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Even though I’ve been writing in some form for ages, I am new to writing. Learning to write in school is miles apart from writing a novel. Miles apart. Somewhere along the line, I learned grammar and the parts of speech, but I’d forgotten most of it from disuse. I’ve had to relearn how things work. I am slightly embarrassed to admit this. I am literally learning to write while writing!

I started my current project–a middle grade novel–confidently. Too confidently, I see that now. I’ve been writing for most of my professional career as a teacher and thought writing a novel would be a breeze. Well, maybe not a breeze, but not overly difficult. I really put my foot in it with that one! Expository writing is miles apart from writing fiction. Miles apart.

About the feature “Today’s Word”:

I am a word geek of gargantuan proportions. I don’t know why, but finding just the right word, sends a thrill down my spine. I come across these words in all kinds of places: In novels I’m reading, during my writing, in my online thesaurus, or when someone who is way smarter than me works it into everyday conversation. Like the time my friend’s brother worked recalcitrant into causal conversation. We were playing tennis!

Today’s Words:

desuetude [ des-wi-tood, -tyood ]


1. the state of being no longer used or practiced

I found this word while I was looking for a better word for “disuse.” There isn’t a better word for disuse, including desuetude!

recalcitrant [ ri-kal-si-truhnt ]


1. resisting authority or control; not obedient or compliant; refractory.

2. hard to deal with, manage, or operate.

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