Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Obsessions: OH the SIGHT of It...

Written by: Meg Mims – self-proclaimed word lover – studied Sociolinguistics in college.

What’s my obsession?

Words. In books, on a computer screen, in my head.

What’s black and white and red all over? A newspaper—or a book.

I love the look of different fonts like Algerian and Forte and Old English. I love spiffy-clean white space. The neatness of a justified paragraph. Crisp black letters, proper punctuation, italics and bold headers. I love the sight of a finished manuscript, all 300 or 400 pages stacked face up and waiting to be submitted—as they used to be, anyway. I love words alljumbledtogethersometimes or all lower case like e.e. cummings’ poetry. Or haiku.

Words - deeper meanings

Than the letters on the page

Strung all together.

That’s a poor excuse for it, but I am a whiz at painting vivid imagery with words, like crimson and heliotrope sunset, dusty potatoes piled in an old wooden barrel and a tiny shoot of goldenrod pushing its way between cracks in the cement sidewalk.

I love the sound of words. Pithy. Discombobulate. Gobbledygook. Curmudgeon. Vuvuzelas. The burst of consonants between the lips or lower teeth, the softness of diphthongs like shh. The onomatopoeia of words like screech, hiccup, tick tock, vroom, and ribbit.

I love sleepy words, like snore and hush. Harsh words like coarse, hazard, tyrant and nightmare. Texture words like fuzzy, silk, sandpaper, rough and gummy. Food words like syrup, yeast, simmer or sizzle.

Who doesn’t love words fused or used together to elicit a laugh? Whack-a-mole. Jackalope. Snuggies for dogs. Snakes on a plane. Knock the dew off the lily.

I love editing, where you can see visualize some certain words replaced by better words. But not always. If an editor cuts whole paragraphs or pages out, I would weep.

Every word is a precious child.

I am a word lover.

Price: $1.99

Buy it HERE.


Artist Jennette Jacobson clashes with a handsome visitor at a gallery show. He claims that artwork is just “more junk to dust.” Ouch. When she finds a small metal object on the floor, she uses it later in a new collage.

Her world soon crumbles with family problems and a friend’s betrayal. And wouldn’t you know that the same hunky guy claims he lost an important key the night of the show! When Steve Harmon offers to buy Jenn’s work, she refuses to sell. He’ll just trash it to free his precious key.

Or is it possible that key will unlock her future happiness?



“What the—oh, that.”

Jennette snatched the small metal object from the Persian rug, where it had bounced after hitting the hardwood floor, and then tossed it in a crystal dish. Craving sleep, she crawled under the covers and woke again at first light. She hadn’t planned anything—Saturday meant relaxing, maybe catching up on laundry. Jennette burrowed between the sheets after a quick visit to the bathroom. Fifteen hundred count Egyptian cotton was pure heaven.

The phone jangled her awake again. “Mm?”

“Laurel Jennette Jacobson. Where are you? Did you forget brunch?”

She groaned. “I’m sorry, Mom.”

“You haven’t visited since New Year’s Day.” Her mother sounded indignant. “You watched that silly Rose parade instead of talking to me. All your father did was watch football. Every single game.”

“I love that parade.” Jennette rolled over. “What time is it?”

“Ten minutes past eleven.”

“I’ll be there by noon. I promise.”

She hung up and dashed for the shower. So much for her plans to finish her latest collage. Jennette always felt a surge of creativity after a gallery show. Tomorrow would have to do. She contented herself with thinking of new themes with the water running. Water. Rain. Rubber ducks. Umbrellas—too cutesy. Maybe rivers and waterfalls. Gullies. Rocky streambeds. That reminded her of Adam. Ugh.

If only she could find a decent guy, one who cared...

At last Jennette reached the Royal Park Hotel’s oak wainscoted dining room and joined her parents at their usual window-side table. Her mother failed to comment on her outlandish outfit. Odd, since Dad raised his eyebrows, but his disapproval didn’t satisfy her rebellious streak. The crowd buzzed around the breakfast buffet’s silver trays. Thin waiters in red jackets raced back and forth from the kitchen. The smell of coffee woke her senses at last. Jennette sipped the strong brew and then added a dollop of cream and three packets of sugar. Mom didn’t notice that, either. Something was definitely wrong.

In fact, her mother’s usual perfect hair and makeup seemed too perfect. Her distracted manner clashed with her perfectly tailored winter-white suit and heavy gold jewelry. Jennette eyed Dad’s navy pants, Nordic patterned Ralph Lauren sweater and white shirt—nope. That was status quo.

Mom’s voice trembled. “You ought to have a better alarm, Laurel.”

“Jennette. Please.”

“I named you Laurel, didn’t I? For the mountain laurel in Germany. Such gorgeous scenery near Munich, the mountains and castles, Salzburg and the Linderhof palace,” she said and droned on for several minutes until Dad cut her off.

“Cut the travelogue, Doris.”

Her mother glared at him. “You never took me back to see the Christmas market. I wanted to take Laurel there for a high school graduation trip—”

“Old history,” Jennette interrupted. “I chose London, remember?”

Her tea cup rattled against the saucer. “That wasn’t the same.” Mom moved her knife and fork into precise alignment. “Anyway. We have important news.”

Jennette almost stabbed her chin with a forkful of fluffy scrambled eggs. She let them fall back to her china plate and sat up straight. She knew it. Something big was coming.


  1. Nice post, Meg Mims! You ARE a loquacious and perspicacious wordsmith. I am in awe.

    1. Loquacious and perspicacious, indeed. And pithy. ;-D

  2. Awesome post Meg!! I'm definitely putting your book on my TBR list! It's so awesome to see another Michigander's name up in lights!! :)

    1. WOOO HOOO to the AP Michi-geese! HONK HONK!!

  3. Great post lady! Woohoo. I too, am a word lover. And although this sounds stuck up (hehehe), when I was dating I remember what a turn off it was if someone couldn't spell something right (LOL). Luckily, my hubby is a smart guy (smiles).

    And your book looks REALLY good!

    1. I am just as bad, Rebekah - but my hub couldn't spell worth beans when we met. He's better now, cuz he's asked me "how do you spell..." so many times, LOL. But he does math/science like nobody's biz. Whereas I am a total idiot in those areas. ;-D We all have our talents.

  4. Hats off to you, word lover. Love the excerpt!

    1. Thanks, Delaney! That's one of my fave scenes. :-D

  5. What Suzanne said about you and words. It's always fun finding the right one and putting it in the correct place. Love the excerpt.

    1. Thanks, Lindsay! Key only has a cat, though. No dogs! But I'll get a dog in the next novella. I promise!!

  6. Huh...and when you write a paragraph that ends up not quite fitting, do you sling your own little tiny word-murdering ax with glee? Because you have yet to leave that to your editor...

    1. Heh heh... only the shadows know. ;-D One day those chopped words are gonna get me, I just know it.

  7. I'm a word lover also. Which is why, I suppose, I spent some 45 yrs. writing poetry. I once bragged to a short story writer that I could put more into 20 lines than many writers put into 20 pages. It was bold & brash ... and not entirely true, of course. But it does typify how a wordsmith sometimes FEELS about his/her words.
    And to think: every novel ever written in the English Language is composed of some combination of only 26 different letters.

  8. Nice blog. As a lover of words you might be interested in the word play involved in cryptic crosswords. I am doing a series of posts on solving cryptic clues. This was the first one I did. Hope you enjoy.