Adrienne Neary's Blog

January 16, 2021

Deepening Your Writing Roots

Style. Structure. Grammar. handwriting...
Want to improve? Want to impress? Read and study someone's work from the 1700s or 1800s. They knew how to observe and express - in writing - everything from Town Meetings to the dew on the morning grass.

From Town Histories to the Declaration of Independence, from Fyodor Dostoyevsky to Victor Hugo, Mark Twain, Leo Tolstoy, Jane Austen, Giovanni Battista Belzoni, King Rama II, Cao Xeuqin, René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur (who also invented an alcohol based thermometer), Wei Yaun, and so many more among poets, mystics, scholars, philosophers, advocates, critics, novelists, writers, explorers, dramatists, hymn and song writers...

If you're fortunate, you may also read or reread personal letters from someone in your family tree, sit down family logs on a lazy day, and reach out with your wonderful imagination and correspond with anyone from that time period.

The canvas is enormous, and they all had this in common; the digital age along with its abbreviations, spelling anomalies, drive through editing and dismissal of handwriting and the relationship with pen and paper was hundreds of years away.

Culturally, an education in penmanship was paramount, as was the education in reading, writing (arithmetic) and grammar. They lived in the midst of classics, and had an intimate and very different relationship with wordsmithing and the art of communication.

Immerse yourself like you're learning a different language.

You'll change. You'll slow down. You'll rekindle a relationship that has gradually diminished to a point of extreme rarity in today's writing.

You'll stretch back, nourish the now, and improve the impact your writing has in the future.
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Published on January 16, 2021 05:39

January 12, 2021

Sci-Fi and Word Power

I'm not sure what sparked my love for science fiction; maybe it's where - in addition to mysticism - out of ordinary things can become manifest or be considered commonplace.

My first official 'read', was "Rendezvous with Rama" by Arthur C. Clark, a book that captivated my imagination with the glimpse of a vast world inside a cylinder floating in space (so symbolic! this could be a cell, a computer, a brain, a world...).

Reading the title primed my fascination with words, because 'rendezvous' wasn't pronounced the way it looked (much more effective than my Dad handing me the 'Reader's Digest' (hat tip) opened to the section, 'It Pays to Increase your Word Power').

I thought it was very cool to see the 'z' and 'v' juxtaposed, and a lot of letters that were seemingly there as a flourish. After all, the 'r' is normal, the 'e' is like an 'o', the 'n' and 'd' are normal, the next 'e' is like a long 'a', the 'v' is normal, 'ou' should be 'oo', and the 's' is silent.

Talk about a weirdness being commonplace! However, we all look at the word, see its french roots, and just read it or say it without further thought.

But, as a kid, it was a word that emanated 'from another world'...

While most of us embrace and take earthly languages for granted, it's nice to let them transport us into deeper understanding and an expanded awareness once in a while, just like science fiction.
Rendezvous with Rama (Rama, #1) by Arthur C. Clarke
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Published on January 12, 2021 06:28 Tags: science-fiction, vocabulary

Adrienne Neary's Blog

Adrienne Neary
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