In my search for the perfect word, I sometimes turn to Roget’s Thesaurus. It’s a great resource, but the potential for distractions can take me to unexpected places.

For example:

Look up sat. See Satan at top of page. Investigate synonyms and antonyms for “the devil.” Notice Beezlebub.

Am reminded of the Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational’s contest for reworking of the word. Search old emails until I find it: Beezlebug (n): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three a.m. and cannot be cast out.

Re-read the rest (**) and have a good laugh. Return to thesaurus. Notice Loki under the subheading “fallen angels.” Hey, wasn’t that the spirit that possessed Jim Carrey in “The Mask?”

By now I’ve forgotten why I open Roget in the first place. And I wonder why my word count is so low for the day!  😉


**The Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational asks readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Recent winners:

Cashtration: The act of buying a house, which renders the person financially impotent for an indefinite period.

Ignoranus: A person who is both stupid and a butthead.

Intaxication: Euphoria at getting at tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

Bozone: The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating.

Caterpallor: The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.

Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

Karmageddon: It’s like, when everybody is sending off these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer

Decafalon: The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

Glibido: All talk and no action.

Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Arachnoleptic fit: The frantic dance performed after you’ve just accidentally walked through a spider web.





Webster’s defines a talisman as “an object held to act as a charm to avert evil or bring good fortune.”

I grew up with talismans, mostly religious, rosary beads and such. Now that I write fantasy, I have a few around my computer. They serve as potent reminders that supernatural elements are integral to my stories. And if they bring me luck, well, I won’t say no. 😉

The first two are rattles, good for shaking when my mind is stuck. One comes from Yosemite, brown and round and open-mouthed, ready to whisper words of encouragement. Another was forged from a Gerber baby spoon. How clever is that? Helps me focus on my young audience.


The other three are power stones I bought in Maui. The dragon, my Chinese astrological sign as well, symbolizes wisdom and nobility. The hummingbird stands for joy, miracles, and beauty. The seahorse brings confidence and grace. All qualities I’d like my work to reflect.

How about you? Got any lucky charms?





This is a site I’ve featured many times on Facebook but it’s such a wonderful resource I want to let others know as well. It’s called A Mighty Girl and offers a huge collection of books, toys, and movies meant to inspire smart, confident, and courageous girls. The blog features listings of books for specific themes, such as: standing up for others; picture books featuring Blacks, Latinas, Asians, LGBTQ; girls going green; girls who love dragons, overlooked women in history; science; the arts; and much, much more.

This month, for Father’s Day, there’s a post about 35 books that celebrate daughters and dads.

If you’ve haven’t visited, now’s a great time to start!