Tag Archives: word vomit

Word Vomit: Seasonal Shift

I find that both my writing style and attitude shifts with the season. While summer writing tends to lean towards whimsy and wistfulness, winter writing stubbornly roots itself in the introspective, and deeply thoughtful. As I grew older, I realized that these writing shifts were not an individual trait of mine, but a tradition born from the lack of sun, and chilled weather that makes human beings cower indoors for months on end. This temperate shift in weather makes me wonder if writers in climates more pleasant than mine experience the same change, or are wistful year-round.

On that note, my introspective and thoughtful writing word vomit today came from a moment of random spying: while peering out the window during a momentary break from work, I saw crushed ice on the sidewalk. It was an unassuming and disorganized pile, and likely broken into unceremonious jigsaw pieces while myself and others walked to-and-fro from the front door to mailbox.

Still, I found myself thinking of all the times I’ve crushed winter ice beneath my feet, walking to-and-fro to places. Walking outside during the bitter winter cold is not always a pleasant adventure, but it opens up a world of chapped lips, homemade knitted scarves and vulnerability. I am one of many who cannot stand winter cold for but a second, but I once braved the ice in heels for fifteen minutes of frigid wedding pictures. I am eternally grateful for my groomsman, who held me fast while I navigated treacherous and uneven ground with heels that measured three inches.

Yes, I am a wimp in heels. Please hand me tennis shoes on my own wedding day, and the bride will happily grin.

Journeys for shopping, attending class, heading to work or playing with friends have previously placed me outdoors in the crunchy ice and snow. I look outside my window and am reminded of how dependent I am on my protective things: my house, with a roof and furnace for heat; my clothing, mismatched due to laundry day but nevertheless warm; my fleece blanket, now pitifully worn with tiny balls of lint neatly spaced over its soft surface; and even my cat, my dedicated lap companion of thirteen years.

If only he were less grumpy these days, and less prone to laying on my left arm whilst it types. If only I could blame my frequent grammar trespasses on him.

An introspective word vomit today, born from a moment of staring at crushed winter ice. If I wrote a similar thing in summer, I am not sure what words would spout from my wayward fingers. Still, I welcome these thoughts and moments of word fancy, despite the precious time it diverts me from work to be done.

Speaking of…


The ice photograph is courtesy of user audreyjm529 of Flickr.

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Word Vomit: Stress Replacement

I’m a fervent believer that each human being possesses his or her own individual limit for stress, and he or she spends a lifetime finding ways to withhold, mitigate and delay it. I think of this stress limit as a threshold, like an incline of varied steep or shallow degrees, and stress is pushed upwards along it in a cart with round or square wheels. The stress cart battles against gravity and friction, also-known-as your metaphorical powers of stress resistance.

Why circle or square wheels? Some stress is quick-to-hit, while other stresses are slow, plodding marches to doomsday.  A quick circle versus the clunk, clunk, clunking of the slow-but-steady square. The image is amusing, but the square stress cart eventually reaches its destination.

Both can end in the same result: threshold reached… ka-boom.

So are you a ninety degree stress threshold bearer, forty-five, twenty-two-point-five, or perhaps only nine? Does it vary? What happens then as the stress cart reaches the top? And the ultimate question: how does stress reflect in your writing?

My stress pitfalls, as reflected in my writing…

Word replacement. Typing fast is a useful ability in many accounts, but it is a bane if your WPM  speeds along by the cracking of stress’s merciless whip. For me, words that are similar phonetically or grammatically but otherwise bear no semblance to one another end up interchanging like the Prince and the Pauper, but with less whimsy.

Example: While the Wright Brothers are often credited as the first men to successfully pilot a controlled winged aircraft in the year 1903, some students of history forget that manned flight had always existed in the form of the hot air balloon, invented centuries before.

The word replacement is there, perhaps tiny, but there.

Always, but not quite. The intended word was already, and makes more sense in the context of the sentence: the hot air balloon had already existed, not always… much like the Wright brother’s plane, the hot air balloon is not eternal, as always implies – its invention has a start date!

Oops. And these word replacements can sometimes sneak by the editing eye on second or even third review. Stress editing is stress replacement’s brother culprit.

I have made this word replacement mistake many times, and with the following co-conspirators: now/not, know/known, server/serve, always/already, occasionally forgoing the word “the” altogether, and many others.

All of these stress replacements are met with the following reaction: where did that come from, and what was I thinking?

Threshold reached… ka-boom.

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The Word Vomit Imperative.

Over the year I’ve occupied this blog space, I’ve reinvented twice and thrice contemplated how to best use it. Here I am again, caught in the same conundrum, and again I’ll use this space in the most convenient way that I can, in accordance to the current daily string in my life, and what surrounds me.

This blog will become a bit of a literary journal, I’m a writer and can best be described as both amateur and obsessed. I am afflicted with a terrible writer’s malady called perpetual word vomit – while traveling, talking, working or otherwise occupied, my mind will suddenly cough up an unstoppable slew of word vomit, with subjects that range from a sudden fictional narrative to social commentary. I’ve taken steps to control these word spews by carrying journals on my personal at all times, but I still find myself without enough venues to collect the splatter. Therefore, I’m charging this space with damage control: this blog will be yet another place to re-arrange the word splatter so that its contents make sense, and do not upset the mental stomachs of others. The upsets in particular that worry me with word vomits is the general making of sense, grammar and having a longterm goal in mind. At the very least, my tiniest long term goal is the goal of practice makes better, so practice, damn it, practice.

There you have it. My first word vomit of the year put to digital paper, which initially came to me as I walked my graduate campus and desperately lamented the lack of a pencil and pen while my brain silently vomited away. I’m certain that this disease is not particular to myself, so if at any moment someone crosses paths with this minuscule, unadvertised post on the web, and have also inexplicably thrown up a littany of words without permission or place to record, share. Let me see your word vomit, and I promise that I’ll share the best and worst of mine.

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