About Constance Hale

Berry good nouns

The best writers I know have habits to make sure their words are as powerful as possible. It may seem old-fashioned, or just tedious, to work with a dictionary and a thesaurus at your side, but this is part of the practice of writing. Take a common noun like fruit, which many of us might use in a first draft. We can do better than that, right?

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List of berry good berries

According to dictionary.com, the berry family is not a botanical category but rather a linguistic invention particular to Germanic languages like English. We’ve got berries coming out of our ears in English. Here’s a running list, for those who love synonym challenges.

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Freelancing 101

How to survive—and thrive—as a freelancer. Constance Hale shares the unvarnished truth about how to reach your dreams. If you are pondering a leap into freelancing or seeking ways to revamp your writing business, she offers a number of concrete tips.

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The elasticity of English

Being bilingual is a cornerstone of my writing life. My multi-culti take on vocabulary and grammar has given me insight into Hawaiian culture, guided my perspectives on syntax, and shaped my ideas of adventurous prose. And being bilingual has developed my ear for language and given me a true appreciation not just for vocabulary, but also for the sound of words and the rhythm of sentences.

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New stories from the Grotto

OK, you may think a grotto is “a small picturesque cave,” possibly near the sea or a lake, and probably sprouting ferns or fountains. Maybe you’ve seen a grotto in a fancy garden, like the Grotta Azzurra at Capri or Le Nôtre’s at Versailles, and associate it with Old World intrigue or even religious shrines.

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Refusing debased words and alternative facts

Like many citizens, I’m finding it impossible to ignore reports about the new U.S. administration and its “disruptions.” I try to stay nonpartisan here (and in my books), since I prefer to poke fun at all ridiculous political speech, and to applaud any brilliant syntax.

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Moana and more

I have been tuned into all things Hawai‘i this year, what with the release of my new books, both featuring Hawaiian subjects. So when I read that Disney’s Moana earned a spot behind Frozen as the second highest grossing Thanksgiving Day debut of all time, and held top rankings at the box office for several weeks, I was excited. Is Hawaiian culture finally going to get the attention it deserves?

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Finding fallow time

I’m going to use a week in January as a “fallow period”—what I call the down time in between major projects. I wait till I have nothing on my plate, and no deadlines, and then I orchestrate a mini-retreat for myself. I get into nature for a few days, exercise a lot, sit silently, read, and let myself wander back to my creative center.

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Indie publishing slakes a thirst for new voices

Indie author, IndieReader, indie lit—a new buzzword has clearly come into vogue in the book world. But what is “indie publishing,” anyway? For many, the term is synonymous with (and maybe less stigmatized than) “self-publishing”—an author’s do-it-yourself production of a work at his or her own expense. But for others, “indie publishing” stands in contrast to “traditional” publishing, often called “trad” or “legacy” publishing by doubters.

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More thoughts on hybrid publishing

It’s been two years since I last shared my thoughts on publishing as a hybrid author. And this month I took the plunge: I have two new books out, both published outside the traditional model. One is a children’s book, ‘Iwalani’s Tree, the other a book about hula, The Natives Are Restless. Digital Book World […]

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