Monday, March 28, 2016

April A to Z Challenge: Theme Reveal

"Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew." --Cicely Tyson

I've accepted the challenge for the first time and signed up! Have you heard of the A to Z Challenge (details and history of challenge here)? It's a yearly challenge in the blogging world, now in its seventh year, in which posts in April follow alphabetical themes. Hence, April 1 = A, April 2 = B, etc. (minus Sundays, for a total of 26 posts--a day for each letter in the alphabet). Topics can be inspired by the alphabet letter itself, or by aspects of a specific theme highlighted alphabetically. For my theme, I've chosen:

A to Z Challenge: Haiku A to Z

Haiku for me is a writer's prompt, a word-lover's playground, and an invitation to see things in a new light. It also carries its own challenges. I've been playing with this form of poetry for some time now. Why not then post samples (with each first line starting with the letter of the day) of my haiku along with tips and words of wisdom from those who know a lot more about the subject than myself? I'm a student, still learning and experimenting, so the subject continues to take me on a path of discovery.

Hope you'll stop in occasionally during the upcoming month, I'll enjoy visiting with you. Wish me luck on this adventure.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Etymology (Not to be Confused with Entomology)

Garden Friend, September 2015
"Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time."

It's part of the writer's life, I guess, the love of words--and loving the history of those words. And it goes without saying that etymology goes deeper than simply a word's definition.

What's the difference? Well, "A definition tells us what a word means and how it's used in our own time. An etymology tells us where a word came from (often, but not always, from another language), and what it used to mean." (

So, over the years, I've collected a grouping of favorites from a variety of sources. Here's a sample:

"Imagination comes from 'image.' --Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet

"Someone online asked me how to use intuition. Well, intuition works best when you remember that 'tuition' is part of it. You need to have paid ahead of time (ie done your prep work) so as to prepare the ground for intuition." --Jane Yolen, For Writers

"The word trial (try-all) refers to a tentative, experimental act." --Gabriele Lusser Rico, Writing the Natural Way

"With connectedness and pattern, meaning begins to emerge; we call this larger pattern context --literally, 'that which is braided together.'" --Gabriele Lusser Rico, Writing the Natural Way

The Greek word interpreted as 'comfort' originally meant 'to walk alongside of'."    --Marsha Crockett, See the Wind, Mommy

"Courage comes from the Latin 'cor' which means 'heart'."--Beth Moore, Study on Esther

"To remember is, literally, to put broken pieces back together, to re-member. It is to create an original wholeness out of what has become scattered fragments." --Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God

"Humility means staying close to the ground (humus), to people, to everyday life, to what is happening with all its down-to-earthness." --Eugene Peterson, The Ministry of Small Talk

On-line sources for exploring etymology from different angles:
     *Curious Word Origins
     *Etymology of English Words Which Derive from Latin
     *How to Study the Etymology of Words
     *Fun with Words and Word Origins
     *On-Line Etymology Dictionary
     *Etymology and Vocabulary Building

Do you enjoy dipping into the etymologies of words? If so, what is one of your favorite words and its history?

p.s. And entomology? A branch of science that deals with the study of insects--like my little friend in the photo taken last fall :-)