Monday, October 1, 2018

The Art of Verbal Discrestion PLUS Giveaway ends October 8th

Please welcome Denise Weimer to my blog today. Denise is giving away a copy of her book Redeeming Grace. Read on down to find out how to enter. 

The Art of Verbal Discretion
I’ll never forget the first time I watched Sense and Sensibility – the version with Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson. I didn’t want the movie to end. Would Elinor succeed in snagging Edward, and would Marianne be swept away by Willoughby or finally find affection for Colonel Brandon?
At first glance, these appear to be simple romantic plot elements. But the thickening agent in Jane Austen’s literary pudding was almost always the unsaid. The machinations and drama arose not from shocking declarations and the heroine hurling herself into the hero’s arms, but from restraint. The roots of this restraint, a characteristic of historical polite society, pushed past the soil of public expectation into the bedrock of selflessness. Ah, what a refreshing concept. 
Some examples:

·        In “Becoming Jane,” the movie about Jane Austen herself, Jane sees Tom Lefroy as sowing his wild oats, but on their elopement trip discovers a letter from his family of origin thanking him for the money he’s been sending them. Jane knows that if he marries her, he’ll be unable to provide for all concerned. In another self-sacrificing gesture, Jane lets him go. Might this have inspired Jane’s future writing?

·        Darcy in Pride and Prejudice quietly pays off Wickham’s debts so that the scoundrel can wed the compromised Lydia, Elizabeth’s foolish sister. He does this out of love for Elizabeth. And he does so when Elizabeth still thinks him arrogant and self-centered.

·        In Sense & Sensibility, Edward can’t declare his feelings for Elinor because of his money-hungry mother and his former secret engagement. When his old sweetheart worms her way into Elinor’s confidence, Elinor’s promise to not speak of the engagement keeps her from the man she loves. Meanwhile, free-spirited younger sister Marianne falls for charming and handsome Willoughby. Marianne is also admired by the older, reserved Colonel Brandon, who knows Willoughby acted the scoundrel in the past. Yet he refuses to use the matter to get into Marianne’s good graces. 

Watching these characters go through their complicated and foreign dance of silence, hints, glances, and suppressed tears, we want to scream “just say it!” But in the end, we are teary-eyed with joy when, truly tested, love is declared.
Contrast that communication style to our modern one. We may never have met our online friends in person. On social media, where we can quickly and easily connect with many people simultaneously, we have a lot of power.

Some things to think about before posting …

·        Are our words all about us, broadcasting triumphs or sharing details better held until a private conversation with one or two trusted confidants?

·        Are we sometimes speaking when silence would be wiser?

·        Are we typing what we’d never say in person?

·        Are we juggling cyber relationships with many to the exclusion of face-to-face time with special friends?

Something to think about before writing fiction …

·        How can we use verbal discretion as an effective plot element? Chime in below!

The art of verbal discretion doesn’t have to be a thing of the past. It can be a beautiful gift if we learn how to employ it in our modern lives. 

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11, NKJV).

 Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She’s an editor for the historical imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and the author of The Georgia Gold Series, The Restoration Trilogy, and a number of novellas, including Across Three Autumns of Barbour’s Colonial Backcountry Brides Collection. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses! Connect with Denise here:

Denise is giving away a Kindle copy of her first novella, Redeeming Grace. Answer one of her questions above from 'some things to think about' to be entered in the giveaway. Don't forget to leave your email address. 

Searching for something she cannot define and breaking under the stress as a rising star at The Metropolitan Opera, Grace Galveston travels to Tallulah Falls, Georgia, for a reprieve. In the summer of 1886, Tallulah Gorge, with its multiple waterfalls, spectacular mountain scenery, and lavish resort hotels, was already known as “The Niagara of the South.” Even amid the crowds and excitement surrounding the attempt of an aerialist to cross the chasm on a high wire, Grace hopes to find peace. Unexpectedly, though, the trip sheds light on the secret pain in her heart. Can the blessing of friendship and the possibility of love with a local minister guide her toward healing? Or will their differences and the call of her life back in New York mean even greater heartbreak?


  1. Thanks for the thought-provoking post. I feel that I am trying to use Facebook to fill gaps in my life. I often feel lonely because people are just so busy. It feels selfish to ask someone for more than a moment of their time when you can see that they are busy with their own families. What I wouldn't give for a real friend to have a cuppa joe with!

    1. Connie, I often feel the same! I believe friends can bring us different gifts from family, and we need to be open to both. We're supposed to support other believers in laughter and in tears, and just for a cup of coffee!

  2. Good morning Denise & Debbie. You've offered a lot if "food for thought" today. I am a FB user but I often cringe at some of the posts. I have considered deleting my account but I use it to follow authors and to work in launch groups and street teams so it does have a positive purpose. You asked two questions that I will try to answer.
    1.A we sometimes speaking when silence would be wiser? Definitely. I don't need to know everything that is going on in your day and you certainly don't want to hear about my boring life. I will rejoice with you, pray for you, encourage you but I don't need to learn that you've had another fight with a neighbor!

    2.A we typing what we’d never say in person? Afraid so! I cannot believe the malicious comments and the spurts of hatred and negativity. We are supposed to think before we speak and to count to ten but how often do we hesitate when we reply to someone's written comment. And, our expressions aren't visible so a comment that would be considered a joke in person doesn't always appear that way in print. I think that the Golden Rule also needs to be used on social media!
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I read many things on Face book that I feel would be better left unsaid! I don't need to know so many personal details! jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

  4. Thank you for this blog post that is thought provoking. I'm one to share very little of my personal life on FB. I use it primarily to support authors and promote their books and posts.
    Being silent instead of speaking often is best as we do not know the full story of the other person. It's easy on a social media site to post something that would never be said verbally to a friend. So yes, silence is wise a lot of the time.
    thank you for the giveaway, Denise Weimer. Redeeming Grace sounds like a fabulous book to read.
    I'm a blog follower, Debbie. marilynridgway78[at]gmail[dot]com

  5. Connie S., Joan, and Marilyn, I appreciate your thoughts and totally agree. We can't take something back once we've typed and posted. Thank you for stopping by, and good luck winning an e-book of REDEEMING GRACE. :)

  6. I love the connections I've made on FB. Connections with people, readers, and authors that I never would have made otherwise. I try to avoid the negative side of social media. I have enough drama in my real-life.
    Face to face friendships changed dramatically when my husband became medically disabled eight years ago and I became the full-time caregiver. In a way, FB, email, texting, and video calls saved me.
    *I get the newsletter and follow the blog posts.

    1. Andrea, those are some great points about the positive side of online communications. They can be a huge blessing for sure, when we use them in uplifting ways. For sure I never would have connected with the readers, bloggers, and other authors I have. I absolutely love FB parties!! So fun.

  7. I truly enjoyed this post about our words and how we use them. I think I have too often spoken when I should have been silent.

    Proverbs 17:27-28
    Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

    duhpaynes at gmail dot com

    1. Agreed, Anne. That's a great Scripture! I've learned the hard way that not only must we speak the truth in love, but there is a time and a season for everything. LOL!

  8. And the winner is Joan Arning! Congratulations, Joan!