"Roundheads and Ramblings"
Welcome to Katzenhaus Books, where we tell - the stories behind the history.
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Delivered by FeedBurner


Recent Posts

A Day for a Double Celebration
Ring of Fire
What has Saturday's Meteor Shower to Do with Henrietta Ainesworth?
Harbingers of Things To Come
Yankee Daughters -- Recipes

Categories

A new contest
Abolition
absurdity
academic myopia
Almost Free
Amazon
ancestors
Announcement
apocalypse
Applications and software
Appomattox
Arnulf of Lisieux
art of speaking
attracting readers
audience
audio books
Author Central
Author Gifts
author's Plea
awards
baseball
basketball
Battle of Port Royal
Battles
biographical
blind artists
blockade
blog chain
Book Club Guides
Book Design
Book Launch
book stores
book trailer
bookstores
Boxed Set
bright ideas
Building a platform
business
Business plan
Busy-ness
butterflies
Career choices
cats
celebrations
cemetery research
Census
challenges
characterization
Characters
Charleston
children
children's books
choosing a publisher
Choosing a Title
Christmas Past
Civil War
commercials
Computer Hacks
Confederates
Conferences
Connections
constitutional amendments
construction
Contract labor
cotton
Countdown Sale
Countdown to Launch
Cover Designs
Cover images
cutting and pasting
Cyber Monday
daily drama
daily events
Dead Mules
depression
diversions
dogs
Do-Overs
DRM
earthquake
e-book pricing
e-books
editing
elevator speech
elmore leonard
Elves and Holidays
Emancipation
England
English class
evidence
Excerpt
exclusivity
Exercise
Expertise
Facebook
fact and fiction
failures
fame and fortune
family affairs
Favorites
Fear of Failure
Fish
flood waters
flowers
food delights
Formatting
Fort Pulaski
free chapter
Free Days
freebies
Friendship
Frogmore
garden
gardens
genealogy
Getting organized
ghost stories
Giveaway
Goals
good business
good news
grammar cops
gratitude
gray horses
gripes
grocery shopping
guest blogs
Gullah
handicaps
Harriet Tubman
Hiatus
Historical background
Historical Fiction
historical puzzlers
historical thinking
history lessons
Holidays
home office
hope and kindness
horse races
horses
hurricanes
identifying your audience
illustrations
imagination
indie authors
Inspiration
inspirations
internet
internet history
intruders
ISBN
Kalamazoo
karma
Kindle
Kindle links
Kindle rankings
Kindle Serials
kings
Klout
Ku Klux Klan
Lack of co-ordination
landmarks
language
Laughs
launch dates
Laura Towne
Layouts
legal matters
lending library
Lessons learned
lessons unlearned
libraries
literary genres
local news
love story
making choices
Marketing
Matchbooks
medicine
medieval-isms
Meet the Characters
Memorial Day
memories
Milestones
military matters
mind-mapping
Misfis
Monthly Musings
name recognition
NaNoWriMo
Nellie Chase
New Blog
New Book
New England
New Research
New Year
newsletters
nonfiction
non-profits
nostalgia
Nurses
oddities
odds and ends
olympics
omens
opening lines
outrage
Papacy
parties
Penn Center
photographs
picture book
Pinterest
Pinterest and copyrights
Pirates
planning ahead
plot
point of view
polite society
politics
portraits
powerful women
Predictions
pre-orders
press release
previews
pricing
Principles
procrastination
productivity
Profiles
Progress Report
Promotions
proofs
pros and cons
publishing
publishing companies
publishing ploys
publishing rights
pure sentimentality
puzzlements
quiz
rain
random thoughts
RBOC
read an ebook
readership
recipes
Reconstruction
Relaxation
research
Resolutions
reviews
road trip
rough draft
Roundhead Reports
royalties
rules
SALE
Sales
scams
schedules
Scoop It
ScoopIt
seasons
Secessionville
second edition
Second Mouse
self-publishing
settings
Shiloh
Short Stories
Silliness
slander
Slavery
small world
Smile of the Day
snow, living in the south
social media
software
software disasters
South Carolina
Speechless!
sports
Spring
story arc
Substitutes
Success
summer
Synopsis
Taking a Break
Taxes
Thank You
the difficulties of blogging
The Gideonites
Theme
Tongue-in-cheek
Traditions
trailer
Travelog
trilogies
trolls
Tweet
Twitter
Upcoming Events
using commas
Vacation
vacation photos
Valentine
video
Visitor
vocabulary
Volunteering
voting
warnings
weather
weather trauma
website
word counts
Word-of-Mouth
Words
Words of Warning
Writer Beware!
Writer's Block
Writing Advice
Writing as Career
writing process

Archives

August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010

powered by

"Roundheads and Ramblings"

October 2012

Holidays, Birthdays, and Milestones

Happy Halloween, everyone.  This is a particularly exciting day for me, and not just because it's time for tricks and treats.  It also happens to be the sixth birthday of my "Cat from Hell," Dundee McDonald Schriber.  Would you believe that he just received a birthday card from his vet?

For that, they deserve a little free advertising, even if he does look a bit wild-eyed in his yearly photograph!

In even better news than the fact that we've let Dundee live for another whole year, it appears that this is the last day for me to promise that "The Road to Frogmore"  will be coming soon. After three long years, starting with National Novel-Writing Month 2009, the book is finished, edited, polished, illustrated, proof-read, designed, and checked one last time.  I'll be pushing the "Publish My Book!" button sometime tomorrow afternoon, and it will be available immediately on Amazon. In the meantime, here's a taste of what is to come:

You need Flash Player in order to view this.
Carolyn P. Schriber's The Road to Frogmore ~ Book Trailer
Book trailer for 'The Road to Frogmore' by Carolyn P. SchriberWhat Could Possibly Go Wrong?Laura Towne and her lifelong friend, Ellen Murray, joined the Port Royal Experiment in 1862 to test t...

"The Fox and the Crow" -- Another Example of Gullah Language


A fable is an enduring lesson in human behavior -- one that resonates with people in all cultures.  And as such, a fable is a useful device in explaining the differences in cognate languages.  The story of "The Fox and the Crow" is a good example.

You'll probably remember the story.  A female crow has found a tasty piece of meat.  She is sitting out of reach of a hungry fox, who decides to trick her into dropping the meat.  He tries several methods, but she ignores his efforts.  Then he praises her singing voice and she opens her beak to give him her best example of a raucous caw. Mission accomplished, along with a valuable lesson about succumbing to flattery.

The following excerpts, taken from Joseph A. Opala's website, "The Gullah: Rice, Slavery, and the Sierra Leone-American Connection," illustrate the evolution of the Gullah language. At first glance, Gullah seems to be nothing more than broken English -- the result of slaves trying to speak the language of their masters.  But a closer examination shows that Gullah has changed, not only the pronunciation, but also the grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure, of the original.  And the changes reflect the slaves' original African language.

First, look at the English version.  It's not quite Aesop's Fables, but rather the English language as it was spoken by the slave owners of the Low Country.

Then, Fox started to talk. He said to himself, he said, "This here Crow is a woman, not so? If I can persuade her to talk, she has to open her mouth, not so? And if she opens her mouth, isn't it true the meat will drop out?"

Fox called to the Crow: "Morning girl," he said. "I am so glad you stole that meat from the white man, because he would have thrown it away to the dog... It makes me vexed to see a man do such a thing as that."

Crow never cracked open her teeth! All the time Fox was talking, Crow's mouth was shut tight on the meat, and her ears were cocked to listen.

Now here's the Gullah version. An English speaker can understand it, especially if it is read out loud.

Den, Fox staat fuh talk. E say to eself, a say, "Dish yuh Crow duh ooman, enty? Ef a kin suade um fuh talk, him haffuh op'n e mout, enty? En ef e op'n e mout, enty de meat fuh drop out?"

Fox call to de Crow: "Mawnin tittuh, " e say. "Uh so glad you tief da meat fum de buckruh, cause him bin fuh trow-um-way pan de dog... E mek me bex fuh see man do shishuh ting lukkuh dat."

Crow nebbuh crack a teet! All-time Fox duh talk, Crow mout shet tight pan de meat, en a yez cock fuh lissin.

Where did all those changes come from? There are words here that don't look like English at all -- enty, tittuh, yez. And the prepositions are all wrong. Let's look at the same passage in the Sierra-Leone Krio language:

Den, Fohx stat foh tohk. I sey to insef, i sey, "Dis Kro ya na uman, enti? If a kin pasweyd am foh tohk; i get foh opin in moht, enti? En if i opin in moht, enti di mit go fohdohm?"

Fohx kohl di Kro: "Mohnin titi, " i sey. A so gladi you tif da mit frohm di weytman, bikohs i bin foh trowey am to di dohg... I meyk a vex foh si man du tin leke dat."

Kro nohba opin in tit! Ohl di tem Fohx dey tohlx, Kro moht set tait pan di mit, en in yeys kak foh lisin.

There are the same words -- borrowed from Krio, inserted into English, and transformed into the full, and grammatically complete, new language of Gullah.  It is a stunning transformation.

You Know More of the Gullah Language than You Realize

This is a crucial week.  Sometime in the next few days, my new book, "The Road to Frogmore: Turning Slaves into Citizens" will make its first appearance on Amazon.  A unique feature of the book is a narrative thread, spoken by a Gullah woman, that runs through the entire book. Because of this feature, I'm going to re-run several articles I published about the Gullah language. I hope it will get your eyes and ears attuned to this beautiful and musical language.

The Gullah language became part of the vernacular almost one hundred years ago, when Joel Chandler Harris wrote his Uncle Remus stories.  His characters spoke the Gullah language, although most readers thought he was just mimicking the way black people talked.

Those stories have become so well-known, thanks in part to Walt Disney, that, even today, few people today realize that the language used is very specific and unique, a language shared by the black population along the coast of Georgia and South Carolina.  Gullah contains enough English-based vocabulary for English-speakers to understand it, but its syntax, sentence structure, and much of its root-vocabulary come straight from Sierra Leone. 

The stories Chandler wrote also owe much to African legends, where the character of the "Trickster" was a popular figure. In the next posts, we'll compare Gullah to its African origins, But for now, here is the "Trickster" disguised as Brer Fox in the familiar story of "Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby."



THE WONDERFUL TAR BABY STORY

Joel Chandler Harris

"Didn't the fox never catch the rabbit, Uncle Remus?" asked the little boy the next evening.

"He come mighty nigh it, honey, sho's you born--Brer Fox did. One day atter Brer Rabbit fool 'im wid dat calamus root, Brer Fox went ter wuk en got 'im some tar, en mix it wid some turkentime, en fix up a contrapshun w'at he call a Tar-Baby, en he tuck dish yer Tar-Baby en he sot 'er in de big road, en den he lay off in de bushes fer to see what de news wuz gwine ter be. En he didn't hatter wait long, nudder, kaze bimeby here come Brer Rabbit pacin' down de road--lippity-clippity, clippity -lippity--dez ez sassy ez a jay-bird.

Brer Fox, he lay low. Brer Rabbit come prancin' 'long twel he spy de Tar-Baby, en den he fotch up on his behime legs like he wuz 'stonished. De Tar Baby, she sot dar, she did, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"`Mawnin'!' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee - `nice wedder dis mawnin',' sezee.

"Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nuthin', en Brer Fox he lay low.

"`How duz yo' sym'tums seem ter segashuate?' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

"Brer Fox, he wink his eye slow, en lay low, en de Tar-Baby, she ain't sayin' nuthin'.

"'How you come on, den? Is you deaf?' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 'Kaze if you is, I kin holler louder,' sezee.
"Tar-Baby stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"'You er stuck up, dat's w'at you is,' says Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'en I;m gwine ter kyore you, dat's w'at I'm a gwine ter do,' sezee.

"Brer Fox, he sorter chuckle in his stummick, he did, but Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nothin'.

"'I'm gwine ter larn you how ter talk ter 'spectubble folks ef hit's de las' ack,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 'Ef you don't take off dat hat en tell me howdy, I'm gwine ter bus' you wide open,' sezee.

"Tar-Baby stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"Brer Rabbit keep on axin' 'im, en de Tar-Baby, she keep on sayin' nothin', twel present'y Brer Rabbit draw back wid his fis', he did, en blip he tuck 'er side er de head. Right dar's whar he broke his merlasses jug. His fis' stuck, en he can't pull loose. De tar hilt 'im. But Tar-Baby, she stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"`Ef you don't lemme loose, I'll knock you agin,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, en wid dat he fotch 'er a wipe wid de udder han', en dat stuck. Tar-Baby, she ain'y sayin' nuthin', en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"`Tu'n me loose, fo' I kick de natal stuffin' outen you,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, but de Tar-Baby, she ain't sayin' nuthin'. She des hilt on, en de Brer Rabbit lose de use er his feet in de same way. Brer Fox, he lay low. Den Brer Rabbit squall out dat ef de Tar-Baby don't tu'n 'im loose he butt 'er cranksided. En den he butted, en his head got stuck. Den Brer Fox, he sa'ntered fort', lookin' dez ez innercent ez wunner yo' mammy's mockin'-birds.

"`Howdy, Brer Rabbit,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. `You look sorter stuck up dis mawnin',' sezee, en den he rolled on de groun', en laft en laft twel he couldn't laff no mo'. `I speck you'll take dinner wid me dis time, Brer Rabbit. I done laid in some calamus root, en I ain't gwineter take no skuse,' sez Brer Fox, sezee."

Here Uncle Remus paused, and drew a two-pound yam out of the ashes.

"Did the fox eat the rabbit?" asked the little boy to whom the story had been told.

"Dat's all de fur de tale goes," replied the old man. "He mout, an den agin he moutent. Some say Judge B'ar come 'long en loosed 'im - some say he didn't. I hear Miss Sally callin'. You better run 'long."

Whistling into the Wind

In recognition of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, "Civil War-Era Memories" features excerpts from The Memphis Daily Appeal of 150 years ago. The Appeal is publishing from Grenada, Miss.

Oct. 23, 1862
Skirmishing at Germantown. Special to the Memphis Appeal. A body of Yankee infantry, numbering two hundred, attacked a squad of forty Confederate cavalry at Germantown yesterday. After a short engagement our cavalry retired. Loss trifling. RAMROD ("Ramrod" was a correspondent for the newspaper.)

BEAUREGARD CORRESPONDENCE. Correspondence between Gen. Beauregard and Adjt.-Gen. Cooper ... Now for the operation in Western Tennessee. ... I would concentrate rapidly at Grand Junction ... From there I would make a forced march to Fort Pillow, which I would take with probably only a small loss. It is evident the forces at Memphis and Yazoo River would then have their line of communication by the river with the North cut off, and they would have either to surrender or cross without resources into Arkansas, where Gen. Holmes would take good care of them. Your obedient servant, G. T. BEAUREGARD, General C.S.A.

Oct. 24, 1862
FIFTEEN DAYS GRACE. The Memphis Bulletin of the 22nd announces that General Sherman has postponed the execution of his outrageous retaliatory policy of sending out 10 defenseless families from the city for every boat fired upon on the river. The fact is heralded by the Bulletin as an act of gracious mercy and is loud in its praise of the Federal master.

Oct. 25, 1862
The President and his Body Guard. (New York Express) For some reason, Mr. Lincoln has allowed himself to be persuaded that his life would be endangered, if he rode about "all unarmed and alone" ... It certainly is a regrettable precedent for a chief magistrate of this republic to establish, in imitation of the despots of Europe, who have well founded cause to expect attempts to assassinate them, while the President of the United States cannot ... entertain any such reasons.

DEATH OF MEMPHIANS. A gentleman from the Perryville (Ky.) battlefield reports … the death of two well known citizens of Memphis — Messrs. F. M. Gailor and W. A. Seay. The former was for a long time previous to his connection with the army associated with the city press, and resigned the position of local editor of the Avalanche when the connection was severed.

Oct. 28, 1862
General Forrest announces to the people and his troops ... that his pickets are in the face of the enemy, who are completely blockaded in their fortifications. He says he is sent to Middle Tennessee to restore to the State its capital, and promises to do so.

Kindle Tips Summary

Things have been really crazy around here for the last few days, and they are about to get worse.  I'm closing in on the release of my newest book, "The Road to Frogmore," with all that implies: piles of promotional materials, a dedicated website to polish, a newsletter for previous customers, an internet campaign.  You name it and you'll find it on my to-do list.

As part of my attempt to clear the deck, here's a final summary of what I hope you'll remember about how to work WITH Amazon to achieve what you both want -- more book sales.