8 Words to Describe Darkness

"Education Dictionary Word Knowledge Definition" by PDPics

“Education Dictionary Word Knowledge Definition” by PDPics is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

With autumn come cold and dreary days, which grow steadily shorter as the season progresses into winter. Because this lack of sunlight contributes to generally depressed attitudes throughout the cooler months, this week’s Words on Wednesdays is dedicated to finding the writers in the audience eight excellent words to describe darkness. For the gothic lit fans in the audience: a full half of these words are literary terms, so fill up your inkwells and prepare! Continue reading

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7 Non-English Words for Fall

"Education Dictionary Word Knowledge Definition" by PDPics

“Education Dictionary Word Knowledge Definition” by PDPics is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

In honor of September being the official start of fall* and the seventh month of the pre-Julian Roman calendar, let’s jumpstart this months’ Words on Wednesdays by talking about seven non-English words for “autumn.” To make this list interesting, I’ve tried to pick tongues that are easily-recognized but globally and linguistically distant from each other. For languages using a non-Roman alphabet, I have included both native and romanized versions. Continue reading

7 Prophetic Words

"Education Dictionary Word Knowledge Definition" by PDPics

“Education Dictionary Word Knowledge Definition” by PDPics is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

I’m beginning to notice a theme this week: philosophy, religion, and sevens. Not that I mind themes; they can make things so much more interesting. This week’s Words on Wednesdays post will be of particular interest to fantasy writers in all genres, as well as anyone writing in the field of comparative religion. Regardless of whether you fit this bill or not, I hope you will enjoy reading through this list as much as I enjoyed compiling it. Continue reading

5 Words for Great Beginnings

"Education Dictionary Word Knowledge Definition" by PDPics

“Education Dictionary Word Knowledge Definition” by PDPics is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

We don’t think of fall as a time for beginnings, except perhaps as the beginning of the end. It’s a mild season set between two harsh ones, the last of which is winter: the cold, dark sleep. But this year, as summer ends and we all gear up to face another season, another semester, another year, I encourage you to think of autumn, or any season, as an opportunity for a new start. And then, while we wait for NaNoWriMo to come along, take your newfound outlook and these very fitting words and do something with them. Continue reading

10 Difficult Words to Read

"Education Dictionary Word Knowledge Definition" by PDPics

“Education Dictionary Word Knowledge Definition” by PDPics is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

I think everyone has a word or two that reads different silently from aloud. Sometimes it’s done out of ignorance, or habit, or even for fun. Mine is Eleanor. In my head, it has four syllables and the last two rhyme with “manor.” I know that it isn’t correct, and I wouldn’t dream of purposefully mispronouncing someone’s name, but somehow that diphthong in the middle has never set well with me. Continue reading

15 One-Word Writing Prompts (with Definitions)

"Alphabet Antique Character Equipment Key" by PublicDomainPictures is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

“Alphabet Antique Character Equipment Key” by PublicDomainPictures is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

A lot of non-creative people believe that being an artist is the easiest, most natural job in the world. After all, writers, painters, and musicians must all have some sort of innate genius, right? And tapping into that genius—penning the words, brushing the strokes, strumming the chords—takes no effort at all, right? I mean, if you’re good at it. It’s easy to fall into these pitfalls of ignorant thought, where we automatically assume that we are the only ones working hard, but the truth is that we all get creatively constipated sometimes. Continue reading

5 Words in Need of Revival

"Education Dictionary Word Knowledge Definition" by PDPics

“Education Dictionary Word Knowledge Definition” by PDPics is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

I must confess: I have a bit of a jones when it comes to “old” words. Maybe it’s because I fancy myself an intellectual, or because I was raised by older parents than were most of my peers. Using the word “stilly” to describe corpses lying under a blanket once got me a friendly reprimand in Advanced Creative Writing: “That word is ancient. I’m old. That’s ancient. The last time I read it was Thomas Moore, ‘Oft, in the Stilly Night.’ That’s from around 1800.” I was somewhat crushed. I liked “stilly.” I thought it fit. It had a cellar door sort of appeal. Continue reading