New Words And Old

Writing Difficult Topics

My internet ramble started with reading an article on the Writer’s Digest site: Writing Cozies With An Edge. Harper Kincaid writes about incorporating unusual or difficult subjects into a cozy.

One of her main characters is “a neurodivergent nun.” Eh? Where’s my dictionary? I couldn’t find it in a quick check with M-W, but they define neurodiversity as individual differences in brain functioning regarded as normal variations within the human population. Variations like ADHD, OCD, or Autism.

Her nun has some level of ADHD and her cousin in this story is an undiagnosed autistic. Agatha Christie had this one, too: remember Hercule Poirot’s personal fussiness and how he was always straightening things? He was definitely OCD.

Kincaid mentions other difficulties the MC may deal with: loss of vision or mobility, ethnicity or foreign origins – Hercule Poirot again – or age, like Miss Marple. Her thought is to work the topic in lightly and deal with it compassionately. “No subject is taboo if you have empathy.”

The Ragtag Daily Prompt yesterday was FRACTAL, another word that sent me to the dictionary. I did best with M-W’s definition for juniors. Fractal is an irregular shape that looks the same at any scale on which it is examined.

Fractal Image: Gordon Johnson — Pixabay

Today’s RDP word is CONSEQUENCES. An old and familiar word packed with deep meaning. Aren’t most stories built on people meeting the consequences of their actions, for better or for worse?

We’re inclined to expect wrong actions will receive just consequences, even if we hope to dodge them ourselves. (We always have noble reasons, right?) Scammers try hard to escape detection, but I suspect if someone would drain their bank account, they’d soon cry foul. Shoplifters would likely be furious if someone came to their house and raided their purse or carted off their precious things.

Cozy mystery readers expect the baddie to lose, they want challenging clues so they can help figure out whodunit, and they prefer low levels of angst. Murder and mayhem, but no horror or gory details. They like a neat wrap-up: the bad guy gets caught; the good guy wins the girl; the female sleuth impresses the handsome detective. So much the better if he falls for her even if she’s bipolar, an amputee, over the hill, or damaged by a trauma in her past?

On the other hand, I’ve noticed that the male main character – the love interest – is always smart, incredibly handsome, and physically fit. Hunks only need apply for this role. 😉

Haiku in Chocolate

I’ve just checked out The Haiku Foundation’s Troutswirl and read the submissions for the monthly KUKAI. The theme is chocolate and I can see it’s not the easiest subject on which to write a short, proper haiku. Still, an amazing variety have been submitted and readers are invited to vote on which they like best. Some are humorous, some romantic, some are almost risqué. Others deal on the child-labour aspect of harvesting cocoa pods. If you’re interested, you can READ THEM HERE.

Inspired by the various thoughts, here’s a hodge-podge of verses I’ve written on the theme. I trust some will give you a smile.

chocolate bunny
the hesitant child
nibbles the tail
mom’s chocolate chippers
still warm on memory lane
abiding comfort
children’s party
a stack of Oreo wafers
all licked clean
shopping Plus Sizes
the chocolates I’ve eaten lately
come along
eying the curves
of her chocolate cake
his heart races
her longing gaze
wanders once more to his
plate of brownies

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning: RISQUÉ

Fingertip-to-Screen Issues

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning was KEYBOARD

My keyboard is usually quite reliable, but now and then it irritates me. One frequent fault is the tendency to reverse the order of letters in certain words. Know what I mean? I type in m-o-r-n-i-n-g — I know very well how to spell it — but on my screen it shows up as monring. As the letters pass through the circuits and into the brain of the thing letters get jumbled.

Had I been aware of this fault, I certainly wouldn’t have named my book Silver Morning Song. Half the time when I write this title, it comes out as Silver Monring. Very annoying! Mind you, I had a different computer when I published the book, so the fault must lie somewhere in the wires connecting this keyboard to the cranial nerves of the hard drive. Somewhere is another word, often showing up as soemwhere.

Not that I’m wishing to be a constant caviller, but this is vexing. I have to do a lot of checking up on this thing because it slips in the odd letter now and again as well. But when I ask some tech-smart person about this problem, they first get this blank look, then this odd sort of smile, then say, “Must be Operator Error.” As if I don’t know how to spell. Hmph!

What about your keyboard? Does it always obey commands, or is it a fractious thing, too?

NYR: Sort out WP!

Good morning everyone. It’s Boxing Day here in Canada and we’re snug and warm after an “Alberta clipper” blew through Saturday night and dumped snow on us. We couldn’t make it to church yesterday because of the snow drifts on our driveway — our son-in-law came with his little Takeuchi skid-steer and plowed so we could join them for Christmas dinner. However, we’re very thankful for “streaming” so we could listen to the service.

I just read the post on Boxing Day that Brian over at Writing from the Heart with Brian and I wrote a nice long comment in response. Saturday when I tried to subscribe to his blog, I couldn’t. In the end I went into my Reader and typed out his URL. But today when I tried to post my comment, I couldn’t. No way. If you read this, Brian, my efforts likely landed in your SPAM queue.

So here’s my take on Boxing Day in Canada. Folks from the UK can add their traditions as comments.
Boxing Day has been a long-standing tradition in England and most of her one-time dominions. I’m not sure if boxing up gifts for others carried over very long after the wars. I never saw anyone doing this here in Sask but I have heard of it being done — maybe by some church-going people?
People could not shop on Boxing Day. It was — in fact is still is in our province — a legal holiday with stores and banks shut. When I was a girl nothing was open on Sundays, Good Friday, Dec 25+26, etc., until Walmart came along and got special exemptions from Sunday + holiday store-closing laws. Now a lot of stores here are open–shorter hours–on Sundays. there will be some parts of Canada with laxer laws on store-opening hours.

Thinking of SPAM queues for a moment, has anyone else noticed that there’s no EMPTY SPAM button anymore. I didn’t realize this until I chanced to click on my SPAM comments queue — something I do every blue moon. I found over 250 messages and was dismayed to find they needed to be individually clicked on. I used bulk edit to delete a page of spam, but still must click each message box separately.

Saturday I made my first New Year’s Resolution in a long time: Sort out this issue with WordPress, whose artificial intelligence steadfastly refuses to recognize my current e-mail address. Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions or have you abandoned the practice? anyway, here’s to new beginnings!

Stream image by Jonny Gios — Pixabay

Curiosity Cure

Here’s a belated response to GirlieOnThe Edge’s SIX SENTENCE STORIES where the prompt word is VAULT.

Curiosity Cured the Cat

“The gate’s padlocked, Witt,” Lee grumbled, “and that means keep out –which is also what that sign says, in case you can’t read.”

His pal turned from peering through a thin crack and said, “this isn’t that high; I can vault over it no problem.”

“Yeah, maybe, but what’s on the other side that you have to see; this is an experimental station, after all, and if you show up uninvited they might experiment on you.”

Itching with curiosity, no way was Witt going to give up, but jumped up, grabbed the top of the wooden gate and pulled himself over.

“Remember, curiosity killed the cat,” Lee called – but it was too late.

When Gavin Wittenburg was allowed to exit that gate again two hours later, ashen-faced and trembling, his curiosity was more than satisfied.

Because I’m only allowed six sentences, you will have to imagine his two hours inside. 🙂 You can read other responses visa the Link Here