Wednesday, 28 December 2016


When I started this blog I mentioned in my Welcome message that I love playing with words. I like the sound of some of them. I like the way some of them feel in my mouth, though I cannot explain why. Maybe it's the punch they pack -- like sockdolager. Maybe it's the easy rolling shape of them in my mouth, like onomatopoeia...not to mention the nature of onomatopoeic words themselves -- burble, spike and scrunch, for example. The visceral delight that some people find in numbers or in rhythm or in science, I find in words and sentences and the ideas they convey.

Not wanting to say a complete good-bye to some really great words from the last two years, I decided to re-post two of my favourite words: larruping (exceedingly) and sockdolager (decisive reply). For example: She made one larruping sockdolager of a come-back!

May you have a larruping good year! Happy 2017!

Monday, 19 December 2016

Writing can start any time....

"I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky." -- Sharon Olds 

This is true for me, too. I've loved reading and writing for as long as I can remember, but I didn't write my first book until I was 47. I am a lucky late bloomer, indeed!

Wednesday, 14 December 2016



One of my brothers suggested that I look into this word. Given that we know about henchmen, we both wondered if one can hench? What might henching be?

Turns out that this somewhat derogatory word for a criminal's faithful follower comes from the Middle English word, hengest (a male horse) + man. The word henchman fell into disuse in England but was kept in Scotland as "the personal attendant of a Highland chief." Then in the early 1800s the word took on the sense of an obedient, unscrupulous fellow. This negative sense was probably a misunderstanding and a gradual changing of the word, as happens in every language and every time.

So, horses or no horses, if you're up to no good, you might just want to take on a henchman. I understand that they're very loyal.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Hmmm...Something to Think About

Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.  -- Meg Cabot