My occasional newsletter will be full of snippets:News about new books and stories, information on free downloads from my web site, announcements of contests and profiles of the winners. Each month I feature an author so you can find more great books, and I publish a 'postcard' short story. You could send me a tip or a short article and see your name in the next issue.
Click on www.patriciacrossley.com/newsletter.htm to see a sample letter.
Newsletter Dated: 1/10/2004 6:38:24 AM
Subject: Greetings for 2004 (Part1) from authore Patricia Crossley
Newsletter, January, 2004
Patricia’s Occasional Newsletter (distributed only by request) from author Patricia Crossley, www.patriciacrossley.com. Please stop by for a visit, read some of my excerpts and reviews & pick up some free downloads. email email@example.com,
I also write as Margrett Dawson: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in subscribing, either through a monthly contest or through www.authorsden.com. To unsubscribe, please email me: email@example.com
First of all, allow me to wish A Very Happy New Year to everyone. December brought me (under my pen name of Margrett Dawson) good news from Ellora's Cave. The sequel to Secret Services is entitled "Bella Donna" and is the story of Lady Emma Houndsdale who made an appearance in the first book. "Bella Donna" will be released in the latter half of 2004. Here is the blurb: Lady Emma Houndsdale has sworn off men, casual sex and a free-wheeling lifestyle in 1930's England. But when her cruise ship sinks off the coast of Mussolini's Italy and she is mistaken for her dead maid, she finds herself the prisoner of a dashing and dangerous rogue with secrets all his own. Marco Antonioni whisks her from her life of sheltered privilege into a world of risk, lust, and betrayal, where every move is a test of loyalty. He opens her eyes to sensuous delights and forces her to reevaluate all she has known about men and life. Together they dance through passion and danger in a land rife with volatile politics.
I will give you more as the release date approaches.
The other piece of good news is that I hope to start my contests again very shortly. Thank you for being so patient. Maybe the first one will offer a copy of A Suitable Father. (See part two of this newsletter)
The end of the year was a time for reflection, and I gave some thought to what we have learned since arriving in Africa last September. One of the subtle, but important, changes has been in language. I am a linguist by training and am always fascinated by language conventions and evolution.
English in Africa is changing and evolving and taking on a whole flavor of its own which has nothing to do with accent and intonation. Taken with social conventions, it presents a unique and vibrant system of interaction.
Let me give you some examples. At the end of a sentence Canadians often say "eh?" and Americans might say something like "right?"or "doncha know?" to check for understanding. Often we'll invert a verb. "We always expect rain at this time of year, don't we?"
Kenyans say "isn't it?" As in: "We always expect rain at this time of year, isn't it?" "I've told you many times about my brother, isn't it?"
I even recently stopped myself from tagging on "isn't it?" to the end of a sentence.
I have learned never to ask a negative question. It's too confusing. Question: "Don't you have any money?" Answer: "Yes." (Meaning: "Yes, you are right, I don't have any money."
Kenyan men walk in the street hand in hand, but even such low key displays of affection are not approved between men and women. A man will refer to another man as 'my friend' but not to a woman. The closest we can get is 'my colleague' if a man and a woman work together.
Other cultural norms: Only small boys wear shorts, so visiting tourists in short pants appear childish. The crotch area and upper legs should always be shrouded. This has led to some problems with the growing popularity of jeans amongst younger people. Over zealous males have been known to rip the pants from women in public. Fortunately if apprehended, they are charged with assault.
One shakes hands with everyone one meets. If you enter an office area, you give your hand to all the others waiting their turn. Greetings are important and not to be hurried over, even to bank tellers and waiters. When shaking hands a person will often place his left hand on his extended right arm. The height of the left hand will denote the amount of respect accorded to the other person. On the wrist means we are almost equals. Above the elbow signifies a great deal of respect.
Strangely, farewells are not nearly as formal and elaborate as greetings. Often people will finish the chat and with a casual: "Nice time" just walk away.
I have not yet grown accustomed to being called 'mzungu' (white person) as a form of address. It bothers me, and is something I still need to get used to. No offence is meant, but it is so much against our own social conventions to call someone by their racial origin, that I'm not sure it will ever flow over me unnoticed.
Thank you to those who have let me know that they enjoy these snippets from our life in Western Kenya. In my newsletter this month I have some authors to introduce to you, some contest news and an excerpts from my upcoming release. I am going to divide this newsletter into two parts again.