Building Blocks (premise)

This poem helps define the premise behind Building Blocks: Time molds vivid memories from one’s past into the building blocks of one’s writing. The poem was influenced by my frequent visits to Fredericksburg, Virginia art galleries, and came to mind this past Friday when I was thinking about all the monthly First Friday gallery open houses I have missed since I moved.

Life is not a single canvas
across which the palette of existence plays out
the days, years, the joys, the tears
Life is but a wall
like the art gallery hall
upon which are hung the transient images of our breath

Each panel a journey
a story unto itself blessed by its very completion
related, segmented, belated, translated
Stories awaiting readers
like a song yet song
notes rising and falling between birth and death

Life is not a single canvas
but the wall upon which our memories are hung

(Life is not a single canvas, © Steven S. Walsky 2009.)

How ‘Odd’, an A to Z Word List


Today’s look at the English language was influenced by Esther Newton’s March 16, 2015 Monday Motivation Challenge Special to write a short story, where the first sentence starts with A, the next B and so on, right through too Z.  Thus, here is an A to Z list of odd/unusual words to help y’all.

Absterge: wipe clean; expunge; purge; purify.

Babeldom: a confused sound of voices.

Cafard: depression; the blues.

Deosculate: to kiss affectionately.

Enow: enough.

Fatalism: doctrine that events are fixed and humans are powerless.

Gynics: knowledge of women.

Haussmannize: to open out; to rebuild.

Ideopraxist:  one who is impelled to carry out an idea.

Jolterhead: clumsy oaf; blockhead.

Kakorrhaphiophobia:  fear of failure

Ladronism: banditry; robbery.

Matutinal: of, like or pertaining to the morning; happening early in the day.

Nakedize: to go naked.

Oppidan: urban.

Palative: pleasing to the taste or to the palate.

Quiritation: complaining; lamentation.

Raisonneur: person in a play or book embodying author’s viewpoint.

Sensiferous: conveying sensation.

Tacent: silent.

Unzymotic: fabulous.

Velation: act of veiling; secrecy.

Watchet: pale blue.

Xystus: covered walkway for exercises.

Y’all: Yes, y’all is not an odd or unusual word. I added it in case you needed a fine Y word to articulate your: second-person personal pronoun, both singular and plural, and both nominative and oblique case, in Southern and friendly English.  🙂

Zwieback: sweet toasted biscuit.



On March 23, 2015 I posted an A – Z short story using these words.

Yes, Dorothy, there is a homophone machine…


All About Learning This site has a list of homophones; and there is a homophone machine that allows you to enter a word, and whirred, you have the homophone(s).

Holiday  Provides a list and explanation for holidays for the month, week, and individual days .  How else would we know that May is National Hamburger Month and August 18, 2015 is Bad Poetry Day (Maybe Bad Poetry Day is celebrated all year long  🙂 Yes, The ‘force be with you’ Lil-Doggies haiku meets the bill.)

How Many  Just like the name of the site implies, enter a word and you get How Many Syl-la-bles.  I find this site to be invaluable for my attempts at haiku poetry.

Irish  Allows you to enter 26,000 English or Irish words or verbs (please, one at a time!) and get the English or Irish equivalents and use.  The Phrontistery (n. a thinking place) has a 17,000-word dictionary of “rare, cool, and unusual words”.

Urban  For both ‘street chatter’ and, once in a while, to check some ‘regular’ words for unintended ‘street’ implications.  Here’s an interesting term, pillow lust : “That feeling that college students experience where they feel so exhausted that the idea of their face hitting their pillow sounds so utterly fantastic, it’s almost sexual.”

Words, are interesting, fun, mysterious, and sometimes difficult to pronounce quickly four time in a row: phrontistery…phrontistery…phronsistery…phronlisbery 😉