What are you like? What do you value? What are you good at? What do you want to improve?
I write like I think and talk -- I do it carefully, after I've put things together in my head, more or less, and choose my words to reflect what I want to say as accurately as I can. To break myself of being overly careful, I sometimes freewrite -- I make myself write in a stream of consciousness manner for 20 minutes or so without stopping. I write journal entries in my head all the time, and then forget them by the time I'm near a computer. I'm good at word choice, I'm decent at punctuation and grammar, I can convey what I want to convey. I don't have much use for writing in a professional manner right now, but I still try to write here, and in my written journal, which is getting pretty boring. This summer, I'll write about 500 pages of med school applicant summaries. That'll be fun. I like the synthesis projects like those. I'd like to get back to academic writing. I like it and I'm good at it, although I think I'm better at editing than I am at writing... actually, I think editing is easier than writing, so maybe that's why I gravitate in that direction.

What do you most often write? What kinds of writing have you done?
Most often, I write here. In the past, I've written mostly papers for classes (in English and French), lab reports, work reports, letters to friends... I write very little in fiction, but I really like critiquing other people's fiction.

What have you learned about writing and how did you learn?
I've never tried to formally learn anything. I recently read Eats, Shoots and Leaves, but it's the only grammar-type book I've ever picked up. I guess the most I've learned from are writing intensive classes -- I had to take an upper-level comp class in college because I was too lazy to take the test to place out of it, where I had to write persuasive essays and such, and got some feedback on my style. I think I learned the most from Peter Magolda, one of my grad profs, who is a stickler for concise writing.
The three letter Scrabble words that are defined as large versions of something:

GNU large antelope
ARK large boat
KAS large cupboard/pl. of ka
ELK large deer
KOI large Japanese carp {OSPD3}
UTA large lizard
VAN large motor vehicle
CEP large mushroom (cepe)
GYM large room for sports activities
BOA large snake
SEI large whale (rorqual)
EMU large, flightless bird

and the small ones:

KEG small barrel
VOE small bay, creek, or inlet
TIT small bird
TAD small boy
BUN small bread roll
VUG small cavity in a rock or lode
ANT small insect
AIT small island
CAY small low island
BAP small roll {OSPD3}
ELF small, often mischievous fairy
WORD: kismet KIZ-met (noun): Destiny; fate
SYNONYMS: * chance * lot * happenstance
WORD WISE: Kismet comes (via Turkish) from Arabic qismah, "portion, lot."

QUOTE: "Applewhite's writings are heavy with kismet: he said he was visiting a hospitalized friend when Mrs. Nettles
entered the room and their eyes locked in a shared recognition of esoteric secrets." -- Barry Bearak, "Eyes on Glory: Pied Pipers of Heaven's Gate," New York Times, April 28, 1997

My mother sent it to me. She apparently gets a digest of emailed randomness, and sometimes sends some of it my way.

Reading at night is messing with my time management/sleep schedule, but this book is so fabulous! Can't stop!
I hauled my wordgear out to Starbucks tonight. The OSPD4 (since my OWL2 has yet to arrive), my LeXpert list of top 1000 bingos, and my green word book, whose name I don't actually remember. I'm trying to get through the top 1000 and figuring out which are derived from stems that I think are worth learning, and which are standalone words. I'm also hoping to learn all of the pesky three letter words because it makes me self-conscious not to know them. I can play with people rated in the 1700s and be competitive, until I get to a word that I'm (sometimes irrationally and probably incorrectly) sure the other person knows and I don't know, and then I get flustered. I wish I could get them to stick in my head. There are only 1000. It shouldn't be this hard. Aaaanyway, I scrabblegeeked at Starbucks, over a javachip frappucino, and I know at least some of my students were there, and I was wearing my ratty grey fleece from Miami and jeans, and studying Scrabble. If they didn't think I was a little odd before, they likely do now.
today's word of the day is tmesis, but the definition wasn't clear enough for me, so I looked it up on Wikipedia:

Tmesis (Greek, τμῆσις "a cutting") is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is inserted into another word, often for humorous effect. The insertion may occur between the parts of a compound word, of an infinitive (split infinitive), or between syllable boundaries (dystmesis).

Also referred to as diacope, or tumbarumba; the latter due to the popularity of tmesis in Australian speech. Linguists sometimes describe tmesis as a form of infixing.

Examples: "I can't find it any-blooming-where" (see also expletive infixation). Perhaps the most famous example of tmesis employed within a proper name is the popular American expression of surprise or frustration: "Jesus H. Christ" For many years the British have used the similar "Christ All-bleeding-mighty". In The Simpsons, Ned Flanders sometimes inserts the nonsense word "diddly" into the middle of words.


So, we had the bazaar bizarre madness this weekend, and it went well, although we had too much yarn to make it easy to browse through it, and it was too crowded for good browsing. I think maybe a second rack for yarn may be needed. I found a few good presents for other people in my wandering as well, once it calmed down and you could move around -- for the first four hours or so it was wall-to-wall packed. Mob scene. Glad I was behind a table instead of wandering through. I'll post before and after pictures when I have a chance. Was good to see [livejournal.com profile] anneball and [livejournal.com profile] tisana - yay! Hope y'all had fun.

a meme in fours )


Dec. 8th, 2005 07:35 am
I think the thought of the smell of coffee brewing woke me up this morning. It hadn't started brewing yet, but I smelled it as distinctly as if it were percolating under my nose. Now I'm waiting patiently for a cup's worth to come out of the machine of goodness.

Thursday. I have appointments in various locations today. At least it's supposed to be less windy today. Brr.

Yesterday's workshop was only mediocre. I wasn't supposed to have to present, but my presenter had to cancel, and I was stuck.

At least I finally beat Tim soundly at Scrabble last night. He's been winning too much recently. I found EVILlEST and also had ZOEAE for 60ish (hooked to OX to make OXO in the triple lane), and a few other pretty things. I scored 470. That's a nice number. I hope to make it to club tonight.

And now, my coffee, she is ready.

Braingle word of the day: op-pro-bri-ous

adj. :: Attaching disgrace; reproachful; scurrilous
adj. :: Infamous; despised; rendered hateful

"The savages went off uttering the wildest denunciations of hostility, mingled with opprobrious terms in broken English, and gesticulations of the most insulting kind." --Irving, Washington



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