Friday, April 26, 2019

Coffee and Conversation with the #RomanceGems

It's time for Coffee and Conversation with the Romance Gems! So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and join us for some fun. This month's topic is: Favorite Words

We all use them, agonize over them even as writers. After all, we are wordsmiths! So, tell me... Do you have a favorite word? One you use in your books, speech, or just because you love it?

"Favorite words!! How can I pick just one? For over 30 years I taught elementary school and made sure each year my students became sesquipedalian logophiles - lovers of long words. A few of my favorites over the years - troglodyte - a cave dweller - or recluse and shenanigans - silly or high spirited behavior, mischief." ~ Kari Lemor

"Gaze Verb: to fix the eyes in a steady intent look often with eagerness or studious attention Noun: a fixed intent look. - I use the word gaze too much as in this example from one of my books: "She’d seen the appraising way Scott’s gaze had raked over her.” As a young writer, I learned not to use “eyes,” because eyes don’t leave your body. They don’t drop to the ground or rake over someone. The trick is not using “gaze” too much and finding an appropriate synonym for it. Verb: gape, gawk, peer, stare or Noun: gape, regard, scrutiny, stare." 
~ Jan Scarbrough

"One of my favorite words, especially when writing, is albeit." "It felt decadent to be this aroused by little more than a few, albeit perfect, kisses." (from Touch Me) ~ Nancy Fraser

"Since I write historical, there are words I love to use that I can only use when writing my Regency romances. Take melancholy. It's not a word we don't toss around too much nowadays. It's not really a word I have my historical characters use, but it certainly was in use in those days to describe what we now call depressed or depressing. Therefore, it's a word I will use to describe a character's state of mind. A couple of other archaic words I sprinkle into my books are odious or vexed. They're just so . . . so quaintly old fashioned." ~ Cheryl Bolen 

"One of my favorite words is shenanigans. I love the sound of it, the number of syllables and the fact that it's so old, but still self-explanatory. Especially when used like this: Hooligans got up to shenanigans. Now, I ask you, who would need that explained? But no, I don't use it in my contemporary romances...but maybe I should have a grandparent say it as a joke. HMM..." 
~ Bonnie Edwards 

“I fixated on the word surreptitiously for a while. I still love it, but it's just one of those words that stick out like a sore thumb, so you can only use it once, maybe twice if they're really far apart in the story. I try to be aware of those neon bright words that distract rather than enhance, but sometimes I can't help myself.” ~ Elsa Kurt

"My favorite word is colloquialism. I once had a heroine pull on a toboggan. In Texas it’s the same as a ski mask. Not so up North! That’s when I learned about colloquialisms." ~  Karen Kelley 

"Oxymoron. First, because it has one of my favorite words, MORON in it. Hee hee. I love a good oxymoron, like JUMBO SHRIMP, VIRTUAL REALITY, ORIGINAL COPY, and ONLY CHOICE. Kids, I could talk about this all day! Salacious. Say it slowly…sa—lay—shous!! You don’t even need to know the meaning to know it means something….dirty! Bifurcate. My daughter hates that I use this word all the time instead of just saying split in two!! Hee hee Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. No explanation needed for why this word is one of my favs." ~ Peggy Jaeger

“Ooo… As is my typical fashion, I’ll choose something a bit dark and mysterious… Kismet - a noun meaning destiny or fate. Synonyms include circumstance, doom, fortune, lot, and portion. A very bad character from Hellfire and Handbaskets speaks of kismet, and it suits him. But I also like quintessential - an adjective meaning perfectly typical or representative of a person or a thing. So, he's a quintessential bad guy.” ~ Kathryn Hills

"I had to really think about this - I have a short phrase instead of a word - Oh my stars - In Lost and Found my main character used this phrase, actually Cari uses it throughout the Loudon Series." ~ Lucinda Race

“A favorite word of mine is abscond. Many equate this word with theft, but I like to think of it as leaving stealthily, furtively, or secretively, with something. Not necessarily something stolen, but rather something not to be discovered or shared. As most of my characters have secrets they would rather not divulge, the whole idea of absconding, keeping said secrets safe.... I love the word. There is no substitute.” ~ Kathleen Lawless

"I don't know that I have a favorite word. I do especially like words that have internal "music" such as miscellany, a commonplace word that sounds almost musical when spoken. I'm fond of words like serendipity. It just sounds like fun. I like sentences with internal rhyming words like Poe's The Raven: "Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary..." Dreary and weary are evocative and set the rhythm for the poem. I'm a fan of palindromes—words or phrases that are the same when read backward or forward. Long ago in elementary school English, I learned how much fun palindromes could be with what Napoleon supposedly said when exiled to Elba: "Able was I ere I saw Elba." ~ Joan Reeves

Okay, it's your turn to join the conversation! We'd love to hear from you. What is your favorite word? (keep it clean *grin*) Add your comments below or send via email through the "contact us" link on the bottom of the left sidebar. 

You can also make suggestions on what you'd like to discuss here in the future. 

We've got LOTS coming up in May, so stick around. Thanks for joining us!

~ The Romance Gems ~

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  1. I love the word "shenanigans" too! Indeed, "melancholy" is a beautiful word. "Serendipity", "ethereal", "oblivion", "ephemeral". Okay, time to stop!!!

  2. I honestly can't think of any words I love to put in my stories. I spend lots of time taking those pesky words that always pop up despite my efforts to block them. Block might be a favorite.

  3. I actually used surreptitiously in the first paragraph of my first book. And I used shenanigans in that same book later on. Words, words, words! No wonder I became a writer!

  4. Good choices here! I like excruciating a lot, and I love slippery. I never realized how versatile it is until I used it in an unexpected sentence and liked it a lot. :-)

  5. I love words!!! all words, even stupid ones like...stupid!!! hee hee

  6. This was such a fun post! I really enjoyed reading about the other favorite words!

  7. A totally fun post to read. No wonder we are wordsmiths!

  8. Ok, anyone ever go to dinner in a group and when the food arrives everyone else's looks better? "I should've ordered that, or that, or yours." This is THAT post...I love all these words!

  9. What a fun post. Thanks, Kathryn, for putting this together. Looking forward to Coffee & Conversation in May.

  10. I love shenanigans. It's definitely up there in my top three favorite words. I love the words chiquita and whiskey as well. Words that are fun to say, you know?


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