Greetings

I purchased a Random House Word Menu a while ago (second hand, published in 1992) which I have not really put to good use. So many words, so little time, but I thought I would take the time to show you some of the greetings we use in every day life. We all have our own, customised sometimes, greetings and they might differ depending on the person we are saying hello to. Such a universal thing isn’t it? To greet? Here goes.

Ahoy, all hail, bonjour, glad to see you, good to see you, greetings, hail, halloa, have a good one, hello, hello there, hey, hey-ho

Hi, hi there, hi ya, hola, how are you?, how do?, how do you do?, howdy, howdy-do, how d’ye do?, how goes it?, how’s by you? Howdy-doody

How’s everything?, how’s it going?, how’s the world treating you?, how’s things?, how you be?, how you been?, how you doing?, hullo, how’s life

Welcome, what it is?, what’s happening?, YO, what’s up, sup, howzit

Strange how we tailor our greetings according to the person standing in front of us in order to either create an impression, a familiarity, to make small talk or to hide nerves. I cannot imagine greeting a new employer with what’s up (well, I suppose if my boss was a pimp) and at the same time I cannot imagine greeting one of my best friends with How do you do.

I find Greetings interesting. Not just which type of greeting is used, but also the emotion behind it. It could be a ‘Hey! (so happy to see  you oh my god I have really missed you). It could be a ‘Hi. (Shit, this isn’t weed mom, I swear). Or, ‘Yo. (Let me push my chest out so you know not to mess with this). What about, ‘How’s life? (Because I really want to tell you how shit my life is right now). Greetings are the okay, now that that’s out of the way, lets talk. The foundation on which so many conversations start and the launch pad for which emotional tone they will take.

Stay tuned for my post on Insults, Slurs and Epithets, where we will come across words such as bananahead, basket case, bozo, deadhead, dimwit, dolthead (really?), dodo, easy mark, egghead, shit for brains and the list goes on. We all have our own rage-words, but one can never have too many.

Greetings from Cape Town

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Ghost Story Suggestion

After another successful trip to my favourite second hand bookstore I arrived home with two books. A crime novel by Alex Kava and a smaller, thinner book titled, The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. The latter looked old and the little book itself had been damaged some on the outside. I had not chosen it because I am familiar with the author or because I am particularly on a hunt for ghost stories (although now I might be), but because the cover intrigued me . A black background framing the black and white picture of the ruins of some house or castle. The title in red. Also, the price made me smile.

It tells of a man who travels to take care of the estate of an elderly lady who had passed away. He encounters things on his travels there that no man should. Dark, thick fog with hungry fingers, a woman not quite human but not quite dead, the sounds of pony and trap in the distance which never arrives, the screams of a young child being swallowed whole by muddy waters, the creak and thump of a rocking chair with no one in it, a malevolence in the air that penetrates anyone who comes across it.

So, if you are in the mood to chill yourself, give this one a go. I will be leaving the bathroom light on for some time to come.

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We have promises to keep – Robert Frost

I was watching a documentary on the John F Kennedy assassination when the narrator mentioned that President Kennedy loved to quote Robert Frost. He spoke specifically of the last two lines in the poem below.

Interpret it as you will. For me, today in particular, this poem inspired me to keep writing my novel. I made a promise to myself that I would have 50 000 words by the end of November, and I have that promise to keep.

Image: thewistfulmuse.com

Image: thewistfulmuse.com

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.  

Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)

I kidnapped my inner editor

Regarding NaNoWriMo – I have hit 12000 and something words. Needless to say I have quite a way to go, but I am chuffed with my progress so far as this is my first REAL attempt at actually completing a novel. I had one small, irritating rock in my shoe though. My inner editor.

Image: tropes.wikia.com

Image: tropes.wikia.com

What I have decided to do is kidnap her, gag her and tie her to a chair. I then proceeded to take her down to the basement (yup, I am strong like that) and place her in the middle of the floor. After that I loaded a shotgun and placed it carefully in front of her, making damn sure she stared straight into the barrel that could instantly end her life. There is a leaking tap in my basement which I am now happy I never fixed, because I hope the incessant dripping of unfiltered water will drive her insane. Right behind the shotgun, I propped a clown doll on a chair, staring straight at her. The basement is dark, except for a dim light bulb clinging on for dear life right above the doll’s head.

Image: creepyblurps.com

Image: creepyblurps.com

I know, it seems harsh, but I was left with no choice. She constantly badgers me about my plot, my characters, my punctuation. Someone had to shut her up. I suggest you do the same, and if you don’t have a basement, mine is free.

Now I shall write in peace.

Happy Writing!

My NaNoWriMo Checklist

Courtesy of deviantart.com

Courtesy of deviantart.com

I am fairly new to the writing world and discovered by chance (or, or, I was MEANT to discover) this “thing” called NaNoWriMo. I read some posts by fellow bloggers and soon discovered that this is quite a daunting mission. A mission that has chewed up and spat out some of its best undercover agents. So, naturally, as we do, I decided that I need something daunting in my life.

Can I do it? What do I need? A roof over my head. Check. A computer (do people still even call it that?). Check. An idea. Half check. A constant desire to write with large spurts of procrastination. Check. Guilt for staying home and writing while drones of people scatter to their cubicles every day. Check. Fear of not completing my 50 000 word count due to lack of confidence. Check. A small puppy called TED constantly tugging at my slippers with his shark sharp teeth. Check. Enough coffee to see me through the drought with chocolate chip cookies for dipping. Check. Sunny weather with patches of gloominess and howling winds. Cape Town check.

Can I do it? Damn right I can and so can you. All jokes aside, I am extremely excited and scared and the combination of those two emotions makes us do what we do.

Happy NaNoWriMo to you!

Discovering Old New Authors

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I regularly buy second hand books, love the smell of an old “new to me” book. There’s a little book exchange minutes from where I live, as if meant to be. To be brutally honest, I cannot say that I have been an avid reader since childhood. I didn’t do Tom Sawyer or Harry Potter-like books when I was eleven. I did however have an imagination that I am sure scared my parents at times.

Getting back to the point, my knowledge of who-is-who in the author world is therefore limited. I would stroll into the book exchange and pick my books purely from instinct and back covers. Nothing wrong with that, but I did however stumble across a couple of unsuitable (I try not to use the word ‘bad’) ones. Unsuitable…yes. It was the equivalent of renting a dvd and realising half way through that I am wasting my time if I thought I would get anything out of it, even if entertainment was all I was looking for.

A couple of months back I read Stephen King On Writing and he was kind enough to recommend quite a number of books. Off to the Book Exchange with list in hand. Off course I knew I wouldn’t get exactly what I wanted, but close. The owner had a twinkle in her eye as she saw my list, as if thinking, “Marvellous, a book lover indeed”.  My first 4 buys from the recommended list were;

  • The Tutor by Peter Abrahams (Author of A Perfect Crime)
  • Church of Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns
  • Another World by Pat Barker
  • A Collection of Stories by Faulkner

I had no idea who any of them were, except I have of course heard of Faulkner. This morning I started on The Tutor and I am half way, absolutely intrigued. Loving it! How fun to discover new authors, new to me, not the world. So shall I say I am doing a marathon, if you like, of suggested books.

Suggest away please  (Suspense & Fantasy preferred)….

A scene that popped into my head.

Image courtesy of perversityofconservation.blogspot

Image courtesy of perversityofconservation.BlogSpot

I wanted to share with you this scene that popped into my head.

To the left the ocean, to the right the Namib Desert. Smack in the middle of these two giants ran the road that connected two small towns. There was silence in the darkness except for the faint crashing of waves in the background. A small girl walked next to the road, only partly visible through the thick fog. She was dressed by her mother that day, in a hurry before church.

She wanted to wear her favourite red shoes and her mother obliged. Her long dark brown hair now clung to her face, wet from the moisture in the air, one little foot feeling the cold desert sand beneath. She had to find the other shoe. Had to. They would be late if she didn’t. A man approached, dressed in blue overalls, his face not clear to her. His overalls were dirty with oil marks and faded from years of use. He was barefoot.

“Are you also looking for your shoes?” she asked him, her tiny voice shivering. “No, I am looking for my watch, it was a Christmas gift from my son, I am on my way to see him” he said. He was covering the left side of his face with his one hand. “If you see a red shoe, it’s mine” she said, twirling a strand of her wet hair. “You better hurry, they will be here soon” he said, his voice deep and fearful. He walked on, looking for his watch, and she walked on, looking for her shoe.  From behind a large sand dune a black figure crawled, its blood shot eyes lighting the way ahead. Using its skeleton fingers to feel the path, it crawled toward the road in silence and excitement.