Improper Words

Today’s writing exercise is a mind workout. It’s a simple process, that for me really opens my mind to new word choice possibilities.

Here we go:

  • First grab a dictionary.
  • Flip to any page you want.
  • Randomly choose a word from the page.
  • Now, use the word in a sentence, but change the part of speech it normally is to another one. So, if the word is a noun, use it as an adjective, or a preposition.
  • Do any part of speech, but try to maintain a similar meaning or at least a meaning you would expect that word to have in the new form.

Colors are a good example. You hear about a leaf greening, or a face yellowing, what would be oranging?

How about the sun oranging the street?

What about the word corolla – a noun meaning the petals of a flower?

What if a building had no windows on the first floor, but the higher up you looked the more windows there were and the tighter together they were built? What if they seemed to curve together and make up the whole top of the building. Could the windows be corolla windows?

Not only is it a word that evokes specific imagery but the vowels smooth over from one word to another. Corolla windows.

Words are limitless.

I always joke with Justin that my English degree certifies me to change the language at my will.

The truth is (I love this topic, if you can’t tell) language changes by anyone’s will.

Obviously, I think there is importance in the proper way of writing and using the language -proper spelling, grammar and all that, but I think about how fun it is to manipulate the language as well and really-how important it is too. Creatively changing the language to meet the needs of a writer wanting to express a very specific idea makes using words in uncommon ways important, as an exercise of the creative mind and a practice for writers pushing envelopes like e.e. Cummings and Shakespeare.

What are some of your favorite uncommon, improper uses of words?

 

Also, check out a review for my poetry collection by Michelle Proulx! A big thank you goes out to her for reading and letting people know about it.

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About Me (Remember These?!)

Remember those “About Me” surveys we all used to post on the forgotten land of Myspace? Well, I thought it might be a bit of fun to fill one out and post it for you guys. Just a little nostalgic fun while learning a few random, personal tidbits about me. Maybe we’ll see that we have some odd things in common hiding behind our shared love of literature, writing, sci-fi or otherwise already known similar interests that has brought us together. Comments discussing found similarities encouraged, as well as re-posting the survey or making your own.

 


Ultimate ‘About Me’

by Sooz_123


001. What is Your Name?

Lizbeth Wright

002. How old are you?

Born in 1986. Grab a calc.


003. What is the link to your website, blog, or myspace?

You are here.


General


004. What is your height?

5 feet and 2 inches


005. Do you have any siblings?

I do, one brother, Josh. I admit he is pretty awesome.


006. What is your eye colour?

Oh, blue-ish, green-ish grey-ish.


007. What is your hair colour?

Brown locks currently, also, naturally.


008. Do you wear glasses or contacts?

Glasses, when I drive, or whenever I generally want to see.


009. Are you right handed or left handed?

I am right handed. However, I have spent some time making sure I can write legibly with my left.


010. Do you have any piercings?

I only have my ears. I do want a few more in my ears, but I’m also lazy.


011. Do you smoke?

Nope.


012. Do you swear?

I’m a sailor in the car and on a boat.


013. Do you get along with your parents?

Yes.


014. Your heritage

Irish, Native American


015. Your fears

Losing a loved one.


016. Goal you would like to achieve this year

Self-publish 2 novels, earn an award of some sort, get a promotion or quit.


017. Most overused phrase on an instant messenger

Does anyone IM anymore? Well, I’ll say yolo -have these people never heard of Carpe Diem?


018. Best Physical Feature

Justin says, “eyes.”


019. Your bedtime

Nights before work around 10. Not before work? Around 10.


020. What time do you arise in the morning?

For work 6:30 and on days off I sleep in until the late hour of 8.


021. First thoughts waking up?

Hi Justin, you’re still asleep.


022. Do you shower daily?

I love showers, except in the winter, though I still shower daily no matter the temp.


This Or That?


023. Bright or dark room?

Bright wall colors, dark accents and furniture.


024. Chocolate or vanilla?

Don’t make me choose. Seriously, I’ve annoyed countless people trying to decide.


025. Dogs of cats?

Large dogs and small cats. I have one of each.


026. Pepsi or Coke?

Pepsi. I drink water mostly, so when I get a soda I go for the hard stuff.


027. McDonalds or Burger King?

Mmmmm Burger King, and I don’t care, their fries are better.


028. Ant or Dec?

I do believe I have no clue what this means…


029. Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea?

I cannot remember which has the really strong sweet taste, but not that one.


030. Cappuccino or Coffee?

Both and right now.


In the last month have you…


031. Drank alcohol?

I love wine.


032. Gone to a mall?

Of course.


033. Eaten a box of Oreos?

No, I may have eaten a couple.


034. Eaten sushi?

I love sushi. I eat it as often as possible.


035. Been on stage?

Oh, I did do the Gangnam Style dance at the company Christmas party.


036. Been dumped?

Nah, Justin and I have been together for 8 or 9 years. (We like to Mr. and Mrs. Smith it)


037. Gone skinny dipping?

No.


038. Stolen Anything?

No.


Have you ever…


039. Laughed for no reason?

I laugh a lot, but I always have a reason.


040. Been caught doing something you weren’t supposed to do?

Probably not.


041. Been in love?

8 or 9 years.


042. Fired a gun?

Yes.


043. Been drunk?

Not staggeringly so.


044. Been called a Tease?

I think that was on the list of names, yes.


045. Been beaten up?

No, but I do constantly beat up Justin. (Like I said, we Mr. and Mrs. Smith it).


046. Shoplifted?

No.


What was the last….


047. Furry thing you touched?

Ansem, my cat.


048. Thing you’ve said?

“I heard something that resembled a laugh.”


049. Song you’ve listened to?

Sweet Dreams, I’m currently watching the Following.


050. (Who was the last) person you’ve spoken to on the phone?

Justin


051. Movie you watched?

Sinister, it was not all I had wanted it to be.


052. Thing you were doing before this?

Making and eating chicken strips.


053. Time you cried?

Errr, I’m not actually sure.


054. Song you’ve sang?

Cinema. It was on the radio on my way home.


055. Time you looked at the clock?

Gah, you made me! It is now 7:56


056. Food and drink you’ve had?

Chicken strips and a diet Mountain Dew. I do the Dew.


057. Flavour of gum you’ve chewed?

Mint


058. Shoes you’ve worn?

Work shoes, black, plain and old lady like.


059. Store you’ve been in?

Albertsons.


Favourite…


060. Planet?

Saturn.


061. Age you’ve been so far?

25. I accomplished a lot that year.


062. Season?

Spring and Autumn


063. Number?

4


064. TV show?

Friends. Still.


065. Flower?

Orange Tiger Lilies


Random…


066. How much cash do you have on you?

A whole dollar.


067. What’s a word that rhymes with ‘door’?

More.


068. What T-Shirt are you wearing?

A long sleeve, purple and black smokey one.


069. What brand of shoes are you wearing?

I took them off, and I do not know off-hand.


070. What did your last text message say?

Lol


071. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Sleeping, bad dreams though.


072. What’s your current desktop picture?

A little cartoon girl with hearts and a big smile pulling a panda by the legs.


073. What’s a word that you say a lot?

AXEL! (yelling at the dog).


074. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?

Probably brown.


075. How is the weather right now?

Cold, but calm.


076. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?

Eyes


077. Are you too shy to ask someone out?

Nah.


078. Can you do a headstand (not using a wall)?

Psh, no.


079. Who would you like to see right now?

I really want to play a video game with my brother. I miss that.


080. How many pillows do you sleep with?

I have two, but I really only use Justin’s, so four?


081. Would you go on a date with someone on MySpace?

No.


082. How do you want to die?

Happy and old.


083. What do you want to be when you grow up?

A secret agent.


084. What country would you most like to visit?

Ireland, maybe soon.


085. How many CDs do you own?

A lot.


086. How many things, in your past, do you regret?

Many things, though I add less and less to them each year.


087. Do you think you are attractive?

Sometimes, I am.


088. Do you believe in yourself?

Always.


089. Do you want to get married?

I do. (haha)


In a boy/girl…


090. Favourite eye colour?

Brown that turns green sometimes. Remind me of almonds, sunflowers and snakeskin.


091. Favourite hair colour?

Black.


092. Short or long hair?

Both are great.


093. Height?

6’1″ ish


094. Weight?

185

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Contest Results and Resolutions

First thing’s first!

I was really excited to do a contest/giveaway of my poetry collection. I asked anyone to comment with their favorite poet and each day, for 5 days, I would select one person at random to receive a signed copy of A Sense of Light or Darkness. No one commented and this seriously depressed me, but I think, as writers know all too well, sometimes rejection or a lack of enthusiasm happens and we all experience it and we learn from it and how to deal with it. It’s part of writing and creating and pushes us to dig deeper, write better, and work harder.

So, despite the lack of comments, I would like to still give away the signed copies. There were 4 likes on my post so each of them get a signed copy, named as follows:

Please email me at lizbethwrightbooks@gmail.com an address to which I can send you a copy. Thank you for the interests and I hope you all enjoy the book.

Since it did not work out the way I had hoped, I would like to also give 2 additional signed copies to my highest commentators as shown by WordPress stats:

I really appreciate your participation and following of my blog and I hope you enjoy reading my first published work. Please email me (lizbethwrightbooks@gmail.com) an address to which I can send your copy.

And now onto the workshop!

Writing down goals and resolutions is one step in committing to them.Making them visible, tangible, and accessible helps you to remember them. So today, I’m writing down my resolutions as an attempt at commitment.

  1. Writing Projects – there are several items that fall under this; finish Alphaeus by March, finish my zombie guide, make some solid headway on my gargoyle novel, always etc. etc.
  2. Maintain weight. I think it’s important to always make exercise and weight management a resolution -no matter what your goals are; maintain weight, build muscle, lean up, or lose 50lbs.
  3. Do a challenge. I’ve seen a few really fun reading and writing challenges that I would like to participate in. Now the challenge, picking one. Haha.
  4. Ireland vacation. I would love to start seeing the world, and first on my list is Ireland. As a subcategory – relearn geography. (Sometimes my imagination replaces real geography with a fake one.)
  5. Become a better blogger. The last couple weeks I’ve skipped writing a blog post on certain days. With the holidays and days off from work, I go see people or whatever I decide to do and I end up forgetting or procrastinating because I fool myself into believing I have time and will just do it later. I’m on the right track, I’ve just got to keep that productivity arrow pointed up.

Bringing Up Books: Crank

When I picked this book up, I thought I would be in for a treat. I was excited about the format, and for some reason the short, thick dimensions were (unexpectedly) interesting in a good way. Ellen Hopkins decided to tell the story using free verse poetry, so of course I would like it. I love those odd, unique choices. I had read Zombie Haiku which is similar -using the little harmonic 3 lined poems to develop the apocalyptic struggle- short, but extremely successful, so I figured this would be just another verse-full joy. It was not.

Crank tells the story of a young girl, Kristina, who, on a 3 week vacation to see her father, becomes enamored with Adam, who then enables her to try Meth. Upon trying the drug, she falls into its addictive grip. Back from her vacation with her father, her struggle through her addiction becomes even more complicated when she is raped.

Hopkins’ novels are widely respected and simultaneously the center of controversy. She deals with hard subjects; drugs, sex, rape, and suicide and receives droves of criticism as a result. As a voice for these issues, she stands as a roughly real writer and people seem to either condemn her works or give exceptional praise for them. I find myself wanting to do neither.

Initially, I thought that because I have never done drugs there was a lack of connection to the character. Maybe that’s true, but I have not been completely shielded from drugs either. I know people , friends and family, who have suffered from such addictions, some people facing extremely similar situations and consequences. I think the feeling of a lack of connection was from something else. I think that Kristina’s sense of character is lost, which is sad because poetry is the medium in which the particulars a writer chooses to highlight in the story shows the audience the character and the scenes in such a vibrant, precise way. When you choose to write a book in only poetry, you need to allow that format to contribute those minute yet distinct details. It’s a challenge, a real, very difficult challenge that takes more than just knowing poetry and just knowing novels. You need to have a firm grasp of storytelling and movement, rhythm, syllabic importance -even if it is free verse, but above everything you need to be able to allow alterations to the story you have to tell and to the poetry in order to make the best work from them both. It’s a give and take when trying to make two things work together. In some cases what you have set in mind needs to be changed to make it work well. It’s tricky, especially when you are talking about taking a novel (wordy, descriptive in such a way that gives you the most amount of detail) and formatting it in poetry (precise, descriptive in the way that gives you only the most important details).

This novel has all the elements to a compelling story, it has characters that can be interesting, it even has a unique form and delivery, but for me it lacks. I understand it, I know there is pain, I hear the poetry, I can see why people love it and I can see why others hate it, but, for me, it still just lacks. Maybe it’s the sense of a lost connection. Maybe it’s simply that the reputation hyped it up and then it fell short by comparison. Or maybe it’s the choices Hopkins made while writing.

A teacher from high school once told me that the hardest part about writing is picking and choosing what to keep and what to scrap. It is completely true. All of those details you choose to give or cut really decides how well the work comes out. And with poetry it is even more important due to the brevity of the form. It makes me think that in Hopkins’ (undoubted) countless edits, amidst the trash and crumples, there lies pieces, fragments of the story, those little details that would have made a stronger connection and a very successful marriage of novel and free verse.

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Fall Fashion

I am really loving these color combinations lately. My signature black and brown is full on for the fall/winter season. Black and red are great, Christmassy without the overwhelming green and red combination. I also love orange, I think I’m bounding off of Halloween still and am throwing that rustic look on it so I can still justify wearing it. Another combination I’m enjoying is purple and black, pairing it with heavy black eyeshadow makes it even darker.

I used brown lipstick the other day, not a color I usually wear on my lips, but I thought it looked good. I wore really light tan eyeshadow on my lids and a dark brown in the crease and at the outside corner. Loved that look!

Also scarfs! My roommate has got me on a scarf frenzy. I own about 7 but hardly think to wear them. She wears scarfs a lot and they always look fabulous. So now I’m scarfing.

Bringing Up Books: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

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Seth Grahame-Smith, the same author as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, wrote Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, a book definitely fitting his niche. However, in this book he uses Lincoln’s diary entries to work in his vampire world. Through “found” diaries of the late President we are able to follow Lincoln’s journey and his close tie to the vampire society. In his childhood he realizes a vampire kills his mother and sets his mind (and body) on hunting vampires.

The book has a few unexpected turns, and pleasant surprises (at least surprising me). I think this is Graham-Smith at the best I’ve ever read from him. Vampire Hunter works better than his Pride and Prejudice because he is not as entirely constrained by another authors text. Instead, he is able to use history and the journals to highlight his story, making it seem like the truth. The story has just enough violence balanced with an obviously heavily associated protagonist, but the other characters, like the vampire Henry, are just as well developed. There is a compelling sadness to the story, that really gives the novel a meaningfulness not often felt, especially for a mash-up fantasy, horror genre. I highly recommend.

P.S. I have yet to see the movie, so I can not compare the two. I am anxious to see how it compares, though. Soon. Soon.

No Connection, It’s the Revolution.

So Friday I had absolutely no connection to the Internet or even a computer. I was unable to post my Sci-Friday bit, but it gave me a decent idea for this week: The show Revolution. Airing on NBC, this tv show is about the world after basically a giant EMP goes off, killing all electric power; computers, cars, any machines that work off electricity. The show is pretty interesting and most of the characters are interesting as well. As much as I love the concept of seeing the world 15 years after living without the constant connection to well, everything, to everyone, I really hate the main character, Charlie. I think she makes terrible decisions constantly. However, another main character, her uncle Miles, is great. He has an interesting backstory and development. Anyways, this is not a review, I just watch the show and find the concept fascinating, especially when we go even just a few days without that kind of instant connection; how much we feel we lose, or how we feel when get it all back.