Monday, October 29, 2007


"I know about words . . . about the depth charges they carry."
- Narrator from 'After Long Absence' (Dislocations by Janette Turner Hospital)

Shakespeare was believed to have been responsible for introducing about 1,700 words into the English language. Technology has also introduced its fair share of words over recent years. What I have done in Caliban's End is reintroduce quite a few words that are rarely used these days. Why reintroduce them? Because they should never have dropped out of common usage!

I'll give you a few of my favourites below. The novels have a race (the Spriggans) whose speech is characterised by an indulgence in ornate language - logorrhea is the word for it. You may have heard some of these words before, but even if you haven't, please don't let that stop you from using them in your next conversation with that special someone you hope to impress.
  • atrabilious: melancholy; splenetic; acrimonious, irritable
  • bibacious: overly fond of drinking
  • bloviate: to write or speak windily
  • bullyrag: to assault with abusive language; to badger
  • caliginous: misty; dark; dim; obscure
  • callow: unfledged; inexperienced
  • corvine: crow-like; of, like or pertaining to crows or ravens
  • drygulch: to murder by pushing off a cliff
  • effluvium: invisible emanation; offensive exhalation or smell
  • gloaming: period between sunset and full night; dusk
  • humgruffin: terrible person
  • juggins: a simpleton
  • logorrhea: excessive flow of words; uncontrollable garrulity
  • meliorism: the belief the world tends to become better
  • miasma: foul vapours from rotting matter; unwholesome air
  • naupathia: sea sickness
  • ophidian: of or like a snake
  • pusillanimous: lacking firmness; cowardly; having a weak character
  • quotidian: everyday; commonplace found in the ordinary course of events
  • scuttles: portholes on a ship
  • soporific: tending to produce sleep
  • stagnicolous: living in stagnant water
  • thanatosis: gangrene; necrosis; state imitating death
  • trilemma: quandary having three choices
  • uliginous: slimy; oozy; swampy; growing in swampy places
  • voraginous: pertaining to a whirlpool;
  • wormwood: something bitter, galling, or grievous
  • worricow: scarecrow; hobgoblin; frightening-looking person
On a completely unrelated note, you may have noticed my little Podbean player on the side of the page. This contains music that I have associated with certain characters and events in the novel. You may find it interesting to listen to some of it and see what images float into your head. I'll be adding to this every now and then, hopefully with some original stuff early next year once the books are done.

To end this post, I'll give a quick summary of where I'm up to in the books. You can see by the 'Chapter Completion' chart on the right that quite a lot has been done since my last post. Although I had the best of intentions to finish the whole saga by the end of October so I could have it printed in time for Christmas, things haven't worked out that way. This is understandable, now the book is actually a trilogy.

Despite a busy month with conferences, birthday parties and falling off bunks, I have manage to keep writing every day and hopefully the quantity hasn't been at the expense of quality. I don't think it has. In fact, I've been delighted with a few little twists and turns I've been able to weave into the narrative. But to say anything more will spoil the dish.

I have titled the three books. They are:
  • What Lies Beneath (Book One)
  • Into the Endless (Book Two)
  • Akin to Pity (Book Three)
Let me know what you think of the titles. They can be changed if the consensus is they stink (although I kind of like them, especially Akin to Pity).

Hopefully next time I post I'll be in the home straight. Until then...