A Thesaurus + pandemic legends + Christmas movies
May I recommend
I’m on the hook to do a lot of writing quickly and so have been experimenting with productivity hacks… I’m trying out Scrivener, which is a word processing system specifically for writing long works, like novels or dissertations. It’s a lot like Word, but with more flexibility. It, like Word, or Google Docs, has a built-in thesaurus.
This is important because you don’t realize how much you like certain words (I am weirdly partial to “foray”) until you’re striving to write some clean, interesting prose and you find your characters constantly going on forays.
For many years I used the thesaurus provided by Word. It is quick, convenient and gets the job done. It always felt a little too transactional, though. It was a bit soulless and while the words that were offered up to me were serviceable, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there were more and better words out there.
Rummaging around our bookshelves, I came across this guy.
It was a blissful reunion. I’m a youngish Gen X. I did all of highschool and most of university without owning a computer. At Acadia University (Stand up and cheer!) I spent time in the computer lab… Ostensibly to write and print papers, but mostly to play a lot of PipeFitter. An extremely satisfying early computer game where you were a space plumber (?) who had to fit pipes together… Think a proto-Tetris without as much drama.
All that to say, my formative years relied upon dictionaries and thesauri. Don’t get me wrong, when the joys of spellcheck became apparent to me, I dumped both with alacrity and embraced Bill Gates’ world domination.
Only now, 25 years later, I find myself returning to the thesaurus. Firstly, it’s fun to use. The pages are tabbed in a dictionary way and the reference system is a tiny bit confusing, which makes you feel quite smart when you successfully look something up. Also, I don’t care what our computer overlords claim, I think you get a better, more nuanced word selection from the analogue version.
Sure, it takes a little longer to find your word in the back and then flip through to the front to find the correct reference numbed, but you have the satisfaction of using those little notches and the joy of running your finger down a page, selecting the perfect word.
In this world of ease and speed, there is something gratifying about doing something less efficiently.
Do you still use a dictionary or a thesaurus? Let me know in the comments!
Our legendary pandemic
This is a beautiful and painful recounting of our plague years. Worth a read!
Yesterday, I found my son, his nose bloodied, holding a fistful of his sister’s white hair. I yell and my husband yells. The children also yell. We howl like a pack of wolves, and we are caged, all together.
If we are wolves, I think, then we will go to the woods. This is on the scroll-schedule anyway. Every morning: Walk the dog. It is a trick of the mind. We are the dogs.
Guys, the Christmas movies are so deliciously bad
Having just watched a baaaaaad one last night, I particularly appreciated this.
If you’ve never seen one before, it’s important to know that Netflix’s Christmas rom-coms are not meant to be judged on a spectrum of “good” to “bad.” They are only to be understood on a spectrum from “surreal approximation of human behavior” to “perverting the physical rules of our known universe.
New spin on why we’re so tired
I’m a champion napper, but I think I need more rest in some of these other areas…
Her fatigue prescription is to incorporate seven types of rest into your life: physical, mental, emotional, social, sensory, creative and spiritual. I am dubious. Sacred Rest has a classic off-putting self-help book cover (a jetty shrouded in mist), talks about the “bread of self-disclosure and the wine of community”, and focuses heavily on God (there’s a clue in the title). Then there is the fact that any attempt to take a break over the past 18 overloaded months has left me feeling miserable and unmoored. I confess this when I speak to Dalton-Smith over Zoom.
“I don’t like resting,” I tell her. “I get listless and sad and feel a failure.” She is not surprised.
I love her
Have you seen my keys?
As I said, I love her
Oh my God, this is so satisfying
Wot they gonna do?
I’ve discovered Archives tiktok
Chances of your cat killing you
Don’t take unnecessary risks
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Amy Tector, The Honeybee Emeralds (March 2022)