Rewarding Ourselves

Now that you’ve recovered from the excesses of the weekend, it’s time to get the creative juices flowing. Prepare to sally forth with pennant flying, make like St. George and take a stab at that dragon. Or…take all that energy and channel it toward something equally productive like writing a chapter.

I’ve neglected my WIP lately. Between the day job, conferences and stamping out small brush fires like an obsessed rhinoceros (obscure movie reference alert), I’ve birthed some flash fiction but not much else.
Time for that to change. I’m going to reward myself with the gift of time. Writing time. Another 50K words of final editing and this WIP is ready for a round of submissions…unless I find another gaping hole. My fingers are crossed in defiant hope that I can boot this one out the door and wait for the professional rejections to roll in.

Finishing a work and sending it out to garner rejection slips is accompanied by a sigh of relief because if I feel confident enough for an agent or editor or publisher to read (insert title here), then I’ve done my best. Until a week passes and I think: hmm, I could have said this better – or – darn it, I could have had the antagonist fall out the window, into the dung pile and then be attacked by Africanized bees before the horsethieves ran him over with the carriage.

I make a note for the next time round.

Selecting the perfect word to create the best phrase or produce the essential atmosphere can be a challenge. I make lists of wonderful words I stumble across but can’t figure out how to use. They’re awesome but distracting because the majority of readers are unlikely to know them. I call them dangerous words because an unhappy reader might fling our novel across the room if they get derailed too many times. But I love new vocabulary, so I hum the Risky Business theme and slip one in sometimes. 

Today I managed to do just that, I typed in a dangerous word and it worked beautifully. Tomorrow I’ll probably hate it, but right now I’m pretty pleased. This one:
omphalic om·phal·ic (ŏm-fāl’ĭk) –adj: of or relating to the navel, umbilical.
The American Heritage Medical Dictionary
I dare you to go forth and use a dangerous word in your own epistemological rantings. Let us make an effort to increase the loquacity of the culture. Follow the biological imperative. Produce offspring. Be prodigious. Don’t forget to share your accomplishments. Brag about reaching your goal. Put it out there. Boast!
What did you achieve today? Did you treat yourself to a moment of time, a long conversation with a friend, a new book? How do you reward yourself for good deeds, great accomplishments, and not axing the neighbor when everyone knows he damn-well-needs-killing?


  1. #1 by Garner Davis on August 9, 2011 - 2:13 pm

    It's a catch-22 isn't it? Whether to dumb down your novel to appeal to the widest audience or try to raise the literacy quotient one big word at time? For the most part, I'm with you in striving for the latter. But then I'll throw in what I think is a fairly easy word, like "fortuitous," and a reader will ask me what it means. I don't feel optimistic about the whole literacy concept then.

  2. #2 by Lesann Berry on August 9, 2011 - 10:38 pm

    It does feels like there's a catch sometimes. I like words and language but oddly enough, not all readers do. I figure if any word longer than two syllables worms through the grey matter then I've made a contribution toward literacy. Not that single-syllable words aren't any good, some of them are my favorites. In fact, now that I think about it, many single-syllable utterances are superb in asserting a certain depth of emotion. Merde.

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