Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.
Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts: Jacqui Murray, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Pat Garcia, and Gwen Gardner!
This month's question is: If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?
I had an artist make my covers - which you can see to the right and in my header. I "met" Adrienne Saldivar through blogging so many years ago that I don't know how long it's been. The point is, I liked her style and knew that if I ever actually self-published a book I was going to commission her. I was not disappointed. She did the covers for all three of my books. If I ever publish anything again, I hope I can commission her again.
Origins: a recurring post in which I delve into the history of a word or phrase.
Since I chose WORD to be my word of the year, it's only appropriate that I give a little history about this word.
The word, WORD, (say it enough times it will begin to sound weird) comes to us directly and unchanged from Old English. It was the word chosen by some ancient scribe when translating the first sentence of the Bible from Latin. "In the beginning was the word." But the Latin word the scribe was trying to translate was verbum, which literally means "verb" (an action) and is itself a translation of the Greek logos which more closely translates to thought. So, from thought, to action, to something that names something that already exists, the first sentence of the Bible shows how difficult it can be find the right word when translating.
Old English isn't the language of Chaucer or Shakespeare, it's older - between 1200 and1300 years old! It's the language of Beowulf and England's Alfred the Great who ruled a mere 13 years, from 886 to 899, yet who revolutionized and encourage education and that it be taught in English (Old as it was) instead of Latin.
If you watched the series, The Last Kingdom, with the Saxon born Danish hunk, "Destiny is all" Utred,
that's the era I'm talking about.
Old English is so strange sounding and looking it may as well be a foreign language. Check out this short video of the first lines of Beowulf being read in Old English.
From this language about 4500 words are in use today and we, as writers should be happy and proud to know that the word, WORD is one of them.
Because it's February, I thought I'd also include the word LOVE which in Old English was spelled lufu and pronounced LUH-VUH, like our modern word, but with an extra syllable.
LoanWord: A word adopted from a foreign language with little or no modification.
Today's loanwords are not really loanwords as I've decided to include a few Old English words that have come down to us almost unchanged or with only a small spelling difference. They include but are not limited to:
Gift, Friend, Foot, Hand, Finger, Candle, Weird (did you notice I used weird earlier?) Sun, Apple, Leaf, Winter, Cat, (not to leave dogs out, but the word is spelled docga and pronounced dodge-ah), Horse, Wolf, Elf, Wife, and my favorite (besides WORD) Snot! which is unchanged and still means the exact same thing today as it did over a thousand years ago.
If you'd like to learn more about Old English words check out The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English by Hana Videnn. There is also the Old English Wordhord app you can get for your phone which provides you with one Old English word a day, giving the pronunciation (with a recording of it) and it's meaning.
A Dribble or, a story in 50 words or less
The Stuff of Nightmares
A word by any other name is still a word. Or is it? She mulled the thought over and over in her brain. It kept her awake at night. She thought about it so much, it gave her nightmares. A word by any other name is still a word.... HELP!
Today I'm thankful for what else? WORDS!
If you published a book, did you make your own covers? Do you have a favorite Old English word?
Ah Beowulf. The only way I could understand it was by reading it out loud and recognizing the sounds of (some of) the words.ReplyDelete
That you were able to read it in Old English and understand some of the words is amazing! I thought I was hot stuff learning to read Middle English!Delete
It's great you found an artist that you like to design your covers. That's something to be grateful for too.ReplyDelete
Indeed. It takes a lot of stress off any writer's shoulders.Delete
Thank you! That was a great read. And I love your covers, they work so perfectly for the stories.ReplyDelete
I read Chaucer in university and thought my head was going to explode. I was too young to appreciate his gensius. Finding a good artist is always a good thing. I like that their efforts will stay forever.ReplyDelete
I learned to read Middle English in high school... still remember those first 4 or so lines of the prolog...Delete
Diane is so right. Once I started my series with a cover designer, I didn't want to switch and lose that consistency. I hope they don't go out of business!ReplyDelete
Consistency (in this case) is NOT the hobgoblin of little minds! (Emerson might even agree...)Delete
Great cover artist. Definitely use her again. Fascinating info about the word "word."ReplyDelete
I will if I get the opportunity.Delete
Hi Bish, I like your book covers. Its such a relief when book covers go right and have our approval.ReplyDelete
Thank you. And it is a relief when the covers go right.Delete
I love your covers! Very professional. I read English in college, and boy was it wordy! And sometimes hard to understand and take it.ReplyDelete
Co-hosting this month for the IWSG. https://gwengardner.blogspot.com/2023/01/iwsg-how-are-you-book-covered.html#comment-form
I don't think I'd even try to learn to read it!Delete
I am a word-nerd too. I sent the info about "the word" in the Bible to my Bible Study group. Thank you. I'd say creating the world is an action! Love your book covers. I'm sure your readers do too.ReplyDelete
I'm honored that you sent my little history on the word, WORD, to you Bible study group. Thank you stopping by!Delete
This was fascinating! Imagine if someone from that time period time traveled here today. So much is different, yet that person may still understand a word or two every once in a while.ReplyDelete
Indeed. We would be speaking a foreign language to them!Delete
I enjoyed your post, Bish. I do love words, so this was fun. There was a time I thought of taking a course in Old English. The president of my university was a scholar of that era. But I ended up in geology instead. Good choice. Have a creative February!ReplyDelete
From words to geology! There's a story there, I'm sure.Delete
Professional designers are the only way to go. Love the study of words, love learning new words. Thanks for your visit. It's been a long time but I love what I'm doing.ReplyDelete
Hi Bish - I love your covers ... and thanks for the introduction to the 'Word Hord' - I've a post to write up about 'words' (sometime soon!). Good luck as you write on - cheers HilaryReplyDelete
The shambles is also a mediaeval street in York, UK. The derivation of words is endlessly fascinating. Some of the newer' words I find less interesting!ReplyDelete