Words–Their Weft & Warp 31

Words. Unusual words. Forgotten words. Foreign words. And some whose authenticity one may question, but are fun anyway. In other words, not your average grade 4 spelling list. Enjoy!

Pericope (puh-rik-uh-pee)
(n) a selection or extract from a book

(n) a fingerprint

Quidditch in a Pub

0a6008bab20b8758d9e542309a1a5fcb JK had the right idea. Instead of crying, brooding, plotting revenge she harnessed the negative energy from that fight and redirected it as creative energy.

I’ve recently gone through a large loss. I can feel the inner energies alternately swirling in muddled eddies somewhere between my solar plexus and my hip bones, or being drained, the plug pulled. It’s a weird feeling, like when I was young, bored but energetic at the same time.

So what can I do with that? I think the best thing would be to lasso it all and take JK’s advice. I will write. And I will tackle those scenes in my novel that are tricky, the ones that need that extra angst and confusion and muddle. Perhaps it will even be cathartic.


Words–Their Weft & Warp 30

Words. Unusual words. Forgotten words. Foreign words. And some whose authenticity one may question, but are fun anyway. In other words, not your average grade 4 spelling list. Enjoy!

(adj) Just before dawn.

(n) a complete absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming;taking pleasure from soothing things

I need more hygge in my life.

(adj) Unfamiliar, rare, strange, yet utterly marvelous


Trouble with Character Creation?

For me character creation has become not just easy, but one of my favourite parts of writing.  I know that some others struggle with it. How do writers create memorable, unique characters that their readers fall in love with and root for? Because let’s face it, the plot can be fantastic, but if the main character is observation-clipart-detective_clipart-2iko004  flat, we may never follow through to the end of their story.

Fortunately the answer is all around us. Whenever we’re in a public place, or at home with just a few people, all you need is the “O” word. “OBSERVE.”

People aren’t generic. We all have “qualities” and not just the physical sort, like moles, freckles, birthmarks, scars.

When you sit in a coffee shop, library, or work cafeteria–observe. People have a million different habits, speech patterns, ways of moving, gesticulating, making facial expressions. There are the slurpers, noisily drinking coffee while it’s still too hot. Tea drinkers with health bars to eat. There’s a lady daintily breaking off tiny pieces of a muffin because biting off it would smear her hot pink lipstick. A man who dabs off his mustache after every sip of his frothy latte. A child  stretching their gum out across the table longer and longer while the mother and grandmother are poring over a brides magazine.observe

When walking in the mall, notice how people walk, sluffing their feet, stepping high, toes out, toes in so far they tend to trip. See how they stop and look in shop windows, walking boldly by the sales personnel or skirting the edges of the store to avoid being greeted. Do they point to stuff or pick it up? Some people like me have to feel everything. Others touch seldom and then wipe their fingers off on their pants or a tissue when done. 10563066-child-with-binoculars

Out in the park or street, some people walk casually, others slouch, some strut. Someone will bob their head while walking, their earbuds in. Another has a dog on a line pulling them hither and yon. One has a pink poodle in a fancy rhinestone carrier bag. A young fellow constantly rubs his fingertips together while waiting for the bus. A girl in bohemian clothes rolls a cigarette in her lips, never lighting it.

Big family gatherings? Great fodder. Joe always pulls his pocket watch out at dinner and sets it three minutes behind the mantel clock. Once an hour Harold checks to make sure the cover hasn’t blown off his Mercedes. Aunt Pru asks mother everyday for a new bar of soap; she can’t be expected to use the one from the previous day–it’s all germy now. Carol and her twin dye a streak of their hair a different colour for each exam, or they will fail in school. Barney, however he fits in the family no one even knows, has worn a different tie every day for the last 34 years and always says “hiveway” instead of “highway.”

I really do know a “Barney.” People do have strange habits and also strange fears and capitalizing on these things creates characters that intrigue and interest your readers.

So whenever you’re in a public place, take time out from whatever you’re doing and note some observations on a notepad. Collect observations like gold. Then use them to draw from when you have as character that needs fleshing out. It becomes a productive and stimulating game of solitaire.11-Unwritten-Rules-of-Coffee-Shop-Roberto_Ventre-e1391150672343

Words–Their Weft & Warp 29

Words. Unusual words. Forgotten words. Foreign words. And some whose authenticity one may question, but are fun anyway. In other words, not your average grade 4 spelling list. Enjoy!

Rasasvada (Pr- Ruusaasvaad)
(n) The taste of bliss in the absence of all thought.

(n) The excessive desire to stay in bed.

(n) Buying books and not reading them: hoarding them.

Tantalizing, Titillating Titles

Which book would you pull off the shelf first:

“Leaves for clothing”  or  “Hey Jeeves, you forgot your Leaves”


Is there any doubt which one tickles the brain more?

Recently at our Writers meeting we had a bit of fun with this to practice writing titles. We were asked to write a list of book titles as they popped into our brains. Here’s mine:

Pollyanna Green Eggs & Ham Huck Finn Little Women
Great Expectations A Wrinkle in Time Uncle Tom’s Cabin Oliver Twist
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory The Witches Bourne Identitiy Lord of the Rings

Then we were told, ‘Now morph them, dress them up, dress them down’ as quickly as we could.
Mine became:

Pollyanna’s Bad Word Green Ham & Swamp Monsters Huck Finnigan begins Again Little Women in the Wine Cellar
Great Expectorants Time Wrinkled in Rum Uncle Tom gets Cabin Fever Oliver’s Twisted Psyche
the Chocolate Factory Fiasco The Witches Twitches in their Britches Born Without Identity Lord of the Rigmaroles

What do you think? Intriguing? Makes you really wonder what stories will unfold from the altered titles.

When you’re browsing in a bookstore, hundreds of them all sandwiched together, what is the first thing that draws you attention to a book? The spine–the Title. That is first what makes you pull out a book from those titles squashed so tight by bookstore employees that you can hardly get them out, let alone back in. (Note to self–is this a sales tactic?)

We roll that title around on our tongue. Cumbersome tongue twister types are not welcome by the average human bean. We like a title with a ring to it, or a rhythm. With a beat or an ominous note that reverberates down the spine. Or something that tickles our funny bone.

That title has to catch people. The cover is what we look at second, but an author has very little control, if any, of what his book cover will be like so that title has to count! I find that publishers have developed a knack for pairing covers with the books, but on occasion it happens that the title has to make up for an odd cover. So give it some pizazz folks. (Mind you there is such a thing as the deep end. Don’t send your would be readers over it.)

Chapter titles are important too, so think about them. They, as the book title, should encase a hint, a clue, a temptation to what is in store for the reader, to lead them on a fantastic journey.hjgjkhg1

Try the exercise above for yourself, and just let go. Don’t think too hard. Have fun with it as you create wonderful titles that may just spark your next book.

And here’s a link for some tips to naming that book of yours: http://www.wikihow.com/Come-Up-with-a-Good-Book-Title

Words–Their Weft & Warp 28

Words. Unusual words. Forgotten words. Foreign words. And some whose authenticity one may question, but are fun anyway. In other words, not your average grade 4 spelling list. Enjoy!

(n) The impossibility of comprehending the universe

(n) A lover or rain: someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days

(n) Gypsy. Wanderer. A person , musician, artist or writer who lives a free spirited life and believes in truth, love and freedom