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.





Intriguing books for your pleasure.


INCARCERON, Catherine Fisher.

A prison that’s alive? Count me in. Finn, a 17-year-old boy born into a cut-throat world of criminals, finds a key that allows him to communicate with a girl on the outside, and puts together a desperate escape plot while attempting to unravel the secrets of his past. This fantastic steampunk-ish tale can be a bit confusing at times but Fisher has created an amazing world.  Sequel is Sapphique.

INCARNATE, Jodie Meadows.

Don’t you just love this cover? In a world where people have reincarnated for thousands of years, Ana is  ‘newsoul’ – without a past, without memories, without friends from past lives. Sounds harmless, but because Ana was born, another soul vanished forever (it never came back to life again) and that soul was her mother’s best friend. A journey of self-discovery with romantic elements. First in a trilogy.


The classic tale of how Louis became a vampire in New Orleans and his love/hate relationship with Lestat, the one who turned him into a monster. IWTV brought a new dimension to the genre, showing the undead with depth and feeling; Louis certainly runs the gamut of emotions as he struggles with immortality and his desires. Dark, macabre, haunting. The best of the Vampire Chronicles.


IGNITE, Kaitlyn Davis.

Reviews are mixed on GOODREADS–many see it as Twilight fanfic–but it includes a new mythology of how vampires came to be, so I may give it a try.

Any recommendations?

Thanks for reading.



Harrowing and humorous stories.


HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, Diana Wynne Jones. An enchanting novel about Sophie, who’s stuck in a mediocre life until irks the Witch of the Waste and ends up in an old woman’s body. Breaking this curse means dealing with the wizard Howl–a hoot of a character–and haggling with a fire demon. An engaging, fun read. Two other books follow, but only feature Sophie and Howl in minor roles.

THE HUSBAND TEST, Betina Krahn. Eloise is a novice whose independent ways are taxing Mother Superior’s patience. Peril, Earl of Whitmore, is a master warrior, but his estate is in disarray because of a curse and he needs a wife to break it. The abbess sends Eloise with Peril to “judge” him and figure out who at the Convent of the Brides of Virtue will best suit him. Their romantic journey is a delight, although Peril may strike some as too aloof. Give it at try and decide for yourself.

THE HANDMAID’S TALE, Margaret Atwood. I haven’t seen the Hulu series, so I can’t compare the two. This is a chilling dystopian tale about the Republic of Gilead, where handmaidens belong to their “masters” and are expected to reproduce. Atwood isn’t the easiest author to read–she foregoes quotation marks, for example–and the pace can be slow, but this book is a classic you shouldn’t miss.

THE HOLLOW KINGDOM, Claire B. Dunkle. I enjoyed this book so much I wrote to the author and received a lovely note in response. Kate is taken by the goblin king, Marak, to be his wife, which sounds like a familiar trope, and might bother modern sensibilities. But Dunkle is such a lovely writer you can’t help but be swept up in the tale. Kate is intelligent and quick-witted, Marak an irreverent charmer. And the goblin kingdom, far from expectations, has a beauty of its own. The first, and best, of a trilogy.


HUNTED, Meagan Spooner. To save her father, Yeva hunts a strange creature into a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that she’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast? Another retelling of the classic tale.

Any others you’d recommend?