Vocabulary: Let’s Begin with A

I apologize for my long stretch in between posts.  Certain Someone has gotten me hooked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Talk about internal and external conflict in a story arc!  I can’t stop watching, even when I should be doing something more constructive.

During the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I did a vocabulary post using E for that day’s letter.  Lots of people commented on it and I had fun writing it.  I’d like to do some more for you.

It’s very important for writers to have a good working vocabulary.   Read lots of books and magazines, take those little tests in Reader’s Digest, and keep a good dictionary handy so you will know how to use your new acquisitions.  You don’t have to use big words.  Mark Twain said once, “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.”

Your letter today is A!

Aardvark – a nocturnal animal that looks like a cross between a pig and a bunny and whose name is fun to say.  Go on, try it.

Abnormal – what people think you are when you spend all your time writing.

Acquire – to get, to procure, as in “Monty acquired a new cell phone with the money Esquire paid him for his article.”

Addition – a new room built onto a writer’s house in which she will sit and stare at the wall for hours at a time.

Aeschylus – ancient Greek playwright who gave much to stagecraft.

Aftward – toward the stern of the ship.  A nautical term ye should know, me pirate mateys!

Aglet – the little plastic thing on the end of your shoelace.  See, you learned a new word today.

Ah – What you say when you finally get up from your computer and stretch, which you should do regularly.

Aircraft – a flying conveyance that will take you on vacation, if you can ever afford one.

Ajuga – a genus of ground-covering plant that usually has blue flowers.  Your literary sleuth could find an important clue dropped in it by the perpetrator.

Akin – having the same properties as something else, as in “The main character in Ardelia’s novel is akin to Genghis Khan in his military prowess.”

Allegory – symbolic concepts in a story, which infuse it with double meaning.  In C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the lion Aslan is an allegorical Christ figure who is sacrificed and resurrected.

American Dream – what you will probably never have if you want to make a living as a writer.  Marry a lawyer or something!

Anthropomorphism – bestowing human qualities on animals or inanimate objects.  “The house is sad because it’s messy.”  “Fluffy loves her new kitty sweater!”  The hell she does.

Aorta – the largest blood vessel in the body; when it pops, you don’t hang around very long.  Take care of it by eating healthy, not smoking and getting your exercise, ya lazy bum!

Apathy – when you don’t feel like writing and all you want to do is lie on the couch and not even play video games and you’re thirsty but you can’t seem to get up and the cat just jumped up on you in a very tender place and you don’t even care.

Aquiver – what you will be when your dream agent calls and says “I love your book and I want to represent you!”

Arsenic – poisonous heavy metal used as a killing agent in old mystery novels.

Asplode – what happens to your head when someone else publishes a book like yours first.

Atl-atl – a spear-throwing device invented by primitive humans.  Shows up in Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children series, devised by the character Jondalar.  Weaving historical details into a book makes it come alive, but be careful not to make them the focus of the story.

Audience – the group of people viewing the talk show you have been booked on to promote your novel, and who will be the first to see you trip on a cable and go sprawling.

Avulse – to excise, separate.  “Cecelia avulsed all the shopping scenes from her book.”

Aw – something people who love you say when you get rejected again.

Axe – give this weapon to your murderer and I guarantee he’ll be memorable.

Aye – something pirates say when agreeing with you.  You want them to agree.  Trust me.

Az – abbreviation for Arizona, a state in the desert southwest I should visit soon.  Might be nice when it gets cold.

This post has been brought to you by the letter A, the number nineteen-eleventy-ought-twelve and the color purpleen.  Toodles!

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