Archive | September 2015

Ridiculously Mind-Blowing and Completely Useless Writing Facts

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The word “tip,” meaning a gratuity, was originally an acronym standing for “To Insure Promptness.”
The word “queue” is the only word in the English language that is still pronounced the same way when the last four letters are removed.
Of all the words in the English language, the word “set” has the most definitions.
“Almost” is the longest word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order.
“Rhythm” is the longest English word without a vowel.
The longest word used by Shakespeare in any of his works is “honorificabilitudinitatibus,” found in “Love’s Labours Lost.”
The name LEGO comes from the Danish, “LEg GOdt,” which means “play well.”
The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.
No word in the English language rhymes with month, silver or orange.
The word “geriatrics” was not coined until 1951.
Eskimos have more than twenty words to describe snow.
The act of snapping one’s fingers has a name. It is called a “fillip.”
A “clue” originally meant a ball of thread. This is why one is said to “unravel” the clues of a mystery.
The ampersand (&) was once a letter of the English alphabet.
The only three words in the English language to have 2 consecutive u’s are vacuum, residuum, and continuum.
Shakespeare invented the word “assassination” and “bump.”
The phrase “rule of thumb” is derived from and old English law which stated that you couldn’t beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.
The “dot” over the letter “i” is called a tittle.

…and Useless Facts Unrelated to Language, but Deserving of Honorable Mention…
Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest.
Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.
Los Angeles’s full name is “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de losAngeles de Poriuncula” and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size, “LA.”
Bats always turn left when exiting a cave.
The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
The “pound” key on your keyboard is called an octotroph.
The volume of the Earth’s moon is the same as the volume of the Pacific Ocean.
The house fly hums in the middle octave key of F.

Cool-Sounding Words that are Actually Words
callithump—a loud parade.
googol—the figure 1 followed by 100 zeros (where “Google” comes from).
haruspex—an ancient Roman priest who practiced fortunetelling by reading entrails of sacrificed animals.
hendecasyllabic—an adjective applied to a line of verse of eleven syllables.
Pneumoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis—a disease of the lungs developed by coal miners from breathing underground fumes.
pseudepigrapha—spurious writings, particularly those attributed to Biblical sources.
scop—an old English poet.

 

Makes you want to say them over and over, doesn’t it? callithump…callithump…callithump…

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Cool Characters

Here’s your chance to talk about the coolest character you’ve ever created, one that’s impacted your life in some way.11802048_111528785859748_2021885595_n

Ooo, ooo, ooo, me first! Without a doubt that would be Samantha Stafford, one of the characters in Lucia’s Web. She’s not even the protagonist, just a quirky sidekick, but for some reason this girl has been consuming my thoughts and invading my dreams. I have no idea why, because Sam’s the polar opposite of me.
Where I think before I speak, Sam repeatedly has to yank her foot from her mouth. Where I can get pretty anxious about things, Sam’s permanently calm and unflappable.
Sam is adventurous and flamboyant in her expression, a sort of bohemian free-thinker locked in the twenty-first century, and as quirky as they come. She’s bold and bubbly, not afraid what anybody thinks of her, and is comfortable in her own skin. She’s not the most articulate, but that doesn’t phase her in the least.
I have no idea why I feel so drawn to her, but I do.
Her fashion sense is a reflection of her carefree personality. She carries this pink, floral, embroidered bag everywhere she goes which, until recently, I wouldn’t have been caught dead using. But…lately I’ve been on a crazed hunt for a bag just like hers. My husband thinks I’ve lost my marbles and I can’t blame him. The poor guy just humors me, but I’ve promised to only go for a mild version of the “Sam bag” as I call it, and not the full-on hippie-type bag she carries.
I’m even tempted to buy myself a pair of dungarees and a few stringy tops to try out some weird expression that doesn’t even come close to my personality or dress style. I’m generally pretty safe in the way I dress, but I’ve secretly started hankering for a more relaxed style, which isn’t like me at all. (Not brave enough to try out the full repertoire of hippie apparel, but a slightly more relaxed style is tempting.)
The other day I had an “aha” moment, and considered Sam as protagonist in a new series I’m mulling over. Hmmm…something to think about. I think she’d like that.

It’s a weird thing, don’t you think? Fleshing out characters with unique personalities, making them so real that it almost hurts to remember they only exist in your head. (Say it’s not so!) Sam’s just so cool and easy-going; she wouldn’t be offended by my last statement. I love her openness, her ability to be herself and not hold back. If only there were a few more Sams around, the world would be a calmer place.

Now it’s your turn…

Lucia’s Web Wins!!!

The results of the Highlighted Author cover art competition were announced yesterday…and Lucia’s Web won FIRST PLACE in the mystery category! Thanks to the judges, and especially to Amanda Matthews for her stunning design. I feel so honoured to have won!!

golden star awards 1st place - mystery trophy