Words for befuddling blunders


“Would you like some butter on your bed?” Take the margarine off the quilt! You’ve simply stumbled across a parapraxis. From the Latin para meaning “beside” and praxis, Greek for “a doing,” a parapraxis is an instance in which you say one thing and mean your mother. . . another. The term is most commonly known as a Freudian slip and was deeply instrumental in the work of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud in determining his patients hidden intentions and desires.


Commonly confused pairs


A wreath is a circular band of flowers or leaves that can be placed on a door or a head. (Think Christmas or Julius Caesar.) The word comes from the Old English wrioa meaning “band,” and since that early origin, wreath has been a noun. To wreathe is to adorn something with a wreath or to encircle something the way a wreath does.

Quote of the Day!


Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.

Maria Montessori

August 31, 1870: The Italian educator Maria Montessori initially trained as a doctor, which was nearly unheard of for women at the time. She later studied psychology and developed her theories of early childhood education, which she put into practice with her Casa dei Bambini schools. Montessori education continues to be popular around the world.

Quote of the Day!


There is no past or future. Using tenses to divide time is like making chalk marks on water.

Janet Frame

August 28, 1924: Janet Frame was a patient at New Zealand’s Seacliff Lunatic Asylum when her first book, The Lagoon and Other Stories, was published. Its success led to the cancellation of a scheduled lobotomy. Frame went on to have a lasting literary career. She was born 89 years ago today.

Get Your Favorite Novel On A T-Shirt!

I cannot wait till October when my favorite novel will be available to put on a shirt, tote, or a poster print! Can any of you guess what is my favorite classic?

101 Books

This takes book geek to a whole new level.

So is the fact that I think it’s super cool make me an enormous book geek? Don’t answer that question.

For $34, you can get a t-shirt with 75,000 words of a classic novel printed on it. Obviously, the text is tiny, but it also is written in a way that forms some type of unique design based on the book.

Enough of me trying to explain this. I can’t. Just look at a several of these t-shirts.

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10 Things Writers should know


There’s only so long you can coast on that first burst of writerly inspiration. Then, if you’re serious about writing, reality sets in — and the work begins.

For the novices, Michael Nye of The Missouri Review put together a list of things young writers should know from the start. For folks who’ve been writing a while, it never hurts to be reminded of these rules — as they can just as easily apply to experienced writers.

Check out the summary below.

10 things emerging writers should be aware of early in their career

1. Talent is overrated. Hard work and dedication are the keys to success.

2. Don’t be in a rush to publish. Anyone can write. Take your time and get it right!

3. Force yourself to be social. Even in the internet age, handshakes and in-person hellos are important.

4. Make the time. It’s not easy— but make the time to read and write every day.

5. Own up to your mistakes. Be honest with yourself about your writing. Don’t get defensive. Fix stuff that needs fixing.

6. Don’t waste time reading stuff that you hate. But DO throw the book across the room.

7. Build a network that is large AND strong. Your reputation matters. Connections matter.

8. You need at least 3 mentors. They will show you the way — even if you’re only imaging what their solution would be to a problem.

9. Imitate your idols — unless they’re jerks. This is another way of giving yourself creative options for particular writing or professional problems.

10. Read more books. Don’t forget what inspired you in the first place. Go back to the source.


What rules would you add to this list? Anything you wish you could tell a younger version of yourself? Let me know in the comments section below.

Women in the Arthurian Romances ~Guinevere

Arthurian Romances


According to earlier legend, Arthur met Guinevere or Guenevere (she was called Guanhumara (Guenhuuara) by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the Historia regnum Britanniae) in the court of Duke Cador of Cornwall. Guinevere was the ward of Cador. Guinevere came from a noble Roman family; according to both Wace and Layamon, it was on her mother’s side that she was Roman.

Later legends say that Guinevere (Guenevere) was the daughter of Leodegan (Leodegraunce), king of Camelide (Camelerd). After Arthur helped Leodegan, Arthur became betrothed to Guinevere. One of Guinevere’s companion, after she married Arthur, was her cousin and lady-in-waiting, Elibel. They married but had no children (except in the Perlesvaus, where their son was named Lohot (Loholt)).

In the Welsh Mabinogion called Culhwch and Olwen (before 1100), Guinevere was called Gwenhwyfar (Gwenhwyvar), which possibly means the “White Phantom”. This was Guinevere’s (Gwenhwyfar) first appearance. Gwenhwyfar was the daughter of Gogrfan (Gogrvan…

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Quote of the Day!


Am I alive and a reality, or am I but a dream?

Edgar Rice Burroughs

August 27, 1912: Happy birthday, Tarzan! The popular character first appeared in print 101 years ago today. His creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs, is the great-grandfather of director Wes Anderson.

Word of the Day!

TROO-buh-dawr, -dohr, -door


one of a class of medieval lyric poets who flourished principally in southern France from the 11th to 13th centuries, and wrote songs and poems of a complex metrical form in langue d’oc, chiefly on themes of courtly love. Compare trouvère.
any wandering singer or minstrel.

One day a troubadour appeared at the castle and was invited to stay and sing for the nobleman’s court.
— Thomas Sanchez , Day of the Bees , 2000

…whenever a troubadour lays down the guitar and takes up the sword trouble is sure to follow.
— O. Henry , Sixes and Sevens , 1902


While the origin of troubadour is not entirely known, it is thought to have come from Old Provencal trobar meaning “to find,” “invent a song” or compose in verse.

Quote of the Day!


Style is not neutral; it gives moral directions.

Martin Amis

August 25, 1949: Happy birthday, Martin Amis! This British novelist known for his darkly satirical work cites an unexpected (yet logical) early influence—Jane Austen. He turns 64 today.