Archive for Wordsmith Wednesday

Wordsmith Wednesday – Sharing Is Caring

The best part about books you love, authors you adore, is sharing them with others. We like to say things like, “Go read Storm Front by Jim Butcher, it’s awesome times a thousand,” and then leave it be. For those of us who collect books like other people collect stamps, we do not share the actual books except to a few select people. We’ve been burned before. We loaned our Douglas Adams collection to our best friend and never saw it again. Because their kids ate half the pages.

However, some people have passed our test. They borrowed our precious books and not only returned them, they kept the binding pretty and even shared some of their own collection in return. These are people we keep with us always. Which is why, even though I had barely spoken to him since we broke up, I loaned two books to my ex-boyfriend and didn’t bat an eye.

Yes, you read that right. I contacted my ex to see if he’d read the most recent two offerings in Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series. When I found out that he had NOT, I was horrified and immediately offered to loan him both books at once. Maybe we couldn’t hack it as a couple, but man are we sympatico as readers. He needed those books. I needed to share them.

 

Who have you shared with today?

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Wordsmith Wednesday – Depression

Heavy topic, I know. Thing is, there are so many of us who suffer from depression that we can’t NOT talk about it. From those of us with the clinical kind to those of us with the situational kind to those who have loved ones in the grip of this monster, it’s a pervasive, crippling force that we all have to deal with. Shall we start with a definition?

 

via dictionary.coma condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason.

Until recently, I thought I had dealt with it since puberty. Looking back, I see that I was probably dealing with it long before that, puberty just ratcheted up the tension. At puberty I became aware of the possibility of suicide. Also, hormones. I have been in therapy, even been on medication. Unfortunately, the one time I found a medication that worked, my “doctor” decided that meant I was bi-polar and added an anti-psychotic to the cocktail. Hello, zombie hordes, behold your new queen!

I quit all the medication and therapy in disgust, feeling that the doctors working for county care didn’t want me to be well, just quiet. One good thing to come out of that time was overcoming the contemplation of suicide as an option. Because it is not. Ever. I’m not going to say that suicide damns your soul because to someone who is suicidal that just flat doesn’t matter. Here’s the cold truth. Your death won’t make the world a better place. In fact, it will make the world absolutely horrible for the people who love you. Yes, we exist. I include myself because even if I don’t know you, your death will break my heart. Why doesn’t matter.

Depression is a horrible ugly road to travel. The smallest thing can send us on a spiral down into an abyss of horror and pain. We can’t climb out, no matter how hard we try. Most days it’s all we can do to get out of bed in the morning. We pray for the Grim Reaper to show up and take us out of all this hurt even while we fear his appearance.

Here’s the good news. Just as the smallest thing can send us down, the smallest thing can also lift us up. The light at the end of the tunnel isn’t always a train. We can have good days.

 

How has depression touched your life? What do you do to battle your own demons?

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Wordsmith Wednesday – Jim Butcher’s Ghost Story

Ghost Story (Butcher novel)

Image via Wikipedia

I love reading. I mean, I’d rather read than do almost anything else. When my friend Laura handed me the book-on-CD of Storm Front, the first in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series, I was very excited. Mostly because it was being read by James Marsters. Halfway in, I was hooked. I now own all the books and several of the books on CD.

Ghost Story is the thirteenth book in the series, and was just released. My mom and I both squealed with joy when it arrived from Amazon. Yes, you read that right. My 67-year-old mother squealed like a 13-year-old in anticipation of this book. I’ve read it through once already (in one day), and after I read it again for comprehension there might just be a spoilery review headed your way. Because, like Joss Whedon before him and George Lucas before him, Jim Butcher is my master now. If only I could figure out how to do that in the Star Wars font. Sigh.

What about you guys? What books, or series, turn you into a kid on Christmas morning the instant the get into your hot little hands? What author enthralls and entrances you the most?

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Wordsmith Wednesday – Thursday Edition – Word of the Day – Lethargic

via Dictionary.com :

 

Lethargic –

[luh-thahr-jik] –adjective
1. of, pertaining to, or affected with lethargy;  drowsy;sluggish.
2. producing lethargy.

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Wordsmith Wednesday – Not Guilty

Yesterday, the verdict came down on the Casey Anthony trial. A nation was stunned as she was found not guilty of first degree murder even though she was found guilty of providing false information to the police.

The words “not guilty” are powerful ones. They can (and have) reduced people to tears of joy, disbelief, anger, and a whole host of other emotions.

My feelings on this explosive topic are varied. One thing I know for certain is that the defense attorneys did their job. All they had to do was create reasonable doubt. The prosecution had a far tougher job to do, because the burden of proof rested in their hands. In the end, they did not have enough solid evidence to convict. Everything they had was circumstantial.

In my opinion, with the evidence they had, they should not have tried for first degree murder on such a flimsy foundation. Granted, I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me that one ought to have a rock-solid case before going for a conviction that could lead to the death penalty. There should be no shadow of doubt when lives hang in the balance.

I don’t know what the prosecutors and police know. I don’t even know what the defense knew. All I know is what the media told me, and they tried and convicted Casey Anthony before she even got to the courtroom. Yes, what I was shown of her behavior was strange and off-putting. However, the jury found her not guilty. The jury found her innocent of first degree murder.

Was she responsible for her child’s death? I think so. Caylee was only two years old. Casey was wholly responsible for her and anything that happened to her. Was she guilty of premeditated and willful murder? The courts have decided not.

Via Wikipedia, here are the degrees of murder under U.S. law:

First Degree Murder is any murder that is willful and premeditated. Felony Murder is typically first degree.

Second Degree Murder is a murder that is not premeditated or planned in advance.

Voluntary Manslaughter sometimes called a “Heat of Passion” murder, is any intentional killing that involved no prior intent to kill, and which was committed under such circumstances that would “cause a reasonable person to become emotionally or mentally disturbed.” Both this and second degree murder are committed on the spot, but the two differ in the magnitude of the circumstances surrounding the crime. For example, a bar fight that results in death would ordinarily constitute second degree murder. If that same bar fight stemmed from a discovery of infidelity, however, it may be mitigated to voluntary manslaughter.

Involuntary Manslaughter stems from unintentional, but reckless or criminally negligent behavior. A drunk driving-related death is typically involuntary manslaughter. Note that the “unintentional” element here refers to the lack of intent to bring about the death. All three crimes above feature an intent to kill, whereas involuntary manslaughter is “unintentional,” because the killer did not intend for a death to result from his intentional actions.

 

With that knowledge, what are your thoughts on this case? What do the words “not guilty” mean to you? How did the media coverage color your opinion? Do you think Casey Anthony would have been found guilty of a lesser charge, such as involuntary manslaughter? What would have been your moment of reasonable doubt had you been on that jury, sequestered from the media and internet with only the evidence and the testimonies available to you?

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Wordsmith Wednesday – Blogger Mash-Up

There are quite a few blogs that I read. Some are in my sidebar, and some are not. Thought I’d give y’all a mash-up so you can see who I go to for inspiration and entertainment.

In no particular order:

 

Kristen Lamb – The woman who started me on the current leg of my writer’s journey with a kick in the pants, humor, and friendship.

Rhona Bennett – aka Miss RnB – I stumbled onto her blog a short while ago and read her blog on motivation. I was hooked!

Amanda Rudd – A truly kindred spirit with a brilliant way of expressing her love affair with words.

Amy Sundberg – The most practical free spirit I’ve had the joy of reading.

Aaron Graham – His humor combined with his thoughtfulness makes you forget you’re learning something.

Cid Tyer – She’s so organized it sometimes makes me cross-eyed, and yet she balances it with an equal amount of creativity.

 

What about you, dear readers? What blogs do you recommend?

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Wordsmith Wednesday – Effulgent

Today we have a word of the day: effulgent.

as per dictionary.com :

–adjective

shining forth brilliantly; radiant
It’s no secret that I like big words. Why use a ten-cent word when you can use a ten-dollar one? Like most writers, I collect words like this just in the hopes of dropping them into conversation, much less using them in my writing. This word comes courtesy of William the Bloody a.k.a. Spike, a vampire character in Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe. I’ve been re-watching the series and this word caught me again, made me smile, so I thought I’d share it.
What about y’all? What are some of your favorite ten-dollar words? Why? What do they mean?

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