Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “creative writing”

Word Nerd Confessions: June


Still sweeping out the collection of words drifting about in the corners of my word collecting bag.

Speaking of bags:

1. musette: a small leather or canvas bag with a shoulder strap, used for carrying personal belongings, food, etc.

2. saggitate: shaped like an arrowhead

3. literam: letter for letter; literally

4. gerontocracy: a government in which old people rule (I’m not making this up!)

5.  dundrearies: long full sideburns or muttonchop whiskers

6. bedizen: to dress in a showy or tasteless manner.

7. suspiration: a long deep sigh (a favorite–note the italic–but how to use it in a sentence?)

8.  quodlibet: subtle or elaborate argument or point of debate, usually on a theological  or scholastic subject.

9. instauration: renewal; restoration; renovation

10. fenestrated: having windows (this is such a cool word–I get extra nerdy upon hearing “fensteration” or “fenestrated” in a sentence).

11.  epistemic: of or relating to knowledge or the conditions for acquiring it.

12. oblivescence: the process of forgetting (more and more my life is this word)

13. crump: to make a crunching sound, as in walking over snow, or as snow when trodden on (I fully intend on finding a way to apply “crump” in a story–it’s too amazing of a word to leave sitting on the bench waiting for wordplay).

14. fiddle-footed: restlessly wandering

15. objurgate: to reproach or denounce vehemently; upbraid harshly; berate sharply (sounds close to regurgitate–throwing up angry words?)

And that’s May’s edition of Word Nerd.

May no one objurgate upon your quest towards epistemic persistence as you crump along the path of knowledge which could render a suspiration of frustration (not to be confused with fenestration, although not finding an open window when needed can be frustrating) upon finding yourself stuck in a gerontocracy in which the leaders tend towards bedizen attire evidenced by their dundrearies. Ignore the proclivity towards quodlibets with these politicians and pack up your musette and go on a fiddle-foot tour of nature to achieve instauration from worldly concerns. Celebrate oblivescence of worldly matters. Celebrate the little joys such as the finding of  sagittate treasures upon nature’s path. The literatim of life does not have to be dreary–crump on to finding contentment!

Crump twice–Word Nerd points…

Shakespeare Celeb: William’s Words


Words Shakespeare Invented
(under the guise of April’s Word Nerd Confessions)

Getty Images/Edward Gooch

image: Mental Floss

While Shakespeare was a creative wordsmith–no doubt there, it should be noted that he tended to borrow from other sources and polish them so well that they became associated more with him than the original. I cite the sonnet form, Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar as starter examples.

Another aspect of polishing came to words. It’s thought Shakespeare contributed at least 1,500 words to the common language, some sources say it’s closer to 1,700. He achieved this by changing nouns into verbs or verbs into adjectives or splicing together words. Shakespeare Online.com, a marvelous source of all matter Shakespeare, has compiled a short list of some of his contributions. For further elaboration on his wordly inventions please click here.

Note: clicking on the word will take you to the play where it was used.

academe accused addiction advertising amazement
arouse assassination backing bandit bedroom
beached besmirch birthplace blanket bloodstained
barefaced blushing bet bump buzzer
caked cater champion circumstantial cold-blooded
compromise courtship countless critic dauntless
dawn deafening discontent dishearten drugged
dwindle epileptic equivocal elbow excitement
exposure eyeball fashionable fixture flawed
frugal generous gloomy gossip green-eyed
gust hint hobnob hurried impede
impartial invulnerable jaded label lackluster
laughable lonely lower luggage lustrous
madcap majestic marketable metamorphize mimic
monumental moonbeam mountaineer negotiate noiseless
obscene obsequiously ode olympian outbreak
panders pedant premeditated puking radiance
rant remorseless savagery scuffle secure
skim milk submerge summit swagger torture
tranquil undress unreal varied vaulting
worthless zany gnarled grovel

Ready for a challenge? Create a sensible sentence with as many of the above words as possible. Here’s a starter…

So–next time you reach for the skim milk, hoping you won’t be disheartened  to discover it’s worthless and sour, initiating a rant of discontent, consider a generous thanks to the Bard for providing a varied list to select from so as not to impede  your outbreak towards those accused of leaving milk past its prime in the refrigerator, because a  tranquil   kitchen produces radiance. I know, this sentence is laughableif not zany.

Quite Types of Funerals


Having gone through a year of loud public proclamations of accomplishments by a host of folk, got me thinking about how people are to be remembered once they pass from among us. It got me thinking how some people want to grab their glory now. There is a definite difference between a quiet funeral and quite a funeral:

image: Morgue File


Pigeons crown his statue, his duly noted acknowledgement, set in middletown square. He put the “I” in accomplishments. He gave generously his extra wealth to widows, orphans, and tax-deductible appreciatives. We knew because the newspaper told us so. Often. See page 3. His wife mourns him in stylish crepe, his children of status quo receive yet another scholarship in their father’s memoriam. The high school foyer plaque commemorates his sterling support of his alma mater class of ’52. A great whole will be felt in his passing. Much was given and much was gainfully benefitted. The piece that passes understanding is felt in regard to a man noted for his quite accomplishments.

Across town, in the smaller chapel, is the memorial for a man of lesser renown. In fact, the funeral director politely expressed his concern at the ratio of empty pews to attendees by frequent, albeit discreet, checks to his watch and neck stretches towards the door. Surely a man’s passing deserved more than a mere handful, he contemplated as he shuffled his notes. This man laid in the simple coffin at the front, closed at the widow’s request, did not rate column space beyond the discreet obituary notice. This man volunteered as a youth activity leader, though he had no children, walked shelter dogs every Saturday, and could be talked into helping out at the retirement home by reading to Mrs. Connelly or playing checkers with Bob Jaegers. He drove a fifteen year old Subaru, played golf with his nephew Paul, who remained in a thirteen year old mindset despite have grown into a 6’2 frame, and he bought his wife flowers every Friday, a tradition started and maintained through his forty-two year marriage. The funeral director did not have anything in his notes beyond: “Frank Peterson will be remembered for his quiet dedication to friends, family, and community. His accomplishments noted by those who knew him.” An embarrassing moment came, but quickly passed when his quick breakfast of reheated sausage patty sandwich gave him a wincing pain, causing him him to lose his place. As a result, he read out to the small gathering: “Frank Peterson will be remembered for his quiet accomplishments.” Realizing his error he hurriedly tagged on the part about being noted for dedication, etc. At the end of the service the director made sure to be extra kind and reassuring to Mr. Peterson’s widow.

 

The Art of Avoidance


All week the in-progress novel beckons me. Fatigue, lesson plans, grading papers tend to get in the way of creativity, so Saturday tends to be ThE writing day. Typically when Saturday arrives the following dual decision-making occurs:

SATURDAY

SATURDAY (Photo credit: Stefan Sager)

-wake at usual time of 5am “much too dark to think; sleep in two more hours”
-is it 7 already? “I’ve got the whole day–lounge a bit”
-how did it get to be 9:30? “better put in some work out time since I didn’t this week”
-wow! it’s going on 11 already “after a shower and breakfast I’ll get right on the computer”
-cranking up the computer means it’s time to settle down to working “after I check my emails and notifications”
-enough procrastinating, open up the file and let’s get cracking on this new chapter “lunch would be a good idea”
Okay, you get the idea. Raise your hand if similar avoidance scenarios take place when preparing to work on your project.

Why is it I avoid something I look forward to working on? I do actually like the story and it’s going well. Yet, there remains a reluctance to jump right up and sit down and work.
Wait–that’s it! Writing is work and after a 40 plus work week putting in another 5 plus hours on the novel feels like a double-shift, even though it’s doing something I like.
Solution? Absolutely, I’m agreeing with you on this–suck it up, get focused, and get going. Good advice. After I go for a walk, clean out the refrigerator, and put away the laundry I’ll get right on my story.

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