#CleaningHouseNovel #RainbowSnippets Fifty-Four 7/7: Limits

Three weeks until the release. Three weeks… crap, three weeks? Wait, I have so much to do!

Welcome to this week’s installment of Rainbowsnippets*! This one is uniquely mine, but there are lots of other great snippets to read, so after you finish here click the FB link at the bottom of the post to discover other great LGBTQIA authors and their works.

I’m sharing again from Cleaning House. The novel is an Appalachian-set Contemporary/ Paranormal Fantasy where the past and the present are blended with a healthy dose of granny magic. The mountains are alive, and a little moonshine can cure what ails you.

The Setup:  Cent’s having an early-morning conversation with Betty, who she’s met during the last year and someone who’s become very important to her.

     “Shit for business last night.” Betty took a drag from her smoke. “I’ll do a lot, but there’re some things I won’t do for anyone.” She curled her crimson lips into a snarl. “I’m tryin’ to stay clean, you know?” Betty’s accent was everything Cent’s wasn’t— deep and New England. Her ending R sounds were more like an H, and her word choices…they’d all but needed dictionaries to understand each other when they’d met the year before.

Dialect is a particular love of mine. Do you appreciate it in writing, or do you think it drags writing down? IMO, a well-done dialect can enrich a story, but a poorly or overdone one drags a story down… fast. All things in moderation.

I’ll have a Meet the Characters blog post concerning Betty on Monday, 7/9, if you want to know more about her.

Here’s a link to my Meet the Characters blog series. It’s a multimedia approach on my part, a song, a collage, a description, and a quote… combined to introduce each character in Cleaning House. One post for each character. Right now, I’m on number Seven – Ivan Ruleman.

Ready to read more from Cleaning House? You can do so HERE and/or pre-order the ebook version HERE or at other online book retailers. There’s a link to the print version on the same page if you’d druther.

*RainbowSnippets is a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ authors, readers, and bloggers to share 6 sentences each week from a work of fiction—published or in-progress—or a book recommendation. Feel free to join in!


  1. Love the comment about needing dictionaries. It’s interesting how often it can be difficult for people who are technically speaking the same language, but with different dialects, to understand each other. ♡


    • When I attended summer residencies in Pennsylvania for my MFA, I was constantly made fun of for my Appalachian dialect. Level of education does not make such things go away. These days, I’m rather proud of it. It’s unique.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Too true. We might have to “retrain our ears” or otherwise get used to certain patterns, but in the end, it’s the same language. Accents/dialects add a rich diversity to the language and shouldn’t be something to make fun of.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Having grown up in the midwest, people say I have a dialect…I love other parts of the country’s twangs and lingos. I think it adds to the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Betty so much.

    Dialects are great. I like when an author can expertly sprinkle them in. I definitely agree about things feeling forced, too. I had to stop reading one series because the author was trying too hard to sound like teenager-speak to the point of it being unreadable. But I’ve read entire novels written in AAVE, and I haven’t struggled to read them. The difference might be in having the author actually be an expert on their own dialect vs. an author who is trying to imitate one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you know the dialect, it comes naturally, at least it does for me. I’ve had to look up a lot of older Appalachian slang but, to my surprise, it’s pretty much what we use now… even the Civil War slang, with some notable exceptions. And when you said Betty sounded like she was from Maine, it made me smile because she is, meaning I did something right.


    • Scottish and Irish dialect are both close kin to Appalachian dialect, so it doesn’t give me much trouble once I get into the groove, but it can’t be hard at times, especially Scott’s choice of lowland dialect. That said, I try to use my dialect judiciously and consistently so the reader learns to follow pretty quickly. My next novel in this series has Irish, Scottish, and Appalachian dialect, some of it from characters a good thousand years old, so it’s been hard to separate things at times. Rewrites. Rewrites. Tweaking.


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