He said. She said. Workshop Wednesday

Perhaps you guessed from the title that today, we will discuss different words that can be used to substitute for said. In many instances, said can be, and often is, the right word for the job. What happens when you need your character to not be as active, but to present their story in a more passive manner. This is when you will need to find other words to use in place of said.

Try this for size. “You are a dolt,” she said. Blah. Now, this for comparison, “You are a dolt,” she exclaimed. or better still, “You are a dolt,” she screamed. We now know that she, whomever she may be is angry at someone. Just the subtle difference in one word in your sentence can convey a whole new meaning.

Here are some words you may be able to substitute for said when the need arises.
Acknowledged, shouted, complained, admonished, demanded, moaned, mumbled.

What words can or do you use for said?

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Bone Deep by Bonnie Dee/Tuesday’s Child by Dale Mayer

First up for today’s review is:
Bone Deep by Bonnie Dee

It is 1945. Sarah is a war widow who ends up at a carnival. She goes with friends into the “freak Show” tent where she sees the tattooed man along with others. Something about the man with tattoos stays with her. Next morning, she finds him in her barn.

This story deals with prejudice in many forms. Also, abuse. Sarah sees beyond the tattoos to the human inside. Can she help her town see it before it is too late for Tom, the tattoo man?

This is a great read, and worth picking up. I got it while it was free.

4 1/2 stars from me.

Next up is Tuesday’s Child by Dale Mayer

What a story. A woman who doesn’t just see the murders, she lives them with the victims. This sorry grabbed my attention and never let go. This was the second book by Ms. Mayer I read, but will not be the last. If you like romance with your paranormal, this is the author for you to read, and a series worth reading.

4 3/4 stars.

My newest addiction

I have a new addiction. Well, maybe an old one restarted with a new version. Specifically I’m speaking about Civilization 5.

The Civ games have been around for a long time, about twenty five years now. I’ve been plating since Civ II. That one was lots of fun. Three wasn’t quite as enjoyable as I recall, but I still played it. Four was something I played every day.

And now Five is out. I think it may be my favorite of all, so far although it’s a little early to tell. There’s been a fair number of changes from Four.

The first, most noticeable change is that the map is now laid out in hexes rather than squares. This means that units move the same distance no matter how they move. There’s no diagonal moves which means a unit moves farther than when moving in a straight line.

The second most noticeable change is that you are limited to one unit per hex. In the previous games it was not uncommon to see a Stack of Doom, where a player stacked a gigantic number of units and just blew through their opponent. That doesn’t happen now and so more attention must be payed to tactics. There are units that can fire over other units such as archers and cannons which requires that you have depth to your battle lines. This is something I’m really enjoying. Your armed forces no longer have to be gigantic, just properly placed, and you have to have reserves.

In Civ 4 each civilization had a unique unit, one that had abilities other units didn’t have. For example the French had musketeers which had a movement of two rather than the one of musketmen which was what ever other civilization used. Now every civilization has two unique items which may be units (the Greeks have hoplites and companion cavalry) or a unit and a building (the Indians have war elephants and Mughal forts). It adds flavor to the game.

Another change is that some resources are limited in availability. Before, once you mined, say iron, you had enough for any purpose. Now you use up iron with the units you build. This means you have to think carefully about what you build. “Do I use an aluminum to build a hydro plant here? Or do I use it to build a rocket artillery? I can’t do both.” This adds depth to your strategic decisions, and forces you to improvise if you don’t get a lot of a strategic resource, which happens too often.

Another new thing is city-states. These are one city states that never expand. You can negotiate with them. If they become allies they will provide you with any resources they have access to, and you can move your units across their land. They may also provide you with food, culture, military units or even Great People under certain circumstances.

So I’ve been playing Civ 5 every day for a month now, and I am loving it. The designers have simplified the game where, in my opinion, it needed it. And they’ve made it deeper without making it more complex. Civ 5 is a lot of fun,

So if you like strategy games with a huge scope, get Civ 5. You won’t be disappointed.

Some features on hiatus during my illness

Friday Friends, Squb Saturday are on hiatus until further notice. I do not have the energy or stamina to do these plus the Wednesday Workshops and Two for Tuesday Reviews. I am trying to keep the features that I feel most readers will benefit from.

I hope to get the blog back up to muster by December 1st and maybe have some good and necessary changes by then also.

The Color of Description: Workshop Wednesday

Her black hair shone bright in the yellow sunlight of the day. I know, boring. Now try this. Her sleek raven hair shimmered in the pale, lemony yellow sunlight. What is the difference beyond using different words? It is the fact of giving the reader more by describing the shade of the color. Rather than a simple phrase about her black hair, we now know it is the color of black found on a raven. The sunlight is no longer simply yellow but now we are aware that it is likely an early morning sun, diffused by the morning dew, giving it a softer, yellow than if it were the noon-day sun.

Try this little exercise; write down the basic colors. Black, red, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, orange, and perhaps pink. Now, describe these colors to a blind person who has never seen color. How will you evoke an understanding in that person as to what the color black is? Not an easy assignment, I am aware, as I have already done this years ago.

You will discover that unlike with a person who has seen and knows colors, you cannot reference another color to describe, say, orange. You must reach deeper into your ability to describe to bring forth an appropriate response of understanding. Difficult but not impossible. 20120913-135033.jpg

To help you get started with an easier task, I will give you some other words to help describe some basic colors,

Blue: lapis lazuli, sapphire, cobalt, chalcedony
Black: obsidian, coal, raven, onyx, jet black
Green: lime, pine, olive, emerald, jade, khaki
Purple: eggplant, amethyst, violet
White: egg white, antique white, ivory, cream
Red: crimson, ruby, wine, scarlet, burgundy
Orange: tangerine, peach, melon, pumpkin, carrot
Pink: petal pink, magenta, carnation, flamingo pink
Yellow: lemon, gold, Chinese yellow, goldenrod, khaki

Now, go forth and find many more shades of each of these colors and use them to help you in your descriptions of hair, eyes, clothing and much more.

The Scarred Soul by Tracy Alderman/Beginning to Heal by Ellen Bass Two for Tuesday

The Scarred Soul by Tracy Alderman is one of those rare self-help books which really does help. As a self-injured who is going on nearly twelve years without an active SI episode, I know that this book can be a life preserver.

Do you cut or burn or engage in otherwise harmful ways to yourself? Do you know why you do this? These are some of the things which Ms. Alderman encourages each reader to discover for themselves.

There are different exercises you can do, ways to help yourself in modifying your cutting behavior. I know it works as I was once you. Sometimes, when being completely honest with myself, I could be there again. It is, in my opinion, a possible addiction not unlike smoking and alcoholism. Is one ever “cured?” I don’t know. I don’t think even Ms. Alderman would know, but she does know what she’s talking about when she explains some of the reasons one way decide to engage in self-harm.

Beginning to Heal by Ellen Bass

About twenty years ago, a dear friend asked for more information regarding child sexual abuse. I had the larger book, The Courage to Heal but realized it would be too overwhelming. Beginning to heal gave my friend the basics of what she needed to know, and it gave her some information that let her know that the things she had been doing to try to help me such as believing me, listening, supporting me, were all the right things to do.

The section for family & friends who are supporters helped her to see that taking time for herself, her family, would not jeopardize our friendship, nor my recovery.

I highly recommend this book to anyone recovering from child sexual abuse, or those who are supporting survivors of the same.