Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday Word: Conker

conker |ˈkäNGkərnounBrit. the hard shiny dark brown nut of a horse chestnut tree.• (conkerstreated as sing. ] a children's game in which each child has a conker on the end of a string and takes turns trying to break another's with it.
I Had no idea conker was another name for horse chestnut until I came across "dead rat conkers" reading Terry Pratchett. I missed these guys from the old country–when I was growing up they were everywhere. The trees lined majors streets, their cones of white flowers signaling spring, and their seeds littering parks and sidewalks in the autumn. When the spiky pods open the seeds that emerge are warm brown and shiny–irresistible for small children. Unfortunately, the shine dulls within a few days.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wednesday Word: Tiffin

tiffin |ˈtifinnounIndian or dated light meal, especially lunch.ORIGIN early 19th cent.apparently from dialect tiffingsipping, of unknown origin.
I don't remember where I picked up this word, but it must've been something British.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday: Penumbra

penumbra |peˈnəmbrənoun (pl. penumbrae |-brē-brīor penumbrasthe partially shaded outer region of the shadow cast by an opaque object.• Astronomy the shadow cast by the earth or moon over an area experiencing a partial eclipse.• Astronomy the less dark outer part of a sunspot, surrounding the dark core.DERIVATIVES penumbral |-brəladjectiveORIGIN mid 17th cent.modern Latin, from Latinpaene almost + umbra shadow.
Not all shadows are created equal.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wednesday Word: Ruminant

ruminant |ˈro͞omənəntnounan even-toed ungulate mammal that chews the cud regurgitated from its rumen. The ruminants comprisethe cattle, sheep, antelopes, deer, giraffes, and their relatives.
a contemplative person; a person given to meditation.
adjectiveof or belonging to ruminants.
ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin ruminant- chewing over again, from the verb ruminari, from rumen throat (see rumen.
So if someone says "You're such a ruminant!" they're either calling you a sheep or a deep thinker. Perhaps all sheep are deep thinkers.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday Word: Celerity

celerity |səˈleritēnoun archaic or literary swiftness of movement.ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from Old French celerite, from Latin celeritas, from celer swift.
Sometimes I wonder how and why word usage changes. I can understand "landau" going out of fashion, but what was wrong with "celerity"? Aside from sounding like a root vegetable.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday Word: Brumous

brumous |ˈbrəməsadjective literary foggy; wintry.ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from French brumeux, from late Latin brumosus (from bruma winter).
That's the local scene from about a month ago—it gets foggy in my 'hood once in a few years. Currently it's summer in LA with sunny skies and temperatures in the eighties. Not a drop of rain in sight. El Niño has been a big disappointment so far.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Jordan Castillo Price is one of the first m/m authors I read, and she is part of the reason I started writing in the genre. So not surprisingly, I was a tad nervous meeting her in person at the Atlanta GRL, even though we had interacted only plenty times before. Fortunately, she was cool, and a little crazy, and we hit it off.

Jordan and I both design book covers too, and it's nice to have someone to talk shop with. It was her idea to do a design-off—both of us coming up with an original book cover using the same basic elements. These are the final result. Guess who did which one.


See the whole creative process in action on JCP's web page.