I was recently a showcase author at Mountain of Authors, an event put on by our local library district. Mountain of Authors was my very first writing event years ago, before I got involved with Pikes Peak Writers. It's a great event for unpublished writers, newly published authors, and indie authors. The event is held in one room, with some combination of panels and single speaker workshops, and goes from 12 to 5, with a keynote speaker at the end of the day.
Aside from educating writers, they provide opportunities for authors to sell their books and for writing groups of various types to give out information. All of this, and it's completely free! Just one more wonderful element of support in Colorado Springs for local authors.
It was good to get out and see members of the writing community, especially as we lost two local authors in the last month or so, a painful hit to a close-knit community. I met a lot of people, many of whom stopped by to chat, and I hope I helped a couple burgeoning writers who had questions about submitting short stories and that sort of thing. Selling some books was a wonderful bonus!
As an amusing aside, I had to put Chucky away, because people kept asking if it meant I wrote horror for children. No, I absolutely do not! I know better than to take him with me to events now, at least. He'll stay in my office where he belongs.
Okay, words, words, words. If you missed the previous posts on this topic, they were Already vs. All Ready
and Alright vs. All Right
On to today's words. What's correct, awhile or a while?
This one's tricky, because they are both correct descriptions of a passage of time. However, their usage varies a bit. This is one I really have to think through when using the words.
Technically speaking, awhile is used as an adverb and a while is used as a noun. But technical speaking doesn't help me in this case, because I haven't diagrammed sentences since eighth grade.
There are other technicalities we'll get to, but the way I find it easiest to suss out the difference is to place the "what word could you replace it with" game.
When "a" and "while" are separated, while is a noun, so the sentence is using while as a noun. If that's so, you could then keep the "a" and replace "while" with a word like bit, hour, week, year, spell. In other words, another passage of time.
I want to sit down for a while.
I want to sit down for a bit. (abit isn't a word)
I haven't seen him in a while.
I haven't seen him in an hour. (anhour isn't a word)
Another way to look at is if you can qualify it as a three-word phrase, like for
a while, in
a while, after
a while (crocodile), it should be two words, not one. As in, it is part of a prepositional phrase, a preposition being for, in, after, etc.
When awhile is one word, there should be a different noun in the sentence already and it should not be part of a prepositional phrase. It would be replaceable by another adverb, not a noun. Adverbs are words like quickly, quietly, patiently or anywhere, there (adverbs of place) or always, sometimes (frequency adverbs), etc.
He watched awhile.
He watched silently.
I want to dance awhile.
I want to dance sometimes.
Note that you can change a sentence slightly and have to change the word. Let's switch up example sentences:
He watched for a while.
He watched awhile.
Notice that when a while is used, there is a third word directly involved in the phrase: for. When awhile is used, it follows a verb: watched.
Clear as mud?
Before I jump into this week's links, I wanted to let you know about C. Lee McKenzie's new book!
SOME VERY MESSY MEDIEVAL MAGIC
Pete’s stuck in medieval England!
Pete and his friend Weasel thought they’d closed the Time
Lock. But a young page from medieval times, Peter of Bramwell, goes missing.
His absence during a critical moment will forever alter history unless he’s
There’s only one solution - fledgling wizard Pete must take
the page’s place. Accompanied by Weasel and Fanon, Pete’s alligator familiar,
they travel to 1173 England.
But what if the page remains lost - will Pete know what to
do when the critical moment arrives? Toss in a grumpy Fanon, the duke’s curious
niece, a talking horse, and the Circle of Stones and Pete realizes he’s in over
his young wizard head yet again...
Release date – May 15, 2018
Juvenile Fiction - Fantasy & Magic/Boys & Men
$13.95 Print ISBN 9781939844460
$3.99 EBook ISBN 9781939844477
C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and
Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing
for young readers. When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing
yoga or asking a lot questions about things she still doesn’t understand. http://cleemckenziebooks.com
Time for links. Bear in mind I'm not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.
is seeking prose, poems, graphic art, photos, and postcard stories. All genres and forms of art/literature welcome. Up to 3500 words. Pays a small honorarium.
is seeking fantasy and science fiction flash fiction. Up to 1000 words. Pays $50.
is seeking short stories and poetry that introduce a new world. Submissions of any length. Pays $10.
Factor Four Magazine
is seeking flash fiction and art. Up to 1500 words. Pays $.08/word.
is seeking mystery short stories. 2500 to 7500 words. Pays $.01/word.
Do you have trouble with awhile vs. a while or do you find it simple? If you have trouble, did this make it any clearer? Any of these links of interest? Anything to share?
May you find your Muse.
*Image Alligator Clip Art, OCAL, clker.com