger at a rate of one per month. I strongly urge you to read them. Often, they begin as posts I’d publish here! However, because I get paid to guest post there, and have a contract to produce posts at this rate, I am not going to publish them here when I can make money publishing them there! (You would do the same thing, if you were me.) But because I know all of you don’t follow that blog,  I generally try to write two posts dealing with the same issue, and with my post on Wording Well linking to my posts on Dear Blogger, because the post on Dear Blogger offers more information. It has to; Greg doesn’t pay me for nothing! 😉

What this all means for you

Depending on your particular interests, you might have to follow both of my sites! You might want to follow one or the other. That choice is yours. I can’t make you do something you don’t want to do. What I will promise you is that, regardless of when and where I post, I will be completely forthright, honest, and provide you with as much information as I can, in a clear manner.

Also, if one post relates to another, I will link to it. I don’t want you to miss out on important info!

 

An Invitation for you

Now that I’ve explained what my new site will contain, and when I will be posting things there, I’d like to invite you to visit and follow my new author site, Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There. You might even want to sign up for my author newsletter. 🙂

And please do me a favour and share this post. It’s best if we’re all on the same page. Pun intended. 😉

Thank you.

~Lorraine

Waking for Hours: #bookreview

Waking For Hours book cover

I have met many awesome bloggers and authors online, but what is really cool is when I meet someone who falls out of the “norm” and piques my interest, like Connie Anne McEntee did.

Connie is also the author of Waking For Hours, a book about a teenage boy discovering his sexual identity.

My Review of Waking for Hours (which I posted to both Amazon and Goodreads):

Teenager William – Billy – Miller finds himself in a situation he never dreamt possible: in a love triangle with both a female and a male. As he discovers he is bisexual, he finds himself being polyamorous – having a girlfriend and a boyfriend at the same time.

Initially, Billy seems like an average teenage virgin, until he meets Jools, whom he gets to know during hiking trips and school study dates. As the two boys forge a special friendship, Billy and his girlfriend, Shelly, engage in intercourse for the first time.

Facing teenage struggles, like having to take a bus all the time because he doesn’t have a car, Billy sometimes gets rides from his friends who have vehicles, including his girlfriend, as well as his parents and grandpa, too.

The fun parts of being a teenager are incorporated into this book, including going to parties where Spin the Bottle and Never Have I Ever are played.

Throughout the book, the main character faces both inner and outer struggles, as well as discrimination from peers. His journey takes him to new and exciting places, and a variety of support systems emerge. The fact that Jools’ mom is a lesbian and Billy’s grandpa is bisexual adds another dimension to the book, too, demonstrating that LGBT people are everywhere!

Confusion about sexual orientation is the main issue in Waking for Hours. The moral? Self-discovery is a journey best left unrushed.

Because I had some interaction with the author – Connie Anne McEntee – prior to reading this book, I was able to notice some parallels between one the author’s characters – Donnie – and the author’s actual life. It’s no secret that fiction is based on reality, and the parallels added to the authenticity of the characters in the book. Some parallels:

  • similar names (Connie/Donnie)
  • the main character is a teen and has a sister (the author has two children)
  • the author has struggled with the very same issues as Billy

The simplistic writing was engaging, light and airy, the storylines had teachings behind them coupled with positive influences, including a gay pastor and a family who is loving and supportive of their children. Billy’s parents try very hard to be great role models, and the fact that his grandfather is bisexual adds an interesting twist to the story. It’s clear that the grandfather was born in a day and age where sexuality was not openly discussed, but the grandfather is portrayed as someone who is not only a mentor to Billy and his friends, and seems to be someone who is a lot of fun to be around.

I deem it an excellent book for teens, and would recommend this book easily!

Waking for Hours: Book Blurb

Here is what waking for hours is about, according to the author’s website (where you can visit to read a brief excerpt):

Seventeen-year-old Bill Miller is a creative, sensitive, and talented teenager who thinks of himself as just a regular guy with ordinary problems. His girlfriend, Shelly, is confused about her feelings for him. His ex-girlfriend, Melody, likes him as just a friend. Truth be told, Bill just wants to find peace. As the summer before his junior year of high school comes to a close, Bill attends a fine arts program at a community college and begins to perceive himself in a new light.

After a rather unsuccessful day at camp, Bill meets Julian “Jools” Garden, who immediately makes him feel better about himself. Jools and Bill find ways to spend time together, starting with a hike in the middle of suburbia that causes Bill to question everything he has ever known about himself. As his friendship with Jools progresses, Bill realizes he is not a straight guy with a girlfriend, but instead a bisexual youth who has fallen in love with Jools, even as Shelly seduces him for the first time.

Waking for Hours shares a teenager’s unique coming-of-age journey as he relies on the help of his grandfather and a new friend and unlocks the courage to face the reality about himself, love, and labels.

You can get your copy of Waking for Hours from:

Get to know the author on a personal level

The other day, when I wrote about sexual identity, I promised to introduce you to an interesting person.

I’m fascinated with interesting people, and Connie Anne McEntee is such a person.

Designated male at birth, Connie is undergoing medical transition from male to female. She’s also a witch, and is quite open about answering questions – even questions that “cross the line.” She was kind enough to share a few things with me and answer some of the questions I had in a mini-interview:

What does MTF mean?

Male to female.

What does genderqueer mean?

Genderqueer refers to a gender identity that is somewhere between masculine and feminine on the gender spectrum, sometimes a combination of both (androgynous or androgyne) and sometimes neither (agender). It’s an identity that “queers” the concept of gender identity by demanding the recognition of more than two options. A subset of genderqueer is genderfluid, in which a person might have a gender identity that shifts for various reasons.

I had thought for a time that I might be genderqueer, and I think it was an attempt to retain some masculinity to keep my wife from needing to divorce me. At this point, it’s safe to say that I have a feminine gender identity but I do queer gender roles to an extent. I still identify very much as my kids’ father, and they call me Dad. Additionally, I refer to myself as an ex-husband. Should I marry again, however, I will be a wife.

What is your sexual orientation? (Forgive me for being so blunt)

My sexual orientation is pansexual, that is I am capable of experiencing sexual attraction to persons across the gender spectrum. That said, I usually find feminine presentations to be most attractive, followed by androgynous, then masculine. My romantic orientation could be described as panromantic, as I am capable of falling in love with a person whose gender identity is anywhere on the spectrum. Unlike with my sexual orientation, I don’t seem to have a hierarchy of desire with regards to romance.

Here’s where it gets complicated. I can experience sexual attraction in different ways. The example I described above is based on how I perceive a person visually. There have been persons I’ve met who might not have found visually attractive, yet I became sexually attracted to them after I got to know them and began to fall in love with them. Typically, sexual attraction after a close emotional bond is formed is described as demisexual. But since I can experience sexual attraction also by appearances, it would be inaccurate for me to describe myself as demisexual. Wildly inaccurate, in fact. *blush*

Can you tell me more about your personal issues with respect to sexual attraction and interactions?

I’m very out regarding my sexual and romantic orientations, as I am with my gender identity. And while I will readily admit that my birth name was David William, I generally don’t discuss details of my sex life.

You’re into witchcraft, and you are a witch. Can you share what this means? Read More