Words

What words do you love to say?

Sometimes a certain word pops into my mind for no discernible reason. Yesterday it was Taliesin. That’s the name of a 6th-century Welsh poet, not that I’m familiar with his work, or life, or anything but his name. I like the sound of it. My tongue dances in my mouth when I speak it. So I’ll say it now—“Taliesin.” Say it with me, and if you don’t know how to pronounce it click here, only say it livelier than he does. Taliesin!

Anyway, I started thinking about two other names I love to say: Tatiana and Tataouine (or Tatooine, if you’re a Star Wars fan). Love that “t” sound, obviously, as well as the common ending of words such as delicious, luscious, deciduous, and luminous.

Then I listed other words that feel lovely in my mouth and to my ear like evanescence, soliloquy, arpeggio, and oubliette. Of course, the sound of oubliette is much more pleasant than its meaning.

Sometimes I love to say a word, not because it’s beautiful, but because it makes me smile—pickle. Now really, don’t you think there’s a built-in smile in that word?

Or I like a word because, when you say it just so, it leaves no doubt what you mean. Despicable—give them the steely eye and accent that middle syllable!

I wish I’d kept a list, adding words to it when they delighted me for whatever reason. Now, I’m wondering if I’ve ever used any of these words in my writing—delicious may be the only one. Hmmm.

So tell me; tell me, please: What words do you love to say?

Dream, Memory, Real Life, Words, Writing

Oh, let me swim in that river

When I was a wee thing, my Aunt Helen taught me to swim in Kinniconick Creek near my grandparents’ home in Lewis County, Kentucky. I didn’t like the feel of the occasional fish sucking at my toes, so she let me swim in my tennis shoes. Entering the cool green shade after the long, hot walk was like crossing over into a secret world. I remember the echoing click-clack of the dry stone under my feet, the careful negotiation over the slippery wet stone, the plip-plip-plip-plip-plop of a stone, flung by an older cousin, skipping over the water’s surface. Magical.

Unfortunately, the terror of a near-drowning experience a few years later in a public swimming pool in Indianapolis, Indiana ended my swimming days. However, I still dream that I can swim.

Each dream scenario is different, but the exhilaration I feel when I realize I’m swimming is always the same. I’m surprised to discover I’m swimming, but it’s obvious I can, so I do. With less effort than the action should warrant, I glide through the cool water. I feel no sense of the panic, the breathlessness, that accompanies my being in or even near deep water in real life.

That dream sensation is the same one I feel when my writing goes well. I swim effortlessly down that river of words. I’m joyfully swept away, the sun warming my head, the water cooling my body. At times, my strokes are powerful, carrying me a long distance in no time. Sometimes I tread water, gazing around, soaking up the view, listening, thinking until I’m ready to swim some more. When tired, I float, eyes closed, waiting for renewed strength, and then I flip over and set off again.

It’s been awhile, but I think I hear the splash and babble of water again. I feel the change in the air temperature. I’m so close I can feel the stones under my feet. How long, how deep is this river? I don’t know, but it’s time to dive in. See you at The End.

Goals, Musings, Words, Writing

Always, this ache in my heart

I’ve set my novel aside for just a little while to write some short stories. I traded in the cello for the fiddle and banjo because Bluegrass music better sets the mood for the latest few stories I’ve worked on. Then again, that music fits my mood no matter what I’m writing for another reason—the underlying heartache.

There’s heartache behind everything I write. This past year has been one of the hardest of my real life, but I’m not referring to that heartache. I don’t write about that. I write to forget that. The heartache I refer to is not in my life or even in my writing. It’s for my writing.

Each time I begin a story, I hope this will be The One. This will be the story written so beautifully I’ll amaze myself. This will be the story that captures my true feelings, my true thoughts, my heart.

Frustrated, I watch the hope melt away as I write, never quite managing to put the words I feel on paper. I type ghosts, gossamer imitations, words of gauze. The story flows from my heart a rich, full-bodied cabernet, but seeps from my brain a cheap, watery plonk.

Because some of what I’ve written has pleased others, I try to convince myself to be satisfied with that, but among the thousands of words I write, I see phrases, a sentence, perhaps a paragraph, that hint of what the whole could be, if only I knew how to fully open that connection from heart to brain.

Those diamonds among the rhinestones haunt me. This is not my perfectionism rearing its ugly head. I’m disappointed, not because I didn’t always choose the perfect words, but because I didn’t convey what I intended with those words, perfect or imperfect.

I know what’s in my heart and I believe it’s possible to release that. So, I can only write and write and write until the words flow unimpeded, powerful, and pure. Until then, there’s an ache in my heart.

Social Media, Words, Writing

Miscommunication, the bane of social media! Or is it just me?

Miscommunication is key to the plot in my novel in progress, so I’ve been thinking about the ways we misconstrue the words and actions of those in our lives. Of course, that led to remembering how often I’ve failed in my online communications.

It didn’t take long after I started using email, to discover that lack of aural and visual clues leads to easy misinterpretation of words. The Geeks were ahead of me, of course, and had developed netspeak [LOL] and then emoticons [:-)] as a substitute, but often I neglected to use them and what I wrote in jest or sarcasm was taken seriously.

Unfortunately, I tend to forget that those I communicate with in social media don’t know me. And so, even if I don’t LOL or :-), I assume they’ll know when I’m joking. They’ll know I would never deliberately hurt their feelings. They’ll understand that I often speak before I’ve thought something through and give me the benefit of the doubt. It doesn’t work that way.

And I always forget that it doesn’t work that way.

In my short career in the online writing world, I have inadvertently insulted a NYTimes bestselling author by email and a literary Super Agent by blog comment; I’ve incited arguments where I never meant to; and I’ve annoyed, exasperated, and exhausted people with my incessant—and sometimes blatant—questions.

I’m sure the Internet police have a warrant out for me.

What about you? Do have this online communication thing down pat, or do you sometimes flub it up too?

Block, Family, Fiction, Life, Music, Real Life, Short story, Words, Writing

Crank up the cello and listen for the words!

A sick seven-year-old has graced me with her full-day presence the past two days. Now, I’m behind on all things computer based, including email. I’m not complaining about the time spent with my little prolific reader. She’s amazing. (That’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.)

Of course, since I had no time to write during the days,  The Muse picked that time to come calling. I’d been mulling over a short story idea for a while, but suddenly a few key pieces fell into place.

So the last two nights, when I disconnected and slipped some YoYo Ma cds in the player, the words flowed along with the notes. The first night I totaled 902 words. Last night I added 436 more.

I know some of you knock out more words than that daily, and I have too in the past, but I’ve had some trouble getting back in the groove. I’m please with my progress on this story. Whether this story will end up a winner is still open. As stubborn as I am, I won’t give up on it easily.

By the way, I’m unclear on using a famous person in fiction. I’m using an actor’s name and likeness, but he only exists in my MC’s dreams. Anyone know the rules on that?

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