As a writer, I love words, and understandably so, as they are the material that I use to create my works of art. One of my past-times is to browse through dictionaries and discover new words or new meanings to words. Over the years, I have also become an avid collector of dictionaries, new and old, common and uncommon ones.
The thought has crossed my mind of how many words comprise the English language. The Oxford Dictionary states it well by saying, “There is no single sensible answer to this question. It’s impossible to count the number of words in a language, because it’s so hard to decide what actually counts as a word and what counts as ‘English’ words”. It goes on to suggest that, “There are, at the very least, a quarter of a million distinct English words, excluding inflections, and words from technical and regional vocabulary not covered by the OED, or words not yet added to the published dictionary, of which perhaps 20 per cent are no longer in current use. If distinct senses were counted, the total would probably approach three quarters of a million.”
Wow! Those are a lot of words at our disposal, and to think, we utilize only a minuscule amount of them.
To learn more words, I subscribe to Dictionary.com to get my ‘word of the day’ on my Blackberry every morning. And in case, I forgot to load my cellphone the night before, and wake up with a dead battery, I still have my trusted hard-copy, a word calendar that my kids give me as a gift every Christmas that shares a new word with me each day.
I have made it a habit to include a new word into every piece I write. By new, I mean a word that has never crossed my path before. This practice not only motivates me to find new words, but by using them, I am forced to learn their meanings. With so many words, I doubt there will ever be a paucity of new words for me to find.
My new word:
paucity [paw-si-tee] -noun
smallness of quantity; scarcity; scantiness: a country with a paucity of resources.
smallness or insufficiency of number; fewness.
1375-1425; late Middle English paucite < Latin paucitas fewness, derivative of paucus few; see -ity
I love discovering new words, so I was eager to hear about the Oxford Dictionaries online announcement of another batch of new words that it is adding to their dictionary. Here are a few that I thought to share with you. See if you recognize any of them: badware, breadcrumb trail, bucket list, confirmation bias, dumpee, eco-chic, lifehack, mancave, meep, roid, schmick, twittersphere, and zhooshed. Want to know their meanings, go to oxforddictionaries.com
Not only do words help us communicate in so many different ways, they stimulate the senses, awaken our emotions, and make interaction easier. For me, words are beautiful and extremely powerful, and that gives me a huge respect for them.
I had two main objectives in mind with my website: one, a venue to communicate with you, my reader, and two, a way that I could give something back to you. That was how my chapter stories were developed, an awesome idea that my web designer helped me come up with – thanks Alex for your ingenuity.
Chapter stories are stories that I release one chapter at a time, every few weeks, free, for your entertainment. The chapters are available in various convenient formats such as eBook, mobile, audio, and YouTube. I am thrilled to have my chapter story available in audio form, and I would like to thank my narrator, John Harada, for his voice-over, which made it possible.
The Sussex Deal - Chapter Story By Alandra CL
My first chapter story is The Sussex Deal. There were a few reasons why I picked this particular story to share with you. It’s not a fantasy, like the book I’m publishing, but a contemporary novel. I love various genres, and this chapter story allows me variety in my writing while I finish my book.
Another reason that I picked The Sussex Deal was its setting. The book takes place in the area of where I live, a city that I love, a city with many cultures and diverse localities, metropolitan Toronto, Canada. I hope, through my writing, you will gain a glimpse of this beautiful city.
I also chose this particular chapter story for its storyline, one filled with corruption, romance, and most of all intrigue. The main character, Dominic Lombardi, a real estate tycoon, discovers that nothing in his life is as it seems, and he must fight hard and clever to escape a brewing conspiracy against him, or he risks losing everything, including his life.
The story and its characters are fictitious; however, a person that impressed me with his achievements, high work ethics, and kindness towards others, inspired the main character. I believed ideal people like him didn’t exist, and I’m glad that he proved me wrong.
I am excited to be writing these chapter stories for you, and I hope you enjoy the first of them, The Sussex Deal, that I picked to share with you.
The long-awaited day has finally arrived, and putting up my website is a milestone in my writing career.
I have to admit, I greet it with a sense of excitement but also a sense of dread. The internet has become a huge marketing tool, that reaches out to every corner of the globe.
Once something is out there, it’s out there!
For me, that is a scary thought and a huge step to take in my writing career.
Screen capture of www.alandracl.com homepage
Writing is an art and like all arts, there is a huge piece of your personal-self mixed into that work of art. Showing your art to the world means not only exposing yourself, but also setting yourself up for critique – good and bad critique. Let’s face it, who likes bad critique. Not only will I need to develop a thick skin, I will need to look at that critique objectively; after all, there can be a lot to learn from constructive criticism.
I will, however, not allow this spark of dread to spoil all the excitement bubbling over in me and dampen this memorable occasion. There is so much to look forward to with the release of my website. The most important one is having a venue with which to communicate with you, my reader. Creating my stories has been thrilling, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them for you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Months of planning and hard work have gone into the design of my website. Many have participated in making this day possible for me. I owe a debt of thanks to my awesome web designer, Alex, who has created an artistic and functional masterpiece for me. I would also like to thank my computer programmer, Nathen, who not only has done a fantastic job but also squeezed my website work into his busy schedule so I could meet my deadline. More thanks goes to my editor and mentor, Pat Lobrutto, whose valuable input has made this website even better and who continues to make me a better writer.