Blog, SoCS

SoCS – A Word Please

Linda has given us the most difficult challenge today. I am still not quite sure how I am going to handle this one. If you want to join in, head over to Linda’s and get the scoop on the rules. Here’s the subject for the day.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “your favorite word.” Decide on your favorite word and use it in your post any way you’d like. Enjoy!

Asking me to choose my favorite word is like asking me which one of my children I love the most. And of course the most obvious parental response to that question is “I love you the same but differently.” Children never buy that response.

My head has been spinning since I read the prompt last evening. What word among all the words in the world would I choose? I have friends that choose a word for the year every January. I cannot even do that!

The more I pondered the question, I found myself drifting into memories I had associated with different words. Good memories. Cherished memories. And finally I settled on my word.


Odd word to choose I suppose, but the memory I share with the word is close to my heart. 

I remember sitting on my paternal grandfather’s knee when he taught me to spell Mississippi.

“M I crooked letter crooked letter I crooked letter crooked letter I humpback humpback I.”

And there you have it. Just a small example of the way my brain works on a cloudy Saturday morning. Have a great weekend everyone.


Desensitizing Language

Yesterday I marveled at a man I follow on Instagram who posts the most amazing macro photographs. His most recent subjects were macro photos of ants at work. The shots were amazing especially if you are interested in the mechanics of photography:

I started thinking about how we use language to desensitize subjects that might be uncomfortable.

Let’s start with meats. We differentiate cow from beef, pork from pig, venison from deer, and mutton from sheep. The etymology of these words comes with quite a history lesson. I will not repeat all of it here, but this link gives you a little of the origin history (And no, I did not verify the historical references. I will leave that to you dear reader.)

What I will say is that it makes it more comfortable when you go into the grocery store and see meats fully dressed and called by its gastronomic name.

Thinking about war and the constant conflict in our world, we use  words like troops and forces. We rarely read about the humans on the ground fighting in these conflicts. We know all the military and political leaders by name but those fighting are rarely seen as individuals.

One of the most offensive phrases introduced in business to me was ‘human capital’. Ugh.

But back to the ants. We call animals and insects we want to remove from our lives pests. We know they are living creatures, but if we can classify them in a way that leaves them undesirable we can justify their removal. Of course, ants like all members of the ecosystem serve their purpose. The harm comes more when invasive species are introduced to a non-native environment.

Okay, this has become a stream of consciousness post and perhaps it is best to spare you any further rambling on my part. But before I go I must ask.

Isn’t language fascinating?

Blog, Writing


Day 98

One of my writing lessons today was all about getting the reader interested in the story you have to tell. It made me think about what makes me want to continue reading. Of course, the first line is key.

I found this great infographic from which they will generously share as long as they are properly credited. Fair enough! Please click on the link below the image and check out their website. They have some helpful articles for writers — and they provide editing and proofreading services to boot.

Compelling First Lines of Famous BooksInfographic created and owned by

What a powerful list of novels first lines! My most memorable has always been A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

As I ponder the beginning of my book (I am learning the beginning of the book is often not discovered until well into the writing) I ask — what is your favorite book? Do you remember the first line? Or maybe it’s not your favorite book, but one that has stayed with you over the years.

As I was researching today, I also ran into a writing prompt I’ve seen many times before. If you were writing an autobiography, what would your first line be? Well, folks, reducing one’s life into a compelling introductory sentence could be difficult. Definitely food for thought.

It’s been a good, full day. Now I am off to ponder words and try to decide if I am going to enter this writing contest that fell into my lap today.