Mill Park Publishing of Eagle, Idaho was created in 2003 by author Elaine Ambrose.
The company facilitates fee-based book publication and marketing for local authors
and organizes writer's retreats.

Thursday, 18 August 2011 14:14

Random Words: Rejoice, Despise, Pickle, Fart

Written by  Elaine Ambrose

I was grounded for most of my childhood, mostly for being sassy. I thought my brilliant and clever command of vocabulary and rapier wit should be universally admired, but my parents thought otherwise. I never quite understood their admonition to, “Don’t get smart with me, young lady!” They never appreciated my retort of, “So you prefer I get stupid?”

 

A typical conversation from my teenage years:

Father: “You're grounded for a month.”

Me: “So what? I never get to do anything anyway.”

Father: “You're grounded for two months.”

Me: “Come on, do I hear three?”

Father: “Three.”

The exchange deteriorated from there. My brothers learned from me and never talked back, so they got to go into town while I stayed back on the farm assigned to random chores or exiled to my room. But, being forever grounded provided plenty of time to write short stories and poems full of anguished souls who struggled for freedom. My 15-minute poem “Revenge” won top honors at the state high school speech declamation competition. (Sorry, Dad.)

Words always have fascinated me, and I’ve used them to make people cry, or laugh, or react with a variety of anticipated responses. I love the word “rejoice” because it inspires a positive eagerness for joy. “Despise” makes me snarl. “Pickle” is just too cute and fun, and the word “fart” brings laughter, especially from the 12-year-old crowd. Other favorite words: suddenly, shudder, gargle, snot. I value the onomatopoeia that links sound to subject, and as writers know, the right word can make all the difference in transforming an average sentence into a splendid one.

 Sir Alfred Tennyson integrated onomatopoeia to bring the sounds of birds and insects into the reader’s head. In his poem “Come Down, O Maid” he crafts the lines,

…the moan of doves in immemorial elms,

and murmuring of innumerable bees.

This eloquent example is so much better than tritely writing:  Birds and bees moan and buzz in trees.

Several years ago, I spoke at my father’s funeral. I told jokes that made people laugh, and I read a poem that made them cry. Maybe all those turbulent, formative years provided the foundation for my goal to be a writer. Then as now, writing is freedom.  Rejoice. 

Last modified on Thursday, 18 August 2011 14:33

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