wording moment

source - dreamtime

source – dreamtime

Goodie, goodie – I LOVE words! Today’s WP Challenge is to make up and define a word.

I grew up in a family that routinely made up words. Or so I’ve come to find out as an adult. Over and over, in fact. My kids still call from time to time, puzzled. “But I was SURE splurch was a real word?” My youngest made up her own lexicon when she was first leaning to speak. ‘Brix’ for bread sticks; ‘MUCH-en better’ for that feeling of enormous relief; and my still-used-today favorite, ‘Hoppy Boppy.’

During an inside-prison writing group, I made up a bunch of words and asked the women gathered around the table to define them. THAT was fun. So much so, that I feel compelled to share my favorite here, complete with their definitions. And mine, italicized. Why don’t you add your own definition of this wording moment below?!

1.  a single sound, one noise, one sound, one band; makes me think of my drumming class, In Line Harmony
2.  singular sounds machine
3.  what you feel like when you’re on a Monday morning shift
4.  to think outside the box, or of social norms
5.  a soliloquy of mismangled syllables haphazardly strewn together by someone awakening from anesthesia. As in ooooo aaa uh foooee ooo.
6.  the endless repetition of a single sound
7.  the building in which one single sound is uttered

the word for it

credit - galleryhip

credit – galleryhip

So THIS is the how you spell retirement – the word for what I do with my days. It is writing, yes. Writing to question, if not exactly with intent. Writing to explore, if not quite to declare. Writing to learn, and perhaps to share.

I continue to find that the writing I do in a group and with limited time forces out something that simply does not appear on its own. So with gratitude for my groups inside prison and for my groups outside in the world, I post this Sunday’s musing  – the only possible word for it.


In the grandiose silence of snow
woven around the waist of my universe
I disappear into its generous pocket

nesting where I may letter and draw
clouds of my own making, punctuate
the blankness of winter light.

This is what I do not do, but would, if . .
I could believe my words held merit
beyond the fiery walls that warm me; if

I could grab hold of something outside myself
to speak the words I know to be true
believing them to be of use to another; if 

I held conviction in my heart as strong
as my need to use words in service
to create, to challenge, to change.

The word for what I do, then, would be
courage – courage to reach deep
into my heart and pull up the truths

that hibernate yearlong in silence,
rousing them to revolt, reveal
and revel in the life given me.

The words would unravel
what is tightly wound around
waist and heart, bask in the light

that travels me through each day,
light that speaks the truth
of its own religion.


*inspired by lines from two Billy Collins’ poems,
‘Snowy Day’ and ‘Shoveling Snow with Buddha’


the right foot

image of right foot

credit – unknown

Today’s WP Daily Prompt asks what things need to be done within 30 minutes of waking to get the day off to the ‘right’ start; and what happened the last time one of these things didn’t get done?

In fact, what happens is that I don’t blog. Because The Very First Thing I need to do each day in order to start it off right is stretch/splash water on my face and brush my teeth/play with the cat/walk the dog/free write/drink a glass of water. And since I obviously cannot do all of those FIRST, the dominoes start cascading. Before I know it, two hours have passed, at least one of these things has fallen away, and I’m already behind on the second-tier Very First Things: getting to my Crossfit class/doing Tai Chi with my neighbor/drinking my one latte of the day/eating something/checking my calendar for the day/turning on my phone.

Here’s what I know about morning: it is my productive time. So I need to rotate my way through what comes first. Even so, what tends to get lost in the shuffle is – you guessed it – posting to this blog. It turns out that I NEED both physical exercise AND writing to set me up for the day.

My solution? To extend my definition of Very First Thing to, well, Morning. I can rotate what actually happens first. But the key is to be sure it all happens before noon. As with so many retiring colleagues, I constantly wonder how there was ever time in the day for work! Clearly I never truly got started off on the right foot.