books, Cereal Authors, Life, Literary, Musings, Ruth Davis Hays, Sassy Sarcasm, Uncategorized, writer's life, Writing Process

Sarcasm vs…

I used to have a snarky reply for every question. When I was a teen, my mother used to ask why I was so “smart-mouthed”.  When I was college-aged and in a group of friends I considered to all be equally intelligent, I would let the sarcasm fly. I knew they would “get” it.

Looking back, I don’t know if I was eager for the laughter (even if it was only my own), or if I was guarding my emotions. Can’t get hurt if they think you don’t care, right?

But recently, I’ve noticed that I’m not as off the cuff as I used to be. The sarcasm comes out when I’m irritated or tired; it’s reserved for those special moments when I’ve been pushed too far.

When Dellani first spoke to the Cereal Authors about posting on sarcasm, I thought it would be easy. On the contrary, I’ve found myself at a loss lately. Thinking on it, I tried to trace back to where I had lost my everyday sarcasm. I believe I tempered it when I was raising my son. (There is only so much witty, sardonic banter one can throw at a five year old before it just sounds cruel.)

As my son developed into a teenager, I let it creep back and he seemed to take to it like a duck to water. Now, he’s the smart-mouthed one. (Maybe it’s a teen thing!)

In looking for examples of sarcasm in my writing, I’ve come across the conundrum of:  Is this sarcasm or is it irony?

So, I thought I’d try and work that out this month, and in doing so, found that it is not a situation of Sarcasm vs. Irony. It is rather a hand in hand relationship.

Dictionary.com describes Sarcasm as “a form of irony in which apparent praise conceals another, scornful meaning…” and “mocking, contemptuous, or ironic language intended to convey scorn or insult.”

It is usually delivered through dialogue or tone. Now, a person’s tone is somewhat difficult to convey in a literary piece without actually using a descriptive speech tag like “he said in a mocking tone.” (A bit subtle, don’t ya think?)

Irony has one definition that is just as vaguely symbiotic:  “the humorous or mildly sarcastic use of words to imply the opposite of what they normally mean.

However, irony can be more situational and punctuated by the use of sardonic, biting dialogue. And with its second definition:  “an incongruity between what is expected to be and what actually is, or a situation or result showing such incongruity,” and “In Literature:  a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.”

There we go, as clear as day. A big, bright, sunshiny day.

For a crude example of the two, I came up with a situation in the blurry haze of the morning.  Say that there are two characters riding an elevator together, and one guy passes gas. The other notices and remarks, “Nice. Thanks. We needed an air-freshener in here.”

Now, if that same gassy character is lying in bed, lets one fly, and then flips over in his covers and essentially Dutch Ovens himself. (That is not only karmic justice, but on the ironic side.)

I warned you it was crude. I’m not sure where I was going with this article, but it sprang out of a contemplation of myself. Like I said, I used to wield sarcasm in almost every social situation when I was young. I used it to not get too close or appear too vulnerable to those around me. One definition of irony rang true to me on this point. “(especially in contemporary writing) a manner of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc., especially as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion.”

Detachment from an emotion.

Yes, there it is.

That is what drives the sarcastic banter among several of my main characters. Especially those that have the most to lose by admitting their true feelings or having those feelings exposed. Sarcasm is their shield, as it was mine. (And still is on many occasions.) It is an essential element in them, their way of dealing with their world. I cannot picture them without it. And, I don’t think I would want to.

Just a musing for this month, as I approach the Half Century mark in my life, that I thought I would share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes

Character Quotes from Car Trouble by Dellani

character-quotes-image“Mr. Mason, it’s two in the morning. No cab will come for you this late,” Calliope said.

“Shit.” I leaned against the window. “I just want to get home. It’s been a long trip.”

“Where have you been? If you don’t mind my asking.”

“Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.”

“Ooh, exciting,” she sounded just the opposite.

“Not really,” I chuckled.

“Didn’t think so. Were you traveling for business or pleasure?”

“Who would go to Louisiana or Mississippi for pleasure?”

“Gator hunters or gamblers,” she said with finality as if she spoke the gospel truth.

“I was stalking pelicans for the Wildlife Federation.”

“Really?” She didn’t know whether to believe me or not.

“No, I’m an author. I did a tri-state book signing tour.”

Laughing, she took the New Smyrna exit and made the turn onto SR 44, heading east.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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books, Cereal Authors, Character Quotes, Excerpts, Fantasy, Fiction, Ruth Davis Hays, Uncategorized

Character Quotes from THE EXCURSION by R L Davis Hays

Kein n Rach CA

As soon as he was done, she pointed languidly at his cheek and asked, “Those scars on your face. Where’d you get them?”

“Why?” he asked, noticing a different tone in her voice.

“They’re sexy looking,” she added playfully.

He sobered a bit, raised one sharp eyebrow, and said with a clever cock of the head, “A massive reaverbear slashed me with its two long claws right before I chopped its head off.”

“Really?” Her eyes were wide.

He couldn’t conceal his smile, confessing the lie in his eyes.

“Com’on! Really?” Rachel pushed his shoulder, a bit harder than she had intended.

They both laughed.

“No,” he admitted.

“Seriously then, where’d you get ‘em?”

“I can’t tell you.” He resisted, then added with a wicked grin. “Then I’d have to kill you.”

Rachel shoved him with a fumbling slap on his chest. “Hot! Got any others?”

“Nope,” he laughed, suddenly sorry that his fae flesh healed so well. “Sorry, those are the only ones.”

“Well, you showed me yours, I guess it’s only fair that I show you mine.” Even she could detect the slurring now from the ale, and she giggled again. Struggling with her tunic shirt tucked into a wide leather belt, Rachel pulled it until a short, thickly seamed scar on her abdomen could be seen just below her ribs.

Keinigan’s eyes were drawn to her soft light flesh there, and his mind uttered a grateful prayer to the gods. He glanced around to see if any other patrons might see this little display as he uttered, “Well, mine are on my face, that’s hardly fair.” Followed quickly by a breathy query, “Got any others?”

Leaning towards him, she caught his mouth in a playful kiss. “Shut up.” She smiled, now feeling much warmer and eager to share his tenderness. “Yes.”

“What kind of scars?” He looked her up and down as he smirked.

“Surgical,” she said. They were very close together now, his lips brushing hers temptingly.

“Really?” he whispered. “Where?”

She grinned, her eyes shining with the flirtatious glee. “They’re down there,” she said pointing to her hips as she watched his eyes flame. “One for an appendix and the other for a hernia.”

“And, how do they look?” He waited with bated breath for her answer.

“If we go someplace private, I might can show you.”

She snuggled in for another passionate kiss. As it ended, he practically overturned the table as he leapt to his feet.

“Oh! Alright, let’s go!” he chimed.

Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes

Character Quotes from Down the Drain by Dellani

character-quotes-imageDario came back with two bottles of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, handing it to Vanessa with a flourish.

A lady as lovely as you, should have the best.”

Thank you.” She took the proffered bottle and sipped as he watched. “Oh, that’s good! Yum!”

Dario smirked, ducking his head slightly. “Glad you approve. I have a cousin who works at the brewery in California. He keeps me supplied.”

Can’t you buy this at the liquor store?” she smirked, raising an eyebrow as she sipped.

Yeah.” He stretched, extending his legs, exposing a tasty patch of sculpted abdomen. “But it sounds better to the ladies if I tell them how much trouble I went to, to get it.”

Vanessa laughed, tossing her head back. “Should you tell me that? Doesn’t it spoil the mystique?”

Maybe, but you aren’t the type of woman a man should lie to.”

That sobered her slightly. “Do I—come across…. How do I—? Do I seem—mean?” she stumbled and stuttered, trying not to seem needy or bitchy.

Dario laughed, shaking his head. “Vanessa, you are a whole lot of intimidating. But underneath beats the heart of a passionate woman—who can be scary as hell.”

That doesn’t make me feel better, Dario. Just saying.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Among the Shine Clan, Dellani Oakes

Among the Shine Clan – Part 8 by Dellani

among-the-shine-clan-coverNeither Fiddlestix, nor Deacon Scott, are happy with one another. They’ve decidedly gotten off on the wrong foot. Of course, the curses she hurled at him, in order to get his attention, might have something to do with it. Both realize they have to work together to capture the rogue cyber warriors, but it doesn’t mean they have to like it—or each other.

“I didn’t ask to be sent here, General Scott,” she turned back to Deacon. “But if I’d had my way, I’d have asked before I barged in. I would have brought no more than twenty people and we would have taken care of this nice and quiet. Unfortunately, I had no way to contact you.”

“Why do you think McLain sent you in like this then?” Deacon couldn’t keep the curiosity out of his voice.

“Slap in the face to you and a burning desire to see me cut down. He hates me. He’s a dumb ass and I’ve told him that more than once. I used to be Captain Hannah Braun. About six months ago, he busted me to Master Sergeant. Only because he couldn’t really take me any lower without raising a few eyebrows. There’s not a man or woman on my team who hasn’t had some sort of confrontation with him.”

“Except Lieutenant Frieze,” Harmony added quietly.

“Yeah, well, look where that sorry sack of shit’s hiding out,” Kaz added vehemently. “Doped up in the hospital. Coward.”

Fiddlestix grinned, her eyes twinkling. “Oh, Kaz, is that any way to talk about our superior officer?” She snorted derisively.

Harmony and Kaz joined her in a short, hearty laugh at Frieze’s expense.

“Superior, my ass….” Harmony chuckled.

One look at Deacon and the laughter stopped. His eyes were hard, like crystals. His face bland, dangerous.

“So, you’re telling me,” he said quietly. “You think this whole thing was McLain’s way of getting even with us and taking you and your people down? Is that it? That’s your brilliant theory as to why all this transpired? My father is dead because of this! My men are dying, my people terrified. I’ve got a society that’s falling apart around my ears and you think it’s for revenge?” He leaned over the table once more, banging both fists on it forcefully.

“Deacon,” Frank Lord spoke so softly, Fiddlestix barely heard him. “Sit down, son.”

Deacon’s glare turned to his uncle. He pointed angrily at the older man. “I’m not your son. Don’t be thinking because we’re kin that it gives you any kind of advantage here. I will see hell burn before I believe this is simply revenge.”

He headed for the door, his men in his wake. All but Frank Lord and Jasper followed him. Deacon hesitated at the door. Shrugging his shoulders, he tossed his long, blond hair aside. Jerking the door open, he nearly took it off its hinges. Without another word, he was gone. The silence settled in the room somewhat uncomfortably.

“Well, that was fun,” Jasper smirked.

“Not really.” Fiddlestix didn’t smile. “Jasper, I know I’m right about this. McLain isn’t a devious man, he’s not smart enough. To him, this makes sense. To me, it’s stupid as hell, but he would see it as the perfect way to get rid of a number of pesky problems.”

“I don’t disbelieve you, Hannah. Deacon believes you too, he just won’t admit it. He took our father’s death hard. It has registered with him that he’s the man in charge now and our daddy was a hard act to follow. He’s got big boots to fill. He can do it, if he’ll let himself. Can’t grieve and lead.” His eyes grew sorrowful and he stopped talking abruptly.

“What do you need from us?” Frank Lord asked her politely. “I want this over and done.”

“I have to get close. I’m serious when I say I have to have line of sight. I can’t do my job without help.”

“What if you gave us the codes, let us handle it?” Jasper asked.

It was more than just a question. It could be interpreted as a veiled threat. Fiddlestix chose to take it at face value.

“It’s voice coded as well as imprinted. The codes will work for me or Kaz. No one else has been coded to them. So if we both go down, you’re stuck with those guys until hell freezes.”

“F**k me,” Jasper whispered. His dark eyes sparkled and he smiled disarmingly. “You could, you know.” He left it at that.

Fiddlestix’ laugh popped out loudly. She’d heard some come-ons in her time, but that one was certainly unique. Were the circumstances different, she’d have gladly taken Jasper up on his invitation, but they had a job to do.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes

Character Quotes from Feels Like Rain by Dellani

character-quotes-imageHey, Bo.” It was his brother, Walton.

Walt, hey!” he tried to sound cheerful, but he was anticipating the funeral now that he’d been talking about it.

You okay?”

I will be when this shit’s over. What’s up?”

Calling to make sure you’re all right. I been meaning to, but got called out on a job. Just got back. Wasn’t shit for reception out there.”

Where were you?”

Some bayou someplace that God forgot. Doing a mineral study.” Walton was a geologist who worked for an environmental protection agency. “I got bug bites no man should get bit. But I’ll be in my fancy duds and with you at the funeral. I’ve been asked to be a pallbearer.”

Orleans left directions on who he wanted. He asked for you and the boys personally. I guess he wanted a matched set.” It was easier to talk about it if he joked, but it was getting harder.

I’m on my way over.”

It’s okay….”

I’m in my car already. I’ll be there in five.” He hung up.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Uncategorized

Character Quotes from So Much It Hurts by Dellani

SoMuchItHurtsbyDellaniOakes500I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun,” she said as they were walking home. “I’m so glad I met you guys. It makes it easier being away from home. The big city is sort of intimidating.”

Yancy put his arm around her waist, Flynn around her shoulders. Pia’s arms went around their waists and she gave them each a hug.

Thank you for such a great time tonight. I can’t tell you how scared I was on the bus, getting lost.”

We’ll equip you with a GPS,” Flynn suggested.

Pia snorted.

Once they were upstairs again, they walked her to her room.

I’d invite you in for coffee, but I don’t have a pot.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes, Uncategorized

Character Quotes from Crime Makes an Entrance by Dellani

character-quotes-imageDeacon Stewart was not a man who took this sort of behavior lightly. His sultry, Southern accent came out strong when he was angry.

“I think instead it is you, Ms. Du Champs, who needs a lesson in manners. If I weren’t a gentleman, I’d be teaching you that lesson. Now, before I lose my temper completely and do something I’ll regret later when the police arrive, I suggest you march your fine, tight, little ass back in that room and put a pillow over your head if you don’t like the volume of the TV.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes

Character Quotes from Room 203 by Dellani

character-quotes-imageRoom 203 is book 2 in the Marice Houston Mystery series

“Who’s the better shot?” Aileen asked Butch and me.

He pointed to me. No ego on my part, I shrugged. I do win the turkey shoot every year, only because Babs doesn’t enter. But I’ve beaten the guys a good few times.

“Handgun, yes. With a rifle, I’d have to say Butch.”

“Okay. Hmmm…Teague.”

“Ma’am?” He was blond, jacked and looked like a surfer. There was something very deadly under the surface of that easy, laid back demeanor, though. He had a predatory edge under that sexy, smooth walk.

“You’re our sharp shooter. Got a weapon?”

“In the truck.”

“Butch, you team with me. Teague, you and Marice.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He saluted and she stuck her tongue out at him.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes

Character Quotes from Heirs of Shakazhan by Dellani

Heirs of Shakazhan frontHeirs of Shakazhan is book 6 in my Lone Wolf Series

“Why are you the logical one to watch me?”

Wil was somewhat incredulous. To think that Yktobo, with whom he had never been on particularly cordial terms, was now his nursemaid, irritated him. Sighing extravagantly, Yktobo’s eyes rolled heavenward as if he appealed to a higher power for aid. His conceit was such that Wil knew he didn’t ask for guidance, so much as he wanted to show his annoyance. Ever the showman, he was being overtly dramatic. Wil wanted to punch him.

“Wilhelm, why must you be so….”

His complaint was cut short by Wil’s nonchalant blow to his nose. Eyes watering, the Kahlea Master gasped, surprised. “What was that for?” He rubbed the offended member, dark blue blood dripping on the ground.

“Don’t insult me, just tell me. I haven’t had a very good day so far.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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