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$10 WORDS AND OTHER MYTHS

And today's - final! - guest for the month is my friend and author Merith. She is a respected and talented writer, with most of her work currently in fanfiction. She seems to think her ambitions into original fiction may be a dream - but I think she's being way too modest! I'll remind her that we shared the sheets a few years ago, when we both had an original short story published, in a book produced by Borders and sponsored by my local Arts Festival. Her skill and sensitivity in writing remains sound, whatever and wherever the characters :).

Her post today is about the love of words - and her determination to nurture and praise them :).

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Once upon a time, (because all the really good Fairy Tales start out that way), I was accused of using words deliberately above myself. Since the accuser was my (then) husband, I managed a pause to reflect before disputing the claim. And dispute I did. Loudly! Though this scene happened nearly 25 years ago, I still remember the word he thought part of my ‘$10 word’ catalog: objectionable. As in “I find this show to be objectionable”. (Which I thought appropriate, seeing as the show was one of the many “Faces of Death” videos he popped into the VCR).

That was not to be the last time accusations of flaunting my vocabulary flew during our 11-year marriage. As much as he complained about my word use, one would have thought it was my cleavage showing rather than my intelligence.

I can, and have, forgiven the ex for his ignorance; he is the one who gave up on the chance to learn and grow. It pleases me that both our children love learning new words. And if I use one they don’t know or cannot infer based on context, they ask. Even my daughter, who has a reading disability she struggles with daily, has a verbal vocabulary worthy of a collage grad.



I collect words much like some women collect Beanie-Babies or porcelain dolls. A new word is savored, used in a way that integrates it in my life, in my environs. Once there, I have the urge to share the word with family, friends and sometimes, in writing.

With the internet at my disposal, the world of words and their origins is my oyster. And what a little glutton I am! Dictionaries, word of the day RSS feeds, thesauruses and encyclopedias, I have it all. Yes, I confess to being a logophile – a wordie.



This love of words and phrases is shared with a few million friends (give or take a dozen). And none are more my friend than those authors who make my day, showing me what writing is really about – the mastery of words. The mastery that is exuded comes not from a heavy hand, slapping down words with seeming impunity, but with a light touch, placing the right word just there. The right word that can make a pivotal point stand out; a love scene so much sweeter (or grittier); a character that much more loved (or hated).

Writers who used words in just the right way that’ll make me pause, breath caught for the moment, eyes closed in near orgasmic bliss, are like sommeliers delivering that taste so exquisite, time stands still. There have been many authors from a variety of genres and writing styles, all so unique, who have fed my addiction.
The authors most beloved aren’t necessarily the ones who can use the word juxtaposition in the correct context, but the authors who can, and do, use words common and everyday in a unique way.



My other love that so closely follows on the footsteps of word love and reading is writing. From the time strings of words clicked and I understood basic sentence structure, I was hooked. I had to tell stories using the words picked up in reading. I was forever writing, no matter that I couldn’t spell my way out of a paper bag.

My father always claimed I would become one of the ‘Great American Novelists’ and for a time, I believed him. I would preen under his attention, dreaming of some day seeing my name on lists with other greats – Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Vonnegut, and DeLillo. But the more I read, the more I believe it will remain a dream. The years of childhood pass, leaving decades behind, and the urge to write tempers with doubt and uncertainty. How can I ever expect to compete with these word soldiers wielding their craft with the dexterity of a neurological surgeon and the grace of a ballet dancer?

Forays into Fanfiction refined the raw skill, but… ready for stepping out with a work all my own, characters I’ve dreamed up, and a world built in my imagination? Maybe, one of these days.



Until that day comes to pass, I will be sitting here devouring books by the dozen, collecting words for my ‘$10 word catalog’, searching for the next word dealer to give me my fix.

~~Merith~~

My Blog.


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AND JUST FOR FUN...!!

Today's Quote:
"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning."
T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

Today's Daft Google Searches for 'Clare London':
"Bar Refaeli shoots swimwear ad in Hilton's pad" probably mistook her for me... :)



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Follow this month with Clare (look at the goodies so far...):

Jan 28 : Author Dusk Peterson talks about the highlights and challenges of historical fantasy.‏
Jan 28 : FREE FICTION from me - just a shortie, Give and Take.
Jan 29 : Author Elle Parker talks about the fun of bouncing ideas off the ones she loves.‏
Jan 30 : Author G. S. Wiley asks how much do we like reality in our historical romance?‏
Jan 30 : Author Cat Grant ponders the place of reality in our contemporary romance.‏



Jan 22 : Author Jordan Castillo Price wonders "what if" she hadn't been a writer?
Jan 23 : Author Syd McGinley asks Is Dr. Fell a Gary Sue?‏
Jan 24 : Author Angela S. Stone tells us about her 'Bunnies' and offers Free Fiction.‏
Jan 24 : Author Lori Toland tells us about the rock 'n' roll of her new release.‏
Jan 25 : Author Rowena Sudbury talks about inspiration and its spark in her fiction.‏
Jan 26 : Author Anne Brooke shares her new release "A Stranger's Touch".‏
Jan 27 : Author Chrissy Munder suggests we examine our assumptions.‏




Jan 15 : Jen of Well Read savours the memory of food, and seeks it in her fiction!
Jan 16 : Author Mel Keegan tells us why we should all be visiting the GLBT Bookshelf.
Jan 17 : Author Cassandra Gold discusses the wonderful world of the romance sub-genre.
Jan 18 : Author Wren Boudreau asks "Who am I...and am I okay with it?"
Jan 19 : Author Jenna Hilary Sinclair confesses her addiction...to writing!
Jan 20 : Author Dakota Flint discusses the fascination of the Epilogue.
Jan 21 : Author Janey Chapel treats us to pictures of her favourite kink!




Jan 08 : Jessewave wonders - tongue in cheek - where the less shiny guys are!
Jan 09 : Anne Cain shares her art and encourages a show and tell!
Jan 10 : My latest release Upwardly Mobile is out at Amber Quill today.
Jan 11 : Author Lee Rowan discusses why love should not be a garotte.
Jan 12 : Author Jaime Samms asks if readers prefer short or long stories.
Jan 13 : Author Erastes explains why her submissions keep aiming for the stars!
Jan 14 : Author Daimeryan Rei describes the rewards of writing both fan and original fiction.




Jan 01 : The New Year brings the release of the Immortal Fire anthology IN PRINT.
Jan 02 : author Chrissy Munder asks if current affairs in fiction is delightful or just dates us.
Jan 03 : author Madeleine Urban describes how her characters hijacked her brain.
Jan 04 : author Theda Black's inspiration reaches from a bionic penis to the power of Pan.
Jan 05 : author Josh Lanyon shares some exceedingly good books with us.
Jan 06 : author K. Z. Snow questions what all the fuss is about authors 'making shit up'.
Jan 07 : Josie aka 1more_sickpuppy compares her life and friends online and off.


Want to grab a day to pimp, pose or pontificate? Email me at clarelondon11 @ hotmail.com and I'll happily find you a space ♥

NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.

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Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
chrissymunder
Jan. 31st, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
Isee we need to get you the T-shirt "Got Words?".

I adore the A.Word.A.Day (AWAD) emails in my inbox everyday. For awhile there I was writing 100 word drabbles for each one. It was an interesting exercise.
merith
Jan. 31st, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
oh yes! i love WotD as well and have given into the urge to write to a word or two. :)
angelasstone
Jan. 31st, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
XD!! I love having a vast vocab. Makes it interesting when you want to write :)!

And keep beliving in your self, I started off writing fan fiction. now I am *THIS* close to finishing my first 100% OC novel... (I'm squiggly!)

If you want to do it, then there is loads of people willing to support you :)!
merith
Jan. 31st, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
thanks! i probably will venture out and about one of these days. but for now, i'm happy to putter around with what little i am doing.
angelasstone
Jan. 31st, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC)
:)! just be happy where you are! the rest doesn't matter! *nods*!
sharona1x2
Jan. 31st, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
Merith, you know I'll support you if you ever do write original fic, even if it's not my cup of tea. I think you definitely have the skill to do it. Don't sell yourself short. Until then, I'm going to greatly enjoy all your fanfic. ♥

ETA: Remember, there's no rule that says you can't do both, as long as you enjoy yourself. *hugs*

Edited at 2010-01-31 03:36 pm (UTC)
merith
Jan. 31st, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC)
oh sharon, i know you'd support me in whatever it is i said i'd want to do. ;)

writing in general has sort of dried up on me, but i've got another fanfic or two left in me. there's a certain contest i need to fulfill a promise for.

*hugs*
cdn_tam
Feb. 1st, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm glad you said he's your ex. I was going to have to smack him on your behalf. LOL Objectionable? HE was objectionable. :-)

I'm not a wordy really but I do tend to have a rather large vocabulary which I blame on reading. I may not use it all the time but I know the words. You can't help but come across new words when you read a lot. Okay, maybe most of them you'll never use but my brain is filled with miscellaneous tidbits and words and phrases that you just never know when they'll come in handy.

Good luck with your writing.
merith
Feb. 7th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
hey thanks! one day the writing will come and work out for me; for now, i'm content to read and plot. yeah, with the ex, the word thing was a little annoyance, but the man had several.


Okay, maybe most of them you'll never use but my brain is filled with miscellaneous tidbits and words and phrases that you just never know when they'll come in handy.

oh yes! exactly!
jordan_c_price
Feb. 5th, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes! I totally agree about that pause of wonder when the most perfect word in the world appears in a sentence--even a word we already know well, an unassuming word, but one used in a really adept way. Or maybe an odd word that couldn't have been anything else, that never seemed to fit anywhere until I saw it used in just that context. You've really nailed the little thrill I get when I run across that, too!
merith
Feb. 7th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
there are times when it seems i live for that thrill while reading.

i have to say, you've triggered that response in me on more than one occasion. :) thanks so much!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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