Monday, September 3, 2012


My blog posts have been rare to say the least.

Normally, I'm the type of person that doesn't have a lot to say in group conversation and writing a blog is so...exposing. If something isn't stated just right, the meaning could easily be misunderstood or taken out of context. And once it's out there, it is out there. And since not much has been happening on the publishing front, I haven't had much to say other than my current manuscript is being shopped around by my agent.

I've never tried to hide the fact that I'm not very smart in some areas...or in a lot of areas. As far as my writing goes, I have a big imagination, real characters with great dialog and thanks to the Internet, I'm a good researcher when I need to plow through a subject I may be covering.

So, I had an idea on how to continue to blog regularly. I recently read A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. You may have heard that a movie is being made and Jack Black will be Ignatious J. Reilly. While reading the novel, I was amazed at how much vocabulary I didn't know. Then, the idea hit me. At the risk of showing my ignorance, I decided to re-read the novel, picking out each word that I wasn't sure of the meaning and post it with some random commentary. It's an idea I want to try to see if it can find traction or be an epic failure. So, here goes...

On the very first page of the first chapter, I found:

SUPERCILIOUS - adjective - haughtily disdainful or contemptuous, as a person or a facial expression.

I had a vague idea of what it meant, but I looked it up anyway to be sure. Toole was describing Ignatious' eyes. He paints a very descriptive portrait of his main character and using supercilious gives a vivid description of his world view...and it also gives the reader an idea of the type of ride they're in for. The opening scene takes place in front of a D.H. Holmes. Those older residents of New Orleans will know this department store very well.

I also found this description: displaying arrogant pride, scorn, or indifference...sniffy.

You may be reading this, saying that I must be a moron not to know this word. If that's the case, then stop reading and please move on to your MENSA test booklet. I'm a novelist trying to help out other aspiring writers, not writers who feel intellectually superior to hacks like me.

But, finding a place for this word in my fast paced, thriller novels would be a chore. I think one of my characters would have to say it in dialog. I feel if I was to insert a word that I wouldn't normally use in my own everyday conversation, it would just look out of place. But, my intention is to feel comfortable enough to do just that.

So, in conclusion, if you didn't know what this word meant, your homework is to work this word into everyday conversation and then feel the superiority of telling your friends what it means. After that, create your own drinking game. You can add all the words that are sure to follow in the near future blogs.

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