Which is best: modern dictionary with thesaurus or old; well loved thesaurus publication? Here are some examples as I thumbed through both.
The New Roget’s Dictionary & Thesaurus Form – Edited by: Norman Lewis (edition 1931, 1936, 1959, 1961, 1964 by: G.P. Putnam’s Son
idol: n. – image, golden calf, graven image, fetish, (worship); beloved, darling, dear (love)
celebrity: n. – luminary, personage, notable (fame)
The Little Oxford English Dictionary and Thesaurus – 2003, 2008 copyright
idol: n. -1) icon, effigy, graven image, fetish, totem 2) hero, heroine, star, celebrity, favorite, darling; inf. blue-eyed boy
celebrity: n. – star, superstar, personality, household name
While I compared the two widely different examples, I noticed something very disappointing: the English language is diminishing before our eyes. The language in which we speak is losing its luster and stamina.
While editing my novel “Soul’s Little Lie” I noticed something about my writing from the early stages. I repeated what I was taught in simplicity of word style. The words I used in how I wanted to express the feeling of the story and character interactions were weak; had no power to hold up against the pages. While using my old 1930s Roget’s Thesaurus I learned of words I never knew existed or the context in which they are used. My eyes, my mind expanded to a whole new (perhaps old) world. I dove into this new found adventure and began adding what I had now learned.
There are ways to to use words in explaining a time period or a type of character in how they speak. Say, in the 18th century a character would speak in a more colorful manner. So using, ‘older style’ words would be appropriate. However, that’s cheating us out of the beauty of words. I would ravel in the joy of using ‘notable’ than ‘superstar’ to describe an idolized person.
The way words are used today are extremely simplified so much that this generation and the next will not know the art in which words are created. There are many words in different languages that mean the same thing just like the English language does, too. The difference is, older cultures try to keep to the same ways of language as long as possible. More modern, faster growing; expanding countries like the United States throw away or shift words around too much. Everyone seems to want to keep everything around them fresh, ‘novel’ as though they can’t sit still long enough to enjoy what they already had.
I ask you now, readers and writers alike: Open your old, beloved thesaurus with renewed vigor. Dive into those dust stained pages. Let your fingers do the walking. Play with the idea for a while in what new; old words you can use in your future works. You will not be disappointed. I promise you that.
Having written two novels, first original manuscript is being completely reworked now, I have found that comfortable locations to set down to work is important. I’m not just saying a place where it is most covenant – I’m saying it’s best to find multiple locations whenever possible.
You’ll have your typical locations where your desktop or laptop are located: living room, bedroom, din, or kitchen table. Those are all common places that are good to work at as long as it’s quiet and you get no disturbances. (‘Disturbances’ is for a new blog sometime) I’m talking about the uncommon locations. My current ‘uncommon’ location I’m typing right this very second and have been for the past two hours is reclining on my Liberator brand Esse chair. The chair is located in my studio/bedroom semi-apartment where I’m currently living with my elderly parents. This chair is black, velvety soft and curved to the contour of your back and legs. Plenty of pillows to support my head and neck. Price tag: $499.99 purchased at any adult sex toy shop online or in person. Comes in many different colors and a larger size, too.
Why this chair, you ask? Well, it’s comfortable for me. It’s away from my main location – my art studio desk and terrible gray; old fabric office chair. I knew I should have gone with my Dad to get a free, new office chair last month. The real, logical reason to change my location where I type is simple: the feeling, the energy to continue said scene was stagnate and unmoving with emotion. I had to find a place to feel comfortable mentally. It’s what painters do to find that right place of inspiration while they paint or draw. Same applies with writers.
Sometimes I’ll type on my bed, but that isn’t very comfortable simply because it’s where I sleep. While I typed “Soul’s Little Lie” book one, I did lay on another bed from time to time when I was married. The reason – the energy was there at that time. I even typed parts of it sitting in my childhood 1930s wood oak desk in the living room of the apartment. (since then I gave the desk away and I think I should not have, oh well.) However, trying to type in the ragged; falling apart recliner that was my ex-husband’s, didn’t fair well in energy. It smelled and was dusty. It was comfortable for a few minutes, but not for long. Then I’d find myself back in the queen size bed typing away a few more pages.
Another location I tried and I don’t recommend this for everyone, was at a cafe called Zippy’s. The atmosphere was inviting. Charming with little nick-nacks of bikes hung on the wall. Pictures of Zippy the dog. Local artists finished canvas paintings up for sale. The coffee was good. The black bean, cheese, spinach quesadilla with hummus was fantastic! However, it was noisy but not too much. I plugged in my IPod ear buds and turned on my ITunes collection. No matter how much music I drowned out of the background noise it didn’t work. I had barely typed one full sentence before I realized there were too many people around. My eyes kept getting distracted with movement around me. I would sense the presence of someone about to get up from their table or chair, or even the couch. (They had great couches there with plenty of pillows) Zippy, the male black spotted; white coat dalmatian, was walking around checking out all the customers and even came to see me. I realized this was not working. Ate my tasty, homemade quesadilla, packed up my laptop and headed home.
The basis of a comfortable location for any writer of any level is this: when the energy strikes pulling you to a part of your house or apartment or even a location in your school, listen to your instincts. The proper location can make or break the time you take to write a new story, article or full novel. Yes, by all means write anywhere when the mood strikes and always bring a notebook and pen with you just in case ideas start flowing. Not all of us have those fancy IPhones or IPads or other tablet devices.
Just like location is everything for a new store to take root, this same principle applies to writing – location, location, location. Find a place comfortable that feels just right for that special energy that will propel you forward into your next best work. When that ‘typing location’ goes stale, pick up your butt and your work and move to a new location. The same applies with finding just the right place for a picnic or a perfect tree to lean against to read a good book.