Monday, April 30, 2018

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Words That Make Sounds

Hello and welcome to, sadly, the last blog post in the Blogging from A to Z Blogging Challenge. What? I feel like a little kid who'd respond with "Say it ain't so." Alas, the feeling is bittersweet knowing it's the final post in 2018 for this fun, but daunting challenge. 

I shared my favorite and fascinating words using the letters of the alphabet as the prompts. Yes, I'm a Word Nerd and proud of it. I could only choose 26 because that's all the letters in our English alphabet.

 I learned on Sandy Carlson's blog there is no W in the Spanish alphabet. In fact, I learned a lot of interesting bits this month when visiting fellow bloggers. And I met many talented, creative folks too.

So, ta-dah! Drum Roll Please---Here is the final blog post, and it has to be a Z word. Read on to find out what it is. Thank you.
~zizz~
verb
1.    a whizzing or buzzing sound.
"there's a nasty zizz from the engine"
 2.
BRITISH
a short sleep.
"Philip's having a zizz"
Google dictionary

Thanks to Blogger/Author Chrys Fey for sharing this Z word on her blog. In fact, she has a whole list of Z words. Click here in case you’re stumped on the letter Z for your blog post.

When writing a story/novel/poem, a story is much richer if you include the five senses in the writing—see, hear, taste, touch, smell. Hearing is a difficult sense to convey through writing. So I love to use words that make a sound when you read them e.g. sizzle, rattle, buzz, jingle. 

Zizz is a word that makes a noise. Say it out loud. It’s even more effective when the z sounds are released through your teeth into the air. Try it.
A man napping
The definition for a short sleep reminds me of cartoons with a bubble over the character's head, and all it has in it is “ZZZZZ", so we know the fellow is sound asleep. 

What words can you think of that make a sound? Share them in the comment section below. Thank you.

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# # # 

Coming up in May on the Focused on Story Blog.
IWSG Badge
Wednesday, May 2--Insecure Writers Support Blog Hop Click here for more information about the IWSG. You can join us and be part of the blogging phenomenon! Hundreds of insecure writers supporting each other.
#AtoZchallenge 2018 friendly new badge logo

Wednesday, May 9--Reflections on the A to Z Challenge and Book Hooks

The 5 W's Guest Author Event continues!

The Five W's Event Returns with Guest Authors and prizes. Meet new-to-you authors and favorite authors and discover great reads!

May 16--Ellen Jacobsen, the Cynical Sailor
May 30--Helena Fairfax
# # #
Terror on Sunshine Boulevard book cover selected for Cover Wars.


I'm thrilled to announce my mystery, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard, is battling in Author Shout's Cover Wars this week. If you have time, take a peek at the competition and vote for Terror on Sunshine Boulevard if you like it the best. Thanks to cover artist, Michelle Lee, for her eye-popping book cover! Click here to vote. Voting all week through Saturday. Thank you.
# # #

It's been my pleasure to share words with you this month. Thank you for visiting!
Be sure to return every Wednesday for more fun, discussions, and information.






Saturday, April 28, 2018

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Yams vs Sweet Potatoes

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog by J.Q. Rose. Are you a word lover? Then you're at the right place. All this month I'll be revealing words that fascinate me during the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. 

~yam~
: the edible starchy tuberous root of various plants (genus Dioscorea of the family Dioscoreaceae) used as a staple food in tropical areas; also : a plant producing yams
a moist usually orange-fleshed sweet potato, Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Yams vs. Sweet Potatoes
Yams are yummy. Sorry, I just had to get those Y’s in there because this IS Y Day. And I’m getting a bit punchy as we near the end of this daily April blogging challenge.

I bet what you think of as a yam is actually a sweet potato. So here’s the “dish” on the difference between a yam and a sweet potato.

According to the North Carolina Sweet Potatoes site (NCSP): “That sweet, orange-colored root vegetable that you love so dearly is actually a sweet potato. Yes, all so-called “yams” are in fact sweet potatoes. Most people think that long, red-skinned sweet potatoes are yams, but they really are just one of many varieties of sweet potatoes.” 
Sweet potatoes
Photo courtesy of pixabay
So why all the confusion? According to NCSP, “A true yam is a starchy edible root of the Dioscorea genus, and is generally imported to America from the Caribbean. It is rough and scaly and very low in beta-carotene.
Depending on the variety, sweet potato flesh can vary from white to orange and even purple. The orange-fleshed variety was introduced to the United States several decades ago. In order to distinguish it from the white variety everyone was accustomed to, producers and shippers chose the English form of the African word “nyami” and labeled them “yams.”
So when you gather round the table for a delicious ham and yam dinner, you can educate your family/friends, they are most probably eating sweet potatoes topped off with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, not yams!
If you’d like more recipes, visit the NCSP site for “52 Ways to Enjoy Sweet Potatoes.”
Do you like sweet potatoes? I really like sweet potato wedges, tossed in Virgin Olive Oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and baked in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Place the wedges on a foil-lined baking sheet for easy clean up. Enjoy!

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Do You Have a Contact Page?

Hello and welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge! Letter X came up so quickly. The month has flown by. I hope you have enjoyed all the words I have shared to entertain the Word Nerds. The X word is a brand new word to me. Read more below.



~xenogogy~

A map or guidebook, The Grandiloquent Dictionary – X

About the Grandiloquent Dictionary from its creator, Dr. Christopher Bird: “This is the result of an ongoing project to collect and distribute the most obscure and rare words in the English language. It also contains a few words which do not have equivalent words in English. At present, the dictionary contains approximately 2700 words, though it is constantly growing." 

Dr. Bird is correct about including obscure and rare words in his dictionary. When I googled the word, xenogogy, no dictionary definitions popped up except for this one.
So where did I discover this unusual word?. Morgan at Once Upon a Time blog left a comment on my blog on Day C. So I perused her site finding out she is a gal who loves traveling. On her page including her 39 List (of things she wants to accomplish before she turns 40) I found under # 27 her goal to write a "Xenogogy -- about all my adventures and places we go."  Click here to visit Morgan at Once Upon A Time. 

Thank you, Morgan, for my X Word!!l

One of the best perks of participating in the A to Z Challenge is meeting new bloggers and discovering creative, intelligent, thoughtful folks. I love investigating their blogs.


I would like to nudge bloggers to include a Contact Page so we who visit can drop them a line. Many years ago, I had someone tell me that when I was beginning my blog, and I'm glad she did.

Do you have a Contact Page and/or a Media Page or an About Me page with your bio, links, and a way to contact you e.g. email, Facebook, Twitter, etc? I encourage you to make one now. 
P.S.--If you leave a comment, please leave your link to your blog so I can return the visit. I don't think of it as self-promotion, but rather as being neighborly. And now you know how much I love visiting bloggers. Thank you.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Do You Love Ghost Stories?

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. Today the letter prompt is W. Thank you to Jeremy (Retro) for designing these eye-catching badges for the Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge, a special one designed for each letter of the alphabet. 


~wraith~
noun
   a ghost or ghostlike image of someone, especially one seen shortly before or after their death.
synonyms:
ghostspecterspiritphantomapparitionmanifestation

o    used in similes and metaphors to describe a pale, thin, or insubstantial person or thing.
"heart attacks had reduced his mother to a wraith"

o    literary
a wisp or faint trace of something.
"a sea breeze was sending a gray wraith of smoke up the slopes"--Oxford Dictionary


I love ghost stories, reading and writing them. Maybe it’s because when I was a kid my favorite cartoon was Casper the Friendly Ghost. Emphasis on friendly. I’m not into horror stories of ghosts and demonic spirits creating havoc for a person. 
Remember the TV show The Ghost and Mrs. Muir?

VIDEO--You Tube The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Season 1 Episode 1

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir 
Now this ghost story is the kind I like.

How about that crazy movie, Ghostbusters? And one of my all-time favorites, Emmy award-winning Ghost with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Marie Laval’s Little Pink Taxi and the ghosts in that novel.  And if you'd like to read a series of ghost stories, check out Jo-Ann Carson’s, The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries.

I love stories with ghosts in them so much that I wrote a romantic suspense novel, 
Deadly Undertaking. The setting is in a funeral home—the perfect place for a ghost or what I refer to as a shadow man. Henry was a fun character to write. He's a friendly ghost that is full of mischief, but also very caring. 
Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose
A handsome detective,
a shadow man, and a murder victim
kill Lauren's plan for a simple life.

Why is Henry haunting the funeral home? Is he the key to answer why a murdered man was left in the garage of the funeral home and hidden between the funeral coach and flower car? I mean, everyone expects bodies to be at a funeral home, but really!

Do you love ghost stories too? Please leave a comment below and tell us your favorite.

Thank you for visiting. Leave a link to your blog so I can return the visit.




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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Author Pat Conroy, a Master of Storytelling



Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog by J.Q. Rose. 

Every day this month I'm posting a new word for all you Word Nerds during the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Join me as we journey through the alphabet!!


~ vestigial~
adjective
adjective: vestigial
    forming a very small remnant of something that was once much larger or more noticeable.
"he felt a vestigial flicker of anger from last night"


o    BIOLOGY
(of an organ or part of the body) degenerate, rudimentary, or atrophied, having become functionless in the course of evolution.
"the vestigial wings of kiwis are entirely hidden"
Dictionary.com

I was familiar with the noun form of this word, vestige. Dictionary.com defines vestige as  “a trace of something that is disappearing or no longer exists”.
"the last vestiges of colonialism"

Storyteller Pat Conroy introduced me to vestigial in his excellent memoir, The Water is Wide. the story based on his work as a teacher on Daufuskie IslandSouth Carolina. (named Yamacraw Island in the book.) 

Conroy's living quarters was an old house inhabited with all kinds of pests. In this scene, he is awakened when he feels something on his foot.

"The room was black as pitch, silent, with the vestigial odor of mildew left from days of noninhabitation.” 

When he turned on the lamp, he watched “the rat move like bald-tailed lightning across the room and out the door.” The whole scene made me shudder and I felt his fear when he wrote: “I had shared my pillow with the animal I feared most.” Powerful, electric writing.
 
rat
If you’re interested in reading memoirs, a fan of Pat Conroy or just want to enjoy a good read, I would recommend this book.

This A to Z Challenge, while writing about words that fascinate me or played a part in my life experience, has introduced me to new words as different forms of the word. Kind of perk in the research.
.
I’m a life-long learner. Are you too? We’ll never know it all, and that’s probably “a good thing,” as my friend Elaine would say. Thanks for visiting today.


Check out more bloggers posting in this challenge by clicking the MASTER LIST link below.


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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Loving Unconditionally

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog by J.Q. Rose. 
Are you a word lover? If so, you're here at the right place. All this month I'll be revealing words that fascinate me using the letters of the alphabet for prompts. Join in and leave your favorite, fascinating words in a comment below. Thank you. 



~unconditional~
adjective
 not limited by conditions; absolute :
an unconditional promise.
 Mathematics. absolute,
Dictionary.com

Absolute defines my idea of unconditional
adjective

free from imperfection; complete; perfect:
absolute liberty..
not mixed or adulterated; pure:
absolute alcohol.
complete; outright:
an absolute lie; an absolute denial.
free from restriction or limitation; not limited in any way:
absolute command; absolute freedom.
unrestrained or unlimited by a constitution, counterbalancing group, etc., in the exercise of governmental power, especially when arbitrary or despotic:
an absolute monarch.
viewed independently; not comparative or relative; ultimate; intrinsic:
absolute knowledge.
positive; certain:
absolute in opinion; absolute evidence.
Dictionary.com

Unconditional is used in so many instances, but it always means unlimited. When I first thought of using this word, I thought about the unconditional love a parent has for a child. No matter what that child has done—lied, stolen, cheated, or perhaps even murdered, the parents will still love that child. That doesn’t mean a parent affirms the child’s actions, but the mother and father will always carry their child in their hearts and look out for the welfare of the child.

Much like the love of God is unconditional, it is difficult to comprehend unconditional love. Like one minister always said, "God loves you and there's nothing you can do about it."

"Unconditional Love is not the case of being blinded by love but rather the resolution that nothing is more important than love." 
– Talidari


According to an article at WikiHow, “Unconditional love is the action, the choice to strive for the well-being of another. The feeling you derive from acting with love is your reward, the return you “get” from your own action.”
Click here for the entire article on unconditional love.

Do you love someone unconditionally? Books and stories often include a hero/heroine who loves someone unconditionally. Can you think of one? Leave your comment below. I'd love to read your suggestions. Leave your blog address so I can visit your A to Z posts. Thanks.

Click here to connect online with J. Q. at Facebook. Like my page and I'll be happy to like you back. Thank you.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Dungeons and Dragons Players Know This Word

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog by J.Q. Rose. 
Are you a Word Nerd? If so, you're here at the right place. All this month I'll be revealing words that fascinate me using the letters of the alphabet as prompts.


~troglodyte~
a member of any of various peoples (as in antiquity) who lived or were reputed to live chiefly in caves
a person characterized by reclusive habits or outmoded or reactionary attitudes, Merriam Webster Dictionary

You may be familiar with this word if you play Dungeons and Dragons. In that game “the troglodyte is a fictional race of primitive reptilian humanoids in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.” Wikipedia definition.
 
Caveman
Courtesy of Pixabay
While you may find it surprising that I don’t play D &D, (I’ll pause to wait while you laugh at that statement) I actually found the word in Matthew Peters novel, Killing John the Baptist. In his suspenseful thriller it appeared in dialogue during a light-hearted moment in the story between Jessica and Branson discussing how well they knew each other. She said, “I now know you’ve seen The Sound of Music. You’re not a complete troglodyte.”


I immediately highlighted the word in my Kindle to look up the definition. Are you familiar with the word?

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: A SUPER Word

Hello and welcome to the A to Z April  Blogging Challenge on the Focused on Story Blog. This post is probably my most favorite one of all the posts for this challenge using the alphabet as prompts.

S is for Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I can hardly say it/spell it without singing the word. Are you familiar with this nonsense word? Read on to find out more!


~supercalifragilisticexpialidocious~
A fictitious word introduced in the Disney movie, Mary Poppins. Thought to be a nonsense word, but it contains elements of real Greek and Latin roots,

super: above, over, extreme
cali: beauty
fragilistic: delicate
expiali: to atone, to make amends
docious: educable, able to learn
Urban Dictionary

Talk about breaking down a word to spell it and pronounce it in Orthography. This is an amazing word during an amazing time in my life. In my first year as a third grade teacher, the songs from Disney’s movie Mary Poppins were included in the 3rd grade music book. The kids loved, loved, loved singing this word (and of course, I challenged them to learn how to spell it, just for fun. (Probably a “bonus” word on a spelling test.) Joy seemed to take over the classroom the minute I began the introduction on the piano. I mean who can say, and especially sing, this word without grinning?

Now sit back and sing-along with this video from Youtube with Julie Andrews and Dick VanDyke and friends singing.
 Mary Poppins (1964)  

YouTube Video--Disney's "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" - Video and Lyrics



Have you ever heard of this word? Have you seen Mary Poppins or read the book? A new version of the movie will be coming out December 25, 2018. I can’t wait to see it! How about you? Please leave a comment below to let me know. Thanks.

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Hacking Your Computer with Ransomware

Hello and welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge--the special event for the whole month of April on the Focused on Story blog. I'm enjoying posting every day along with my hundreds of other fellow bloggers who are using the letters of the alphabet as prompts for each post. Today is letter R. Please visit more R posts by clicking the Master List of bloggers participating in this event at the end of this article.

Today, I am at my publisher's blog, BWL Publishing, with spring photos to help those of us who are still enduring wintry weather even if it is April 20! Click here to join me to experience a taste of spring if only through pictures. Thank you.



~ransomware~
Malware that requires the victim to pay a ransom 
to access encrypted files,
Merriam Webster Dictionary

Malware is software designed to interfere 
with a computer's normal functioning
. Merriam Webster Dictionary

With ransomware, a hacker slips into a system, then puts encryption controls in place that locks users out. The hackers then demand money to "unlock" the data.—Elizabeth Millard

Ransomware is malware on steroids. According to a news report on abcNews, hackers use this powerful software to hold 9-1-1 centers and hospitals hostage. They are considered easy targets because they have to get their computers back up because lives depend on their service. These attacks are increasing in huge numbers within the last two years.

Small businesses and large, think Home Depot, cannot escape being victim to these thieves. Security technicians solve one problem, but genius hackers come up with a different way to get around the new security. I wish these criminals would use their brilliance for good instead of bad. Think how they could help society instead of causing so much misery.
Laptop computer
Ransomware savaged our laptop computer a few years ago, demanding us to purchase $300.00 in gift cards and send the hackers the codes for cashing them. (Nowadays many hackers require payment through Bitcoin, a digital method.). If we sent the code, they would unlock the computer. I have my doubts that would have happened. Fortunately, we were able to unlock the screen with the help of the computer company. They talked us through it.

Read this warning from Lenovo.com –“Ransomware viruses are often introduced via email in an attachment that appears to be legitimate, like an invoice or e-fax. Sometimes a link will appear in the email urging the recipient to click. After the victim clicks on the attachment or link they are directed to a malicious website that infects their computer. The malware encrypts files on local drives, backup drives and any other computers on the network. A victim remains unaware until the ability to access data is noticed and messages surface demanding payment for a decryption key.

“Ransomware may also cleverly disguise itself as an urgent popup on a browser advising of a virus, system security risk that needs to be addressed immediately. The addition of the user's IP address and the logo of local law enforcement or the FBI gives the warning an air of authenticity. Other times, the warning tells the user that illegal activity or viewing sordid websites caused the machine to be infected."
Click here to read the entire article at Lenovo.

Many people screen their phone calls and don’t answer unless they recognize the phone number/person. Likewise, I think we need to be aware we should never click on emails from an unknown source or click on pop-ups. Use caution. Hackers may be hitting businesses, but they are also always on the prowl for an unsuspecting victim.

Have you or a friend/family experienced being hacked by ransomware intruders?  

Facebook users believe their files have been hacked when friends receive a message to be friends when they already are friends. Click here to learn what it is and what to do about it in an article on this blog.  

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Blogging From A to Z Challenge: The Most Overlooked Letter in the Alphabet, Q

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog by J.Q. Rose. We have arrived at my favorite letter of the alphabet--Q. (Please note my pen name. Q is for my maiden name.) Q is an overlooked letter. Maybe because it's so Quirky. It's rather plain, but not as plain as O. 


I have a Question for you. There’s Only One Letter That’s Not in Any U.S. State Name. Can You Guess It? I won't keep you in suspense. It's Q according to the Reader's Digest article. Click here to read it. 

Believe me, Q is the most neglected letter of the alphabet. Because my family name started with Q, it was difficult to find a Q on monogrammed products such as towels, mugs, napkins, and even a cut-out Q to hang on the wall. Look for yourself when you're picking up your A, B, C, D, etc gifts for friends. I hope you don't know anyone whose name begins with Q!!
Q--The Overlooked Letter in the Alphabet.
~quiff~
(Brita prominent tuft of hair, esp one brushed up above the forehead, Dictionary.com

If you’ve been reading my challenge posts, you’ve seen I've “lifted” a few words from British romance author, Helena Fairfax. Quiff is another word from her feel-good read, Felicity at the Cross Hotel. (You may have figured out it’s one of my favorite reads now.)
Elvis Presley's hairstyle with a quiff.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
According to the Urban Dictionary, some of the celebrities who have worn quiffs are Elvis Presley, Travolta in 'Grease', Chris Isaak. 

Evidently, the meaning I used here is in the British dictionary. To my surprise, Dictionary.com and the American Heritage Dictionary defined quiff as a promiscuous woman. The term originated in the 1920’s

Are you familiar with this word? What is your Q blog post today?

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