Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Friday, August 15, 2014

Whipping Boy and Shakespeare

Both my parents liked words. My father was a lawyer and he early on discovered the delight little kids take in repeating words that sound like nonsense words. I knew how to pronounce posse comitatus before I could spell "cat." And I wasn't that much older when I learned what it meant, which put me way ahead in civics class. My mother favored archaic English phrases like "dogsbody" and "whipping boy" and "dog in the manger." These were phrases my siblings and I learned as kids and I freely used them in conversation until I moved to L.A. and found that people were giving me blank looks, so I stopped. But I still love those words and I chose "Whipping Boy" as the title of my mystery novella because the plot revolves around a murder of a scapegoat. Shakespeare, of course, used all those phrases (and more). Or so I thought until I started searching for the phrase and none of my usual go-to sources could find it. (Plenty of places where one person or another was whipped, and also a reference to "Whipping Boy" in Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper, but no joy on Shakesperae. Sigh At any rate, I'm offering my novella free for the next five days in case you'd like to read it. There are 10 reviews now (almost all of them by people I don't actually know) and eight of them are five stars! You can snag a copy here.

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