I do like the letter O: alberta’s words

o is a versatile letter

The letter O is a wonderfully versatile letter. Apart from the look of it; so clean, so eternal it is from a child’s point of view so easy to pen:) To my mind, the friendliest looking of all the alphabet.

Think of all the sounds that originate with O
Pot and No
Do and Son

Four simple words and four different pronunciations. Short O in the first, a long O in the second.

A double OO in the third and even a short U in the fourth.

We can have the different O sounds in boat, toe, neon, riot and youth depending on which letters surround this neat looking letter.

How about meow and Mao or Noel.

Try doubling it – coot and foot, one becomes longer, the other shorter and more of a u sound, only one letter different in this case. How clever we are to even remember a half of the variations in English.

O stands in for ‘the descendant of’ in names such as O’Driscoll and for ‘of the clock’ in time keeping

That is not the end of O, it stands on it’s own to spell sounds.

O

With or without the ‘h’ dogged my poetry lessons as a child – modern poets are not keen.

Many O’s as in Ooooo can be excitement or praise of looks,  add a letter or so and it can be ouch or ow both pain of some kind.

And of course do let us forget how satisfying a plain unadorned O can be to a child or a doodler, a face, body part of rabbits, dogs and cats. How satisfying it is to fill it in with pen or pencil when bored. To add ears and tails.

Doodlers love the double O, it can be decorated with lashes, a pupil and voila we have eyes.In ancient Egypt (ancient in like 4,000 years ago!) the O was a hieroglyph for ‘the eye’. Semites took it and then Phoenicians diminished it to a small outline of the eye and hey presto our O was formed still meaning eye. Then it changed and became a letter.  I still make eyes out of mine:)

I do like the letter O:)

words

with a great deal of help from David Crystal and Michael Rosen
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A magical quality to names: Writer’s Quote Wednesday

Greene quote

There is a magical quality in names – to change the name is to change the character
Graham Greene 1904 – 1991

I like playing with names and have renamed myself a few times in my life – the first time when being fed up with the abbreviation of my name – it was my middle name (which I had not chosen, an unfairness I have forever felt:) I declared I was going to use a different variation of the name and would not answer to anything else. It took a while but in the end the family largely complied. My grandmothers couldn’t bring themselves too.

Well I let them off:)

When I travelled around the world I would often develop a new name or gather nicknames – I gloried in most of them. I was a different person in each place I travelled to, so why not have a new name? Names should be flexible, if one changes style, character etc, in my opinion anyway.

I am just as arbitrary with dates as well, you don’t like the month you were born into – too hot,too cold, change it to a month you would be happy to celebrate in. Festivities can be held at a different time if circumstances dictate, I have had Christmas in July and Febuary.

Multiple names though do make any card list a problem; I have to remember what name to sign each card with. A minor problem. Some friends have not made all the transitions and officialdom still calls me by my first name which I have never been called, not even by the family.

It’s fun:)

However names for my books have given me a constant headache since I began writing seriously. Names are a problem and I read that many authors have the same difficulty naming a cast of characters.

I am told, naming your children can be a minefield if one wishes to honour members of the family, or one has a fancy idea and the other hates it. Well multiply that by a cast of dozens.

The more people one has met in life and made judgements on the more names are rejected. One doesn’t want friends to walk away if you use their name for a character they don’t like, neither do you want to use a name of that skinny child in primary school who pulled your plaits.

This particular name may be in fashion now but in a few years time it will date the work, that name might be pretty, cute, sexy or whatever but it was the name of that liar, the creep, the hurtful, so the list of discards grow.

The names are important.

Sometimes a few of the characters still don’t have a name until the book is finished, I have to wait until I know what character the person has. It has to be a name which fits into the family, community. There is no background at the beginning to graft the name onto.

However occasionally there is no problem, the name just pops into my head. Ellen and Bix came so naturally they could never have been anything else.

I have another problem outstanding; in the present book I am writing, I have three characters beginning with ‘K.’ I like all the names equally but, one has to be changed. Two have appeared already in previous books; the trouble though, I know this third  character well, he is the name. How can I find another which will suit all the thousands of words already written about him?

Green was correct, change the name and you change the character,

A problem:)

This quote is part of Silver Threading’s  Writer’s Quote series. Writer’s who have helped inspire my writing and my life. Pop over and follow other quotes there are many inspiring posts

Any reading more easy : Writer’s Quote Wednesday

catalogue

 

I do not know any reading more easy more fascinating, more delightful than catalogue
Anatole France 1844-1924

Now this a person after my own heart:)

I am an avid reader. Always and forever I hope. That is not necessarily a reader of books. We have all I am sure practised our early reading skills on food packets:) I have a passion for magazines, from children’s comics through women’s magazines to gardening, science, geographical and philosophical journals as I progressed through life.

As I said I am a reader.

A fairly early delight of mine, when I had pocket money and could walk to the shops to buy my own stationary, were brochures and catalogues.

Many reasons.

Curiosity, a wish to have post sent to me, a feeling of being grown up, oh all kinds of reasons. I started with holiday brochures and small catalogues. Filled with exciting destinations, not so many foreign places at the beginning but I wasn’t fussy I had a desire to travel and these sometimes colourful packets of promise fed this desire into a passion. When colour came in well who wouldn’t have been charmed by the sight of foreign climes in sunny blues and white palaces. I would plot my future routes, dream of intrepid exploring. The books I read gave me the fiction these I believed showed me the truth of the fiction.

Then there were those massive catalogues of everything, clothes, furniture, toys and on and on. I could spend hours pouring over the pictures reading the descriptions. I planned my future homes, clothed my future family, myself sometimes. I created splendid meals in shiny pans.

Then book catalogues were produced, I had to have those, even if they were full of books I would never be able to afford or indeed understand if I read them. I could dream of being an extremely intelligent and erudite adult amazing everyone with my intellect.

Ah, the dreams of my childhood.
Not just childhood.

I found educational courses to learn newness from.Every new skill I mastered from the courses and workshops there was, of course, the need for more catalogues to order supplies from.Then I found auction house brochures – wonderful.  When I won the lottery, I thought:)

You understand I didn’t need to win the lottery, didn’t need to possess these things. it was the dreams and plans that were the delight.

 I scoured the backs of magazines and journals for the addresses to write to. I still do. I am still a sucker for them.

A hot cuppa, a comfy chair and a new catalogue, well, there’s a pleasant restful half an hour or so for moi.

These days I plan where to put new plants in the garden, roses or agapanthus can I afford both? Discount books or leather clad, can I afford either!? Do I need a new mixer – nah. Do I need that new shiny whatever?

I still receive endless catalogues and brochures. Soon, very soon they will be all about aids for living, I will be reading about wheelchairs and angled cutlery. It won’t matter each stage of life can entertain me:)

This quote is part of Silver Threading’s  Writer’s Quote series. Writer’s who have helped inspire my writing and my life. Pop over and follow other quotes there are many inspiring posts