Tag Archives: words

Twelve Favorite Words

3 Mar

Happy Monday, lovely readers. Mondays can be rough and full of negativity. So, I thought I’d try to add a sommut (woohoo British dialect) of positivity by sharing tenĀ twelve of my favorite words. I love these words both for their sound and their meaning, but I first loved each of these words intrinsically for itself, if that makes any mite of sense. Hopefully it will to some of you.

Anyhoo. On to the words.

hiraeth

 

 

 

fernweh

 

wanderlust

 

kintsukuroi

petrichor

paracosm

sehnsucht

nemophilist

psithurism

numinous

scripturient

vagary

I also must credit the facebook page Word Porn for how I discovered these words. I am ever grateful for their definition-images that intersperse my news feed. šŸ™‚

1 Surefire Way to Talk More Inspiringly

16 Feb

Watch your language.

Words are important. They’re one of the primary ways we as humans communicate. Therefore, what we say, what our speech is, to ourselves and others, is important, right?

You fucking bet your ass it is! Seriously. “Bad words” are only “bad” when they’re used in a malicious way. But a word doesn’t have to be a four letter one to qualify for that. I’ve had personal experience seeing how much more damage the intentional use of the word “asinine” can have compared to casually (and amicably) calling someone a dick. So what is it that makes these particular words – you know, fuck and shit and dammit and holy crapballs and the like – “bad?” Well, mostly ’cause that’s what the stingy adults of the past 3 generations or so have decided. What words count as “unacceptable” changes over time. “Jiminy Cricket” used to be a highly frowned upon phrase. Now it’s the name of a featured character in a Disney movie.

I used to curb my language. For ever and for always. Now I pretty much allow myself to use whatever vocabulary I want – as long as I am also being respectful of the people around me. Like, I’m not going to use sailor language around my ten year old cousin because I know her mom wouldn’t like that. Just like how I’m not going to hug the friends I have who need really big space bubbles. But if I’m talking with a peer or hanging out with my boyfriend? I know that saying words like “ass” or I dunno, licking his arm or something isn’t going to cause either of them psychological damage or whatever.

And you know what? Watching my language – well, watching my language do whatever it wants – it’s been really freeing. I used to feel guilty as hell for justĀ thinking the word fuck. And I didn’t even really have much choice over that! Now that I’ve realized I’m no worse a person for say damn and shit than I am for saying bubbles or rainbows, I no longer shlog around with the weight of a whip-wielding Ā propriety judge on my back. I feel so much better. More confident. Stable. I mean, shit, that propriety judge was such a dick anyway.

Now, lovely readers, I’m sorry if any of you feel that the title of this post was click bait. If you’ve never read my blog before, sorry for any misrepresentation. But the rest of you – hopefully you all know how I feel about “5 Ways to Blah Blah Blah” style lists by now. Seriously. What did you think I was going to do, anyway? šŸ˜‰

Names, Not Labels

31 Jan

I love words. Obviously. I’m a writer. “Love words” is kiiiiind of in my job description. Words are lovely, useful, wondrous things with a great deal of power. And I understand that it’s important for people to have words, to have specific terms with meaning, they can use to describe themselves. To understand themselves.

But all the same, sometimes I wish we didn’t use some of the words the way we do. Because as important as naming terms are, there can be a lot more damage done when they get turned into labels. When a word is no longer purely an identification but a categorization. Identifications expand an existence. Categorizations shrink them.

I wish that certain words would describe but not delineate. Specify but not separate. Define but not divide.

Words like trans, male, gay, butch, woman, and straight. Words like disabled, elderly, mentally ill, druggie, cutter, and poser. Words foreigner, Democrat, GOP, Libertarian, celebrity, homeless.

These words are not an evil unto themselves. But too often we – you and me, people – use them to draw a line between us, the “people,” and the others. By calling someone a label that we don’t share, we push them beyond the realm of the experience we have in being human. By carving humanity into little boxes of likeness, we lose sight of the fact that we are all, in the end, human.

And inevitably, some – even ourselves, even if unwittingly – are bound to assign a “naturalness” to one of the terms out of a group. “This is what’s normal, this is what the null hypothesis looks like, this is the ground state of humanity.” And the ones who don’t fall under that term become something strange. Something different from that which resides within us. We deny full legitimacy to those without our particular label and come to understand them only in terms of deviation.

Thanks to The Lazy Yogi for the image.

Thanks to The Lazy Yogi for the image.

But what if we didn’t look at all the ways humans can exist as deviations from ourselves? What if we recognized each as a fully true expression of all the possibilities of what humanity looks like? What if we viewed the human condition not as bound and filed in a dictionary but as interwoven with no particular hierarchy into a novel? What if we stopped categorizing all the words we might type out of those four keys in our DNA and started seeing how they all fit together to make a larger sense? What if we gave ourselves names, instead of mere lists?

I’d like it if human thinking as a whole could move beyond trying to force us all into our separate encyclopedia entries and started using all the words we’ve got around to describe, not prescribe, instead. I want an identity, not a categorization.

You can get more information out of a narrative, anyway. Encyclopedias and dictionaries have always been so limited in what they have to tell you.

The Voices, or “On Being An Author”

5 Jul

Image

Well. It’s been a while.

Life is life is life. That’s really all the explanation (or excuse) I have.

But anyhoo. On to what I really want to write about.

Authors. There’s a thing about authors. Actually, there’s many. Authors are pretty weird people, where “weird” is defined as some amalgam of wacky, whimsical, wonderfulness that produces the best of the odd types of this world.

But today, I realized that perhaps one of the primary “things” about authors is that we can talk with someone else’s voice. The butcher’s, the baker’s, the candlestick maker’s. The lion’s, the witch’s, even the wardrobe’s. Just about anybody, really. Even – rather especially – the anybodies that don’t even exist yet.

We can speak with the voice of another. An infinity of tongues come pouring through our minds, a handful or so making it out of our pen nibs or fingertips. We imagine our worlds and the chatter that fills them. And usually, out of the myriad voices that tell our tales, one of them is ours.

Sometimes it’s the heroine’s. Sometimes it’s the narrator’s. Sometimes it’s the villain’s or perhaps the voice of the minor character inconsequential enough to not even merit a name. Sometimes we authors know who’s got our brain on their mind. Sometimes we don’t.

Sometime’s it’s just too much fun to not let our brain tell us who it is and try to figure it out on our own.

But in the end, we are the bringers of voices, the dreamers of dreams, the movers and shakers of this world forever, it seems. Or something like that.

But really, we are the tale-tellers. And I think that’s why I like writing so much. I grew up telling myself stories. They were so much moreĀ comfortable than real life (even when I was the tragic lady lying on the daybed dying of tuberculosis or something). My small world’s usual host of voices didn’t hold much to attract or soothe me, so I made up ones that did. The whole I-don’t-like-your-reality-so-I’m-substituting-my-own bit. Except I didn’t likeĀ my reality, so I’d substitute fiction.

Even when I was the only character, life was still better with a narrator. Walking down the driveway became a thing of art, instead of just another mundane moment eked out on the black tar of a Midwest suburb. And what’s more, I was never alone. Having some “other” writing my life along with me meant there was always somebody else who understood my thoughts, my emotions. There was “someone else” who would understand the unexplainable, who would know perfectly what I was feeling through all of life’s deep hurts and trivial injustices.

And sometimes… sometimes it was just easier to be someone else. To be a nineteenth century Irish landlord’s daughter running with the crowd of fishing boat captains and twenty-something urchins. To be a precocious young female lawyer in a town of incredulous rural folk. To be the prodigy of Jane Goodall, growing closer than ever before known and infiltrating the mysterious of social circles of… the deer in my backyard… *cough cough*

Sometimes, it was just easier to be someone else. To take on the voice, the words, theĀ life of someone else. And so I did.

And then… and then I became an author.