Friday, December 24, 2010

All About Names

(c) 2010, Mona Leeson Vanek

Parents expecting a baby (or babies) don't have a corner on debating which name will be a perfect fit for the newcomer. Writers, likewise, chose carefully.

Names bear more thought an consideration than many writers realize. Exploring names and their meanings for your characters can be fascinating, as well as very enlightening., is fast, efficient and very useful for finding names, their origins and definitions, nicknames, etc.. Click a letter of the alphabet at the top to generate girl\boy lists alphabetically.

Click color button, pink or blue to get names by gender. Click name. The right side panel gives clickable options that return information about Name Page, Name Sakes, Similar and Drawbacks, each requiring only a mouse click to bring information lightening fast!

Behind The Name, the etymology and history of first names,, is a terrific resource that lets you check popularity, related names, name day, name ratings, etc., arranged by nationality, mythology, biblical, and many more options. You'll like the Alphabetical Navigator in a box at the left.

Kabalarian's site is an invaluable and fascinating site that concerns names, Kabalarians Philosophy, Although time ran out before I was able to download the alphabetical name list, by using the Search box near top right of page, typing in a name, and then checking What Does My Name Mean?, I gleaned some information. Kalabarian Philosophy Electronic Newsletter, The Newsline, contains a vast amount of information about names.

Find the top 100 names in any given year at Social Security Online, You can also search a name to discover the year(s) it was most popular.

After you've studied at these sites, you'll be much better equipped when naming your characters, and you'll probably visit repeatedly.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Free Google e-books

Google, who acquired the rights to all out-of-print books in a class action settlement a while back, has now entered the e-book publishing marketplace, Google e-bookstore,

Scroll about halfway down the home page to locate free books. Seven pages of e-book titles provide a wide selection of the classics you may have read in print years ago.

Since my books, Behind These Mountains, vol. 1, 2 and 3 are out-of-print Google also was awarded the right to digitize them and make them available to the public. Just as they were awarded the right to publish thousands of other out-of-print books in spite of the author's objections.

When I first heard about the class action lawsuit I took the opportunity to *opt in* not knowing how it would affect me. And I'm still unclear about many of the settlement's effects.

I don't know whether the details of the settlement also gave them permission to e-publish the books and offer them free to the public as they have with the classics advertised on their website now.

I've contacted in an attempt to find out.

The good news is, the e-books Google publishes can be read on just about any electronic device you own,

Since my books are regional history books about the sparsely populated area of the Cabinet Mountains where the Clark Fork River flows in northwestern Montana I'd be surprised if Google ever does digitize and make them available.

I'll post whatever information I locate so that other authors of out-of-print books can know what they might expect.