Monday, May 18, 2015

Doing It Old School

(Yes, I've been absent. Sometimes there are bigger things to contend with than doing my blog.

But I'm back.)

See this?

It's my dog-eared, 2002 version, I'm-the-only-one-who-uses-it thesaurus. My sons prefer the Google or Microsoft versions.

To which I say "Pbbbbbbbbbttt!"

The electronic versions SUCK. You get what, maybe 5 or 6 synonyms and one antonym. Excuse me while I don't get excited. Yeah, you find a word that works and use it, taking all of 10 seconds and go on your writing way. That's fine for amateurs.

I'm in the Big Leagues.

Nothing compares to picking up this baby, thumbing through its pages to uncover what you seek- a more precise word instead of settling for an 'ok, this works' substitute.

Example: you've used 'friend' a lot in your manuscript, play, short story. In my Oxford University Press American Thesaurus (the publisher knows and uses English better than Google or Microsoft) are the following entries:

soul mate
alter ego

See the choices? Each one a little more subtle in meaning than the next, opening up a flood of inspiration for the next sentence or even paragraph.

And that's not all.

As I thumb through some of the dirty, wrinkled, maybe torn pages, I am reminded of words that I haven't seen or used in a long time. I'm introduced to new word friends that might just appear in the next sentence or paragraph. Sometimes I like to peruse (word I haven't used in a while, see that?) the verdant pages of words waiting to be discovered, used, or leading to other words. For a writer, it's like an ice cream store (better than candy).

So go old school once in a while and rediscover the thrill of all those words at your fingertips...


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Minding the P's and Q's and A's and B's

Just for fun...

A  Abscond- verb, to run away, take flight, to steal.
B  Bowdlerize- verb, to expurgate, censor, sanitize.
C  Convivial- adjective, being social, cordial, amiable.
D  Descry- verb, to catch sight of, see, discern.
E  Epigrammatic- adjective, succinct, concise, terse.
F  Foist- verb, to force upon, impose, thrust.
G  Glutinous- adjective, gluelike, sticky, gummy.
H  Haversack- noun, backpack, rucksack, satchel.
I   Indecorous- adjective,unbecoming, unseemly, improper.
J  Jerry-built- adjective, badly built, cheap, shoddy.
K  Kilter- noun, state, condition, fettle.
L  Legerdemain- noun, juggling, sleight of hand, juggling.
M  Mawkish- adjective, maudlin, oversentimental, lachrymose.
N  Nihilism- noun, disbelief, skepticism, repudiation.
O  Odium- noun, abhorrence, loathing, antipathy.
P  Parlance- noun, speech, language, phraseology.
Q  Quaff- verb, to drink, swallow, gulp down.
R  Ruffian- noun, villain, thug, scoundrel.
S  Sang-froid- noun, composure, coolness, self control.
T  Timorous- adjective, timid, fearful, apprehensive.
U  Urbanity- adjective, suaveness, sophistication, worldliness.
V  Vicissitude- noun, change. alteration, uncertainty.
W  Wastrel- noun, waster, spendthrift, squanderer.
X  Xebec- noun, small 3 masted ship.
Y  Yerk- verb, to strike or whip, stir up.
Z  Zaftig- adjective, womanly shape, plump, full bodied.

Quiz tomorrow...  ;)

(Thanks to the Oxford Pocket American Thesaurus, Oxford Univ Press, NY, 2002)


Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Laughter is the universal solvent; it dilutes and washes away hatred, bigotry, anger, and our differences. It creates a solution.

Use it more.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

In a universe far away...

It's not Monday, but I visited Natalie Zaman's blog and she has this name generator for My Little Pony. Here's my result:

Your pony name is:Sunbeam MagicYou are a unicorn born in Canterlot. You are the most likeable pony this side of The Everfree Forest!Your best friend is a toucan named Zapper.

I don't know if my parents ever would have called me "sunbeam" but the toucan and I are going to have long chats over chai tea...

Want to find out your Little Pony name? Go to her blog and see what comes up for you....

Because life shouldn't always be so serious....


Monday, April 13, 2015

That Blank Space...

This is a blank space.

It's where my veggie garden will bloom and flourish (I hope).

It's kind of like that blank page, canvas, wall, piece of fabric, or musical staff. It needs to be filled, worked on, trimmed, redone, watered, planned.



It needs attention, it demands time, it sucks energy.

Whatever your creative medium, give it what it craves and take away what's not good. Keep your efforts going even when editors, gardeners, Mother Nature, mentors, friends, or anything else intervenes.

Only you can see the potential in that bit of dirt. That empty page. That unused canvass. That bolt of cloth. That musical scale.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Beware The Little White Rabbit...

I'm so excited about the debut of the Beware the Little White Rabbit anthology which releases on April 14th. My twelve fellow co-authors have done an amazing job of fabricating stories around the Alice in Wonderland theme which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. (150 years????) There is something here for everyone: steampunk, sci fi, Chinese folklore, contemporary, western, historical, psychological thriller, and more.

Here's the cover for my story (black and white for print version, color for ebook):

If you know my obsession with a certain tea, then you'll understand the tag line, "Nothing in the Galaxy Satisfies Like Tea...."

The individual covers were designed by editor/author/artist/colleague/friend Shannon Delany.

I don't have everyone's cover, so keep an eye out, they'll be popping up!

If you just can't wait, and have to be one of the first to get it (we understand this completely and are in line right behind you) here are links to satisfy your cravings:

Leap Books


Happy Adventures in our Wonderland!


Monday, April 6, 2015

It's Happened!


The daffodils started opening in time for Easter Sunday!

The happy faces make me, well, ecstatic. It means winter is gone, spring is here, and it's a countdown to great weather, outdoor concerts, opening my pool, working in my garden and more daylight hours.

And here are the beginnings of my hyacinths!

Because spring and summer energize me, after I finish my blog, I will skip editing for a while to go outside and make some vitamin D, pick up sticks around the yard, exercise the kid and the cats, and let my spirits soar.

You can't write about life if you don't experience it.

Wishing you all spring happiness!