Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fifty Cent Words

The Playfriends left today for their great Scotland adventure and I'm here by myself wondering what to blog about. I can't talk about planning a trip or the wild days preceding it. Next month maybe -- when we're getting ready for RWA in Dallas. Heck, I have already started "The Hunt for the Perfect Rita Dress."

So I decided to talk about the Playfriends behind their backs. Hehe. That'll teach 'em to go off and leave me alone and in charge.

Isn't it amazing how we have this group of letters -- 26 in all -- called the alphabet and we can take those letters, arrange them in a multitude of ways and come up with all sorts of different words.

Words are what we writers use to tell stories, pass along facts and just communicate in general. Today we're going to have a vocabulary lesson with three words I think are really cool. And I'm going to tell you how they apply to the Playground and Playfriends.

Synergy is defined this way: The effect of two or more agents working together to produce an effect that is greater than the sum of the parts. The combination of factors which each multiply the effects of the other(s) rather than merely addingto them. In the regular world 1 + 1 = 2. When synergy is in effect, A + I + PC + SP + PM = The Writing Playground, a group more powerful than each individual alone. Each of the Playfriends has strengths, which are pretty useful in and of themself. But combine our strengths and there's not much we can't accomplish.

Syzygy is the astrological condition of alignment or straight line configuration of three celestial bodies such as the earth, moon and sun. You hear us mention astrology from time to time and we've ranted about Mercury in retrograde (and this will happen again between June 15 and July 9), but syzygy is an astronomical term. The key word is alignment. For a group of five very different women, we have an amazing alignment of the minds. Sure, we have differences of opinion, we write different things and we read genres of all varieties, but when it comes to the Playground, we are in amazing agreement. Sometimes it's kinda scary how much we think alike. But lest you think we're like lemmings who mindlessly follow one another over a cliff, fear not. We're equally as independent as we are in agreement.

The last word is serendipity. Serendipity is finding something unexpected, special and/or useful while searching for something else entirely. Sir Alexander Fleming was just cleaning his lab when he discovered that penicillium mold had contaminated one of his old experiments. Thanks to this unexpected find, countless lives have been saved.

When I joined RWA and then Heart of Dixie, I expected to learn about writing. I figured I'd meet new people along the way. But never, ever in my wildest dreams did I expect to find four such great friends who wouldn't just come bail me out of jail should the need arise; they'd be right there beside me in the cell (well, maybe Angel wouldn't) slapping me on the back and saying "Damn that was fun!" And no how, no way did I ever think I'd be on a first name basis with the Mavens. Every once in a while I have to pinch myself and make sure I'm not dreaming that I know these awesome women who have sold so many books and topped so many bestselling lists.

What's your favorite word? Give me the definition. Use it in a sentence. Tell me if or how it applies to your life. The best word today gets a copy of CRAZY COOL by Tara Janzen or SEDUCED BY MAGIC by Cheyenne McCray or THE KILLING HOUR by Lisa Gardner -- your choice.


Jen said...

PM, I'll have to go with you that serendipity is one of my favorite words! Hope you don't get too lonely at the Playground. ;-)

Pat L. said...

Hi, welcome to the playground as a moderator.

I dont have a favorite word but have one that I feel is so overused that it grates on me when I hear it - SURREAL and I hear it mostly on celeb interviews. It means not real I think. Most of us regular people dont use it.

Anonymous said...

Multitasking-people handling many task simultaneously. Somehow I always fall short of doing this. But someday I'll get it together.

Theresa N.

Angel said...

Aaawww! How sweet! (Ha ha, you thought you'd get away with talking about us behind our backs, but I snuck in anyway!).

Couldn't leave without saying goodbye... We're gonna miss you, PM! Y'all take good care of her for us while we're gone.

Does this mean you won't come to Scotland if we land in a jail cell there? :)


PS. I didn't realize it would be quite so hard to leave my children...

Kathy said...

Cool post, PM! It'll be quiet around here without the playfriends but we'll keep you company, PM!

I like the word SURREAL, patl. It's when reality is bent and the lines between what is real and what is perceived are blurred. (Used to paint that kind of stuff. It's a word from the art world and probably why celebrities use it.)

MELLIFLUOUS-flowing with milk and honey, smooth, sweet especially in sound.

Here's my favorite
PERSNICKETY-fastidious, requiring strict attention to detail.

Multitasking? I'm on it right now.

Wishing Angel, Instigator, PC, SP, and Rhonda the best trip EVER!


Smarty Pants said...

:: snicker ::

We had a late flight, so I'm still here too! Bye, PM! We'll pick you up something cool!

My favorite word...plethora, meaning lots, tons, etc. That or verbose, wordy. My sentence - While sitting at the computer waiting for a verbose moment to strike me, I had a plethora of other things on my mind to distract me.

Miss y'all!!

Playground Monitor said...

Oh shucks! I wasn't as clever as I thought and they're still spying on me.

Great words! SP, I like plethora too. One of my favorite college professors would use it in conjunction with paucity. In statistics class he'd talk about either a plethora or paucity of data.

Another fave? Behemoth. I remember someone on a message board once complaining that it was the most useless word in the language because no one used it. HA! I use it lots, as in "I just spent an hour cleaning behemoths out of my pantry." No, not really, but I did have Indian meal moths. Ick! Had to pull everything out, throw away open stuff and spray the pantry. At least my pantry is all organized now.


ChristyJan said...

This isn't exactly my favorite WORD but, it is a favorite NAME ...
my younger sister is famous in our family for mispronouncing words. Several years ago we were shopping and I was at a perfume counter and the clerk was helping me.
I'm sniffing away at different scents that she is spraying and my sister says: "Can I smell Anus Anus?"
I ended up buying a bottle of Anais Anais Perfume just for that reason.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I don't think I have a favorite word, necessarily, though there are words I just can't stand (doable -- hate the way it looks). But, hmm, a word that applies to my life lately is such a simple word that it's almost not worth talking about. But, I will anyway (who doesn't want to win books!?).

LUCKY. I am so lucky that the gov't brought my parents to Alabama 2 yrs ago, and lucky that my husband and I had the good sense to realize Hawaii was gorgeous but too far away from everyone we love, lucky that we chose to move to Huntsville, lucky that HOD is so FABULOUS, lucky to have met so many wonderful writers, and yes, lucky as hell to sit in the same room with the Mavens and benefit from their freely given wisdom and advice.

The lucky in my life keeps going too. Next month, I'll be in Dallas with the Playfriends, honorary Playfriends, and many of the other wonderful members of HOD. Though I've been in RWA for a long time, this is my first conference (National or otherwise). I am lucky to get to go, and lucky to be able to share it with you all.


Maureen said...

My favorite word is absolutely which is defined as totally. I absolutely love visiting the Writing Playground.

Kathy said...

Lynn, I like the word Lucky too. And I feel the same way you do. There are reasons why we find ourselves in the places we are, positions we're in. Higher powers. :-) Makes the world a brighter place, less unpredictable. I'm glad we get to spend time together in Dallas.

One of my favorite words is PLAYFRIEND. Having playfriends in your life gives new meaning to the word friend. Where would we be without friends? I know where I would be, sitting at home canning jam, continuing to strive to be Martha Stewart, etc... and not working on my WIP. :-) I get a lot of funny looks when I say the word playfriend. LOL. But it has special meaning to all who come to the playground.

The best two words ever, THANK YOU! Whose lips don't break into a smile when someone compliments them or acknowledges what they do? Kindness makes the world go round.

(Wipes tears) Missing the gang already.


Cheryl said...

My favorite word is IRONIC. It means coincidental or unexpected. I find it ironic that I'm having trouble using my favorite word in a sentence.


catslady said...

rI'm going to say the word "congratulations" - to express to another one's pleasure in his good fortune or success, applaud, laud, praise, compliment. There are so many instances to use this word (new baby, marriage, anniversary, finishing a book, contract, etc. and one of my favorites - winning a book :)

Anonymous said...

One word, two comments...

First the word: ebullient - meaning:

agitated, bouncy, brash, buoyant, chipper*, chirpy*, effervescent, effusive, elated, excited, exhilarated, exuberant, frothy*, gushing, high-spirited, irrepressible, vivacious, zestful, zippy*

Most of my 6-8th grade students are very ebullient, except at the end of the year.


How come the alphabet is in order from A-Z? Is it because of the song that it's in that order?

Nini :)