Posted by: penpatience | July 2, 2014


SI Exif

“WHEN THE LILACS BLOOM,” my new fiction short story is now available in the July/August/September 2014 issue of The Storyteller Magazine. Read the story and purchase the magazine for a nominal cost at:

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.”
~ Tom Stoppard



We can’t live without words. From the moment we open our eyes each morning communication begins:
“What’s for breakfast?” “I’m still so tired.”  “Mr. Bronson, I’m sorry but I won’t be coming in to work today (cough, cough, cough,) I think I’m coming down with the flu-bug.”
I thought about the many words we, write, read, text, and speak each day. It was mindboggling when I realized they numbered in the thousands. And, I have to believe that newly developed technologies, especially computers and cell phones have increased the amount of words communicated every day– “yadda, yadda, yadda.” Although dictionaries and thesauruses overflow with words, some I’ve never encountered before, it’s impossible to know or utilize them all on a regular basis.
Each day, I receive a word online through The Daily Vocabula – The Vocabula Review. The daily word is free to subscribers: ( The word today was:
frippery (FRIP-ah-ree) n. 1. pretentious, showy finery. 2. pretentious elegance; ostentation. 3. something useless but attractive or enjoyable.
Another word this past week was:
juvenescent (joo-vah-NES-ent) adj. becoming young or youthful
And one more:
 concubinage (kon-KYOO-bah-nij) n. 1. cohabitating without legal marriage. 2. the state or practice of being a concubine.
I attempted to use all three of these words in a sentence…I almost gave up! How about:
“The juvenescent concubine was all dressed up in a bright red, strapless dress and other frippery.”   I sincerely doubt this sentence will appear in any of my future writing projects:)

For writers words are a daily challenge and using the right word is essential to the writing craft. However, over time many writers develop an affinity for certain words that in the writing world are called, “darlings.” We fall in love with certain words, sprinkle them liberally throughout our work and can’t bear to remove them during the editing process. They may not move the story forward or be a good fit, but still we hate to remove them. But remove them we must!
One of my favorite words I used frequently during my business career was “promulgate,” to make known or announce officially and formally; put into effect as a public proclamation, as a law or dogma.  I loved that word. I thought it had a nice ring to it when it rolled off my tongue or written in a document. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a “spot” for it in my creative writing efforts. I often remind myself that readers may not be familiar with the word even in its proper context and it won’t roll off their tongues as happily as it did mine.

So…. Goodbye my sweet “darling” Promulgate—Goodbye.
Have you thrown out “your darling” yet?
Next Month’s Musing: The Saga of a Southwest Seed Packet


  1. Yes, we need these reminders about kissing our darlings goodbye. This morning I came upon someone who used adumbrate in the clumsiest way. (Poof! Into the waste basket.) I went for his jugular.


    • Hi Carole, thanks for responding. Ah yes, into the wastebasket…
      best wishes


      • Hi Carole, thanks for the feedback. It made my day.
        Frances (Gaye)


  2. At our house we enjoy periods of “voice rest” where speaking is prohibited.. silence is truly golden. It allows my mind to pause and temporarily shut down. A much needed rest from words.


    • Ah yes, I understand. All day long we are bombarded by verbal communications. But, a writer writes words, and this writer writes best in the silence. A writer needs words like a hard-boiled egg needs salt:) Thank you for your comment. Best wishes,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: