Saturday, December 8, 2012

Confession of a Bookaholic

I hope everyone enjoyed reading about the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II. I enjoyed sharing it with you, but it's time to get back to my other writing pursuits. I couldn't believe it when I saw I hadn't posted to the blog since October 13. Our writing group, the Bayou Writers, was in the process of putting on our ninth annual writer's conference on November 10, and then Thanksgiving dropped in on us, so time got away from me. I realize Christmas is only two weeks away, but I'm pretty much caught up on that.

Everyone who knows me knows I'm a bookaholic. I never met a how-to-write book I didn't love. I found a real gem just put out by Writer's Digest Books a few weeks ago. It's entitled
Where Do You Get Your Ideas? A Writer's Guide to Transforming Notions into Narratives by Fred White. I've only made it to Chapter 4 and already I have enough inspiration to keep my pen moving all year.

For example, there's a section in Chapter 2 on finding ideas in reference works. Encyclopedias, almanacs, handbooks, dictionaries--all kinds of dictionaries--to name a few. Mr. White recommended Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure and Preposterous Words by Josefa Heifetz Byrne. It sounded interesting so, of course, I had to have it. I just found the word "doxy." We all know a doxy is a "prostitute," but it also has an alternate meaning--a creed or doctrine, especially a religious one. I'll take myself out to the McNeese library and research the word in the OED. There's bound to be a story there somewhere.

Frank Warren put together a compedium of anonymous confessional letters titled Post Secret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives. Some examples:
     < I waste office supplies because I hate my boss.
      <When I get angry I write bad words on my toaster strudel.

I bought that one, too, as well as another he recommended. Dear Old Love, compiled by Andy Selsberg, has hundreds of anonymous messages addressed to former loves. It's on my Kindle.

That's three and a half chapters down and twelve more to go. I need to win the lottery. How many of you can't resist?