May 2011 Archive

Aaand the Definitions Are…

  1. Alacrity: eager and enthusiastic willingness
  2. Hackneyed: rendered trite or commonplace by frequent usage
  3. Specious: seeming true, but actually being fallacious; misleadingly attractive; plausible but false
  4. Garrulous: given to much talking, tediously chatty
  5. Trenchant: sharply perceptive; keen; penetrating
  6. Obfuscate: to deliberately obscure; to make confusing

Clearly, I need to start studying the dictionary and quit relying on Google to do the work for me ūüôā

Do You Know These Words?

I read a tweet yesterday that said something to the effect of, “Open a dictionary, even if you know the word,” which reminded me of studying for the GRE. While studying for¬†the Verbal section, I read over the Hit Parade (a compilation of vocabulary words that are frequently tested on the GRE) and was surprised by how many I did not know.¬† Now, I knew the words, but not the actual dictionary version of the word.

My point?¬† Maybe whoever wrote that tweet yesterday had it right.¬† Maybe, as writers, we need to refer to our¬†dictionaries¬†more often to make sure we know what we’re writing about.

I’ve randomly picked six of the words from the Hit Parade.¬† I’m going to post them below and then will post the definitions tomorrow.¬† Come back to see if you got them right!¬† And¬†NO cheating! haha ūüôā

  1. Alacrity
  2. Hackneyed
  3. Specious
  4. Garrulous
  5. Trenchant
  6. Obfuscate


Geez, you miss a few days and come back to 34713084138 blog posts to catch up on.  Looks like I have a busy night of reading ahead of me.

Here’s what I did this weekend:

Young Adult Author

Road trip!¬† We drove to Knoxville for a weekend of…





Beauty & Awe

Beauty and awe


Relaxation, and if you ask Cale, most importantly...


Mississippi State baseball!

I hope you all had an¬†equally fantastic weekend ūüôā

Disagreement with My Teacher

Blog on Fire AwardFirst, award time!¬† The fabulous¬†Kate Larkindale¬†gave me this award (Kate, I’d give it to you also, but I’m not sure if that’s allowed).¬† Her blog is great; go check it out.

Aaand here are five of my favorite blogs I am passing it on to:

  1. Sophia
  2. Angela
  3. Christie
  4. Gabi
  5. Deana

At some point in my elementary education I had the following conversation (probably more of an argument, or a Juliana-being-stubborn moment) with a teacher about a paper I had written:

Teacher: Juliana, this is very good, but I want us to look at one particular word you used to describe this man. (points to paper)

Me: (Silence)

Teacher: You use the word nice.  Are there any other words you can think of that would be more specific?

Me: …he was nice…

Teacher: Yes, but nice is a very generic word.  Think hard, is there another word you could use?

Me: But he was nice.

Teacher: I am sure though, that there is a better way to describe him than just plain nice.

Me: (Silence )

I don’t remember how the conversation ended, but I have the very vivid memory of standing beside my teacher, at her desk, arguing over the word nice.¬† I¬†really¬†did not understand why the word nice wasn’t good enough.

I have that same conversation with myself many times while writing.

Inner me: Oh honestly, you know better than to use the word shrug.  And did I see you write NOD earlier?  She nodded??  How boring.

Me: But she did nod, how else am I supposed to write that?

Inner me: Oh, I don’t know, how about her hair fell over her eyes as she tilted her head to the side, that is much more interesting.

Me: I suppose that’s better…

Inner me: You know it is.¬† Plus, did she really nod?¬† Maybe she stared at him blankly or maybe she blinked once to indicate she had heard him.¬† Maybe she thinks he’s an idiot and stuck her tongue out and blew a raspberry.

Me: I don’t know.¬† You’re confusing me.

Inner me:¬† I’m confusing you?! And how do you not know?¬† You’re writing it!¬† She can do anything you want her to.

I have this discussion with myself at least fifty times while writing a WIP.¬† Ugh, it’s terrible and oh so annoying.

Are there any words you insist on using even though you know they aren’t good enough?