Sunday, June 24, 2007


I was out with friends the other night, drinking beer by the pool and discussing the ill effects of overindulgence. Particularly "the spins". One of the girls wanted to know what caused the world to spin so dramatically, often violently. I tossed out the word vortex, not for any particularly scientific reason but because I liked its sound. Several were impressed with my word choice.

We decided it constituted my word count for the day. Not only did it have an x, one of the most difficult letters in the alphabet, but it also contained a z. It also conveys a maelstrom of activity that brilliantly sums up the last moments before one passes out.

The conversation continued to evolve about how many words vortex should count as in my writing journal. I was happy to let the silliness sweep us away from my genius. I didn't really have much to show lately for the time spent with my characters. One word was about the best I'd done in several days.

That one word swirled around in my head through the night.It churned through my dreams and woke me up to scribble down a scene. Not only that, the vortex sucked me deep into the perspective of our little weevil as well as Nea's father. It gave me a view I'd missed on different passes through some scenes.

It never ceases to amaze me the connections my brain can make, seemingly out of the blue, to writing. I have other words to toss onto the page. In the meantime, here's a photo that reminds me what winter feels like while I write in the summer. It was taken a few miles from Niagara Falls, and Alex's home base.


  1. Where is the 'z' in vortex? Did you mean 'v'?

    You come up with the neatest ideas so I am not surprised it amused your friends for some time.

    Great picture. Sure helps to cool one off. :)

  2. Yep it was 'v', not 'z'. Funny thing is, we all said 'z'. I blame the beer. It was Canadian, knock-you-on-your-ass beer.

  3. I'm glad you asked, Scope. I'd been wondering if the word was spelled dfferently up in northern climes.

    Why aren't you cooling off by lounging around your new pool? Are the 'gators causing trouble?

  4. The 'gators keep circling and it's not really a pool, it's a raised pond - with fish who like to be petted. We're weird up here.

  5. Anonymous1:20 PM

    It's a silent z. And invisible.

  6. "... a 'z' so unremarkable as to be no 'z' at all..."