Sunday, March 11, 2007


Words are my bread and butter, that is as a grant writer and a mystery author, words are the means by which I put that sadly forbidden--but desirable--food on my table!

Words elicit, conjure, bring up and invade the mind with images. Words trigger feelings and emotions. Try the word "rotten." Betcha that you'll think of it and mentally add, "apple," and have a visceral reaction about rotting fruit or a bad person.

Word choice, the preciseness of the word in the context of its surroundings of sentence and paragraph, are important. Probably, that's why some of us--make that "me"--tend to rewrite a sentence many times to get just the right fit.

Here are some very helpful links to word lists, where a "word" a day is provided. I've found that reading these commentaries has helped me enrich my vocabulary, clean up some misconceptions about a word's meaning, and given me starter ideas for stories.

Here are a few of my favorites: Provides a word a day with various meanings and origins. Sends a word a day with a humorous take on the word and its meaning.

And, for the children's authors, don't forget the wonderful book by Alijandra Mogilner Children's Writer's Word Book, with gives word lists, grouped by grade levels for K-6.

Yours in mystery,

My children's mystery story, "The Case of the Purple Hands," features the Stanley Street Irregulars, a trio of fifth-grade, multicultural sleuths. It will be in "Stories for Children" in April.

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