Saturday, 29 October 2016

Nobody Told Me Writing Could Be So Hard!

Sometimes when I'm writing it can be very hard to make decisions. I want to walk away, go do laundry...almost anything except decide what this character would do now or where to go with a scene. My stomach and jaw clench. Then I remember to breathe.

Sometimes I take a break and find I can get back to the work and have or find a solution. Sometimes I just have to push on through (without too much force, which doesn't help anything) and make the decision. I can always change my mind.

Writing is re-writing. Thank goodness for that.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016


This ancient cabalistic word was believed to ward off ague, which is a recurring fever accompanied by bouts of chills and sweating, and flux, which is the discharge of large amounts of a fluid from a cavity or surface of the body. Charming terms, both.
Abracadabra might be most welcome if it could bring any relief from such nasty conditions!

The power of the word was invoked when it was printed in this arrangement on paper and then worn around the neck. 

It's easy to see how such a word found its way into other examples of magic and magical thinking throughout the ages.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


Halloween has a checkered history which I'm not going to get into here since that information is so easily found and generally known. However, in addition to giving us all a chance to adopt inventive personas, Halloween offers the opportunity to use some really great words, words that use onomatopoeia and, thereby, invite you to growl and grind out other guttural sounds...all of which are pretty Halloween-ish.
Here are a few great onomatopoeic Halloween words to help get you in the mood:


Wednesday, 12 October 2016



This late Middle English comes from the Latin word, gratus -‘pleasing, thankful.’ It is related to our modern words: gratis, grateful, gratuitous, gratify, gracious, ingrate, ingratiate...I'm sure I've missed a few.

But in any language, at any time, Gratitude is a SuperPower! So said my friend, Jimi Sidlar, and I think he was absolutely right about that.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016


This 1850-1855s word means to avoid toll roads (turnpikes) in order to save money or take a more relaxed scenic route. I'm thinking that Robert Frost must have shunpiked, since he knew all about The Road Less Traveled.