Thursday, May 26, 2011

Z is for...

We've reached the end of the alphabet. You might wonder how a writer would handle the letter 'Z' in relation to any aspect of writing. Well, author Judith Leger has no problem giving us something to think about as she shares her insight into Z's place in the alphabet and the importance of zest in writing.
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Hi Linda, thanks so much for letting me guest with the letter Z. Did you know that Z is not really a letter? Yeah, I know. How is it possible for someone to say, out with the Z, and completely remove it from the alphabet? The slanted letter was so rarely used that Roman Censor Appius Claudius Caecus got rid of it. Why have it if it's not used, right? Fits perfect with the old saying, use it or lose it. Well, something like that. A couple of hundreds years later, the letter Z was put into the latin alphabet and voila, we had our Z back. I mean, seriously, you can't have Greek words without using the letter Z. Which is a great thing cause what we would do without the word zest?

I love this word. Why? Well, because of the its meaning, of course. Zest is a keen relish, a hearty enjoyment, and great gusto. It's also a wonderful flavor or scent placed on something to enhance enjoyment. Did I hear the word soap? Let me make myself clear. I'm not just talking about your Momma's soap. Every day I look for zest in life, in love, and definitely in my writing. I try to put a little zest into the words and scenes in my books. I'm not talking about zany, crazy antics from the hero/heroine. No, I shoot for the stars. I want there to be a spark of magic in my characters to where the reader can feel it.

So for me, Z is a very special letter and one I hope no one takes away too soon. Whatever would we do without zebras, zodiacs, zippers, zeroes...well, you get the picture.
Judith Leger

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Judith Leger lives in SW Louisiana (yes, hurricane alley) with her family. Her first publication came when Chicken Soup for the Soul published her personal essay, A Heart of Compassion. Since then, she has had several other short stories and novels published. This year, her fantasy YA, Wraith's Forest under her other pen name LJ Leger, was released. Another brand new release is her fantasy romance novel, Dragon Wish, from Wild Child Publishing. She loves creating new characters and worlds for readers to visit over and over again.

When she’s not writing, she’s reading, watching anime or enjoying the country atmosphere of her home. She sits on her back patio and looks out over the pastures to where her Appaloosa mare is grazing. Her little dachshund is stretched out at her feet. With four men in the house, Judith needs all the female company she can come across, even the four-legged kind. Be sure and stop by her site to check out her other books.
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Judith Leger said...

Hi Linda! Thanks again for allowing me to guest on your blog. It was an honor!

Fiona McGier said...

Sounds like a beautiful view from your porch. True inspiration for writing!
In baking, the "zest" is the pungent, extra tasty part of the peel from citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, that gives an intense burst of flavor to the food. Extending your analogy, the "zest" is what gives books their tasty texture that keeps you coming back for more!

And thanks, Linda, this whole alphabet thing was really fun!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Very good use of the letter 'z' - we all need some zest in our lives and writing!

Infogypsy said...

Thanks for sharing - and your inventive use of 'Z' in your post.

Judith Leger said...

Hi Fiona, Rosemary, and Lynn.
Ohhh, I'd forgotten about the citrus peel. Face palm. I watch Food network a lot too. You're absolutely right about the zest in books, Fiona.

Yes, we certainly do, Rosemary.

Glad you stopped by, Lynn!

Unknown said...

Judith--I had to stop by to find out which word you used for Z. Well, you found the perfect one. I enjoyed your explanation of the letter--something I certainly never knew.
Good luck and best wishes for lots of sales on your books--Celia

Palmaltas said...

This reminds me of my first visit to England many years ago. When it was time for me to leave, my host's teenage daughter helped me book my airline ticket home. I was asked to spell my last name: Hernández (zee). Everyone in the office gave me a very puzzled look. Finally, my teenage companion said, "It's zed." I said, "What is?" She said, "The last letter in your name." I was dumbfounded, to say the least. And when did English "zed" become American "zee"?

Ren said...

Zee or Zed is a wonderful way to end the alphabet. Can you imagine getting to X then saying Y? Mass confusion LOL

Great post, Judith. I can't wait to read Dragon's Wish xxx

Judith Leger said...

Hi Celia and thank you!

Palmaltas, What a lovely name. I didn't know that either about the Zed. Thanks for sharing.

Hi Ren! Thanks for stopping by.

Linda Rettstatt said...

Thanks so much, Judith, for a fun and informative post. I was fretting over what to do with 'Z' until you stepped forward. Thought I'd have to resort to French and talk about Zee Art of Zee Novel :)

ME! said...

LOL - good blog, Judith! Hmmm...I always think the letter Z is quite artistic, you can write it with a flourish!