To Smirk or Not to Smirk

What does the word “smirk” convey to you? If a character in a book smirks at something said by another character how do you feel about the smirker?

Am I wrong to feel that “smirk” has a negative connotation? And what would be a more pleasant word to use when one character is mildly put off or even amused by another character’s words?

I need help here, because I don’t want to use the word “smirk,” yet all of its synonyms are even more off putting: simper, snigger, leer. Ugh!

How about a smirking smurf?

Surely “said” is a better choice. Right?

Peace, people.

Oldie #6: Whatchamacallit

Words amuse me. After visiting Ireland I find that I’m even more interested in colloquialisms and regional sayings. Learning just a smidgen of Irish Gaelic had me scrambling to find this old piece from the early days of my blog. Fittingly, I couldn’t remember what I’d called it. Go figure.


I’ve never used the word “calumny.” To be honest I wasn’t sure what it meant. Thank goodness for Google!

I’m trying now to craft a poem around this word “calumny” that popped into my mind apropos of nothing. Words do that to me sometimes.


Calumny, she said to me, ended my career. I’d arisen from nothing, no pedigree, no expertise,

With tears in my eyes I begged her to explain her downfall. Did calumny cause you

Pain? I asked. Was it akin to a canker sore or a bunion? She laughed ruefully. No, it was much worse.

You see I’d trusted someone and they smeared my name. Made me the fool of their wicked game.

And just like that, my reputation was beyond repair. I didn’t laugh, but still perplexed. Calumny 

Isn’t a physical malady? It sounds like a blow to the gut. Again, she smiled. Close, but no cigar.

Words of Power

Roaring down highways
Barbecuing landmarks
Chastising Girl Scouts
Emulating despots.

‘Round every corner
Evil doers lurk
Hiding their enmity
‘Neath smarmy smirks.

How do they sleep nights?
Minds filled with bile
Greed over principle
Seduction using guile.

In this topsy turvy world
Where hatred disguised as good
Seeks dominion o’er the masses
Words of power are my shield.


Nothing to Say


I had nothing to say today

So I’m not going to say it.

Of course if I’m being honest

I’ve already said something.

Dadgum it’s hard for me,

This wordless disposition.

I’m sure it’s a temporary

State of my current condition.

I was listening to NPR’s TED talks series on Sunday. The main story that morning was about a man who decided to stop talking for one day. That one day turned into twelve years. I couldn’t imagine going without speaking for ten minutes unless I was sleeping. But twelve years? 

When I commented on this to Studly Doright he smiled politely and said, “I’d sure like to see you try.”

I’m not sure how I should take that.  

Peace, people!


My vocabulary was enriched this week by the addition of the word, “anagoggle.”


Saint Helen at the historic capitol building in Tallahassee.

Saint Helen and I were exploring the little community of Colquitt, Georgia, and had walked quite a distance from my car. When we realized we were both fairly tired of walking in the heat we decided to begin angling our way back to our starting point. 

“We’ll just have to anagoggle our way back to the car,” Saint Helen said.

“Huh?” I replied in my most articulate manner.

“You know,” she said, demonstrating a zig zag pattern with her hands. “Anagoggle. You’ve never heard of that?”

“Can’t say that I have.”

“Must be a New Mexico thing,” said Saint Helen.


By that time we’d anagoggled over to the car and I’d conjugated the verb successfully: I anagoggled yesterday, we went anagogglin, we can anagoggle. 


Me before I knew anything about anagogglin.

Peace, people. 

Mind Field

Don’t mind me.
I’m gingerly negotiating
this space fraught with
ideas, absurdities, and
irreconcilable differences.

I’m of a mind to
chuck it all and navigate
someone else’s field for
at least a little while,
and see what may be gleaned.

Speak your mind
before someone else does
the speaking for you. Don’t
worry about the shrapnel;
it only hurts when they laugh.

Never mind.
This is mostly illusion
anyway, although most
of the pitfalls are real
and possibly explosive.

Mind your manners;
they will come in handy
when you have to deal
with the after effects
and resulting injuries.

Keep an open mind
and don’t judge others
whose fields might not
be as fertile as yours.
Boom! One step too far.


Word To Your Mama

Have you ever looked at an ordinary word for so long that it just doesn’t seem right anymore? That happened to me yesterday afternoon as I was looking for an over-the-counter medicine to calm my incessant sneezing, itchy throat, and watery eyes.

The word:


The more I looked at the word the stranger it appeared. Was it ALL ERGY? Or perhaps AL LERGY? 

When a helpful clerk at CVS asked if I needed assistance I mumbled something along the lines of, “Yes. Yes, I do.”

I hope this product helps with word fixation, as well.

Peace, people!