Luteous and susurrous. These are two words that have found their way into my w.i.p. I love them. They are words you can almost taste. Does it ever happen to you when you are toying with a sentence in your head, thinking up the best way to describe something -- an eye color, the sound of an otherworldly language -- that a word will pop into your mind? A word like "luteous" you're not sure is even a real word, let alone a word that means what you hope it means? But then you look it up and it is and does -- it is just perfect? That happens to me all the time, and makes me marvel at the strange furls of memory, all the things that are folded away, like, I don't know, like heirloom china in a box in the garage. You haven't seen it in years but suddenly the pattern pops into your head.
In other vocabulary "news," I [heart] google. Everyday I say to myself a dozen times at least, "I [heart] google." What can't you find? I wanted to describe something as looking like a sheep, but I didn't know if there was a single word for it, the way there's "bovine" for cows or "feline" for cats, etc. Well, of course there is, and it's "ovine." Cool.
[You see, when all I am doing is writing, my world. . . it shrinks to this, to luteous and susurrous and ovine. That and Jim and Leroy and what's for dinner. Which tonight, was pancakes, because. . . why not, really?]
Oh, and I just read this interesting piece by Sarah Zarr about writers' themes, the things we don't realize are our themes until we've written several books and suddenly discover that there are common elements to them all. It was interesting to read, because I have begun to detect certain things that keep wanting to come up in my stories. Outsider-ness. Sacrifice. Vast depth of backstory -- vaaaast, like, millenia of mythic history that has profound relevance to the "now" of the story -- I guess that's the Tolkien reverence in me. Secret identities, including: a character's own identity being a mystery to him or herself. And other stuff. Do you think it means that I have an identity that is secret even to myself, and that there is a long-forgotten mythic history I am supposed to uncover?
Maybe. You never know.