Words to Cringe By

So my fellow blogger Shell Flower has been posting excerpts from her 1988 high school journal. What a great idea! I wish I had the guts to do that.  I don’t sadly, and you are all the luckier for it, because it’s awful maudlin self-indulgent crap. I can’t quite believe I kept my journal all these years; and I never thought I would have cause to give thanks that I did until a few months ago.

I got some notes back from an editor about my verse novel. The editor was a poet, so I was pretty scared about that, but had never read a novel in verse before, so I was scared about that too.  It all worked out. He gave some great notes and seemed to really enjoy the manuscript.  One comment he made was about the vocabulary, given that this was written in the voice and POV of a sixteen year old girl. he thought the vocabulary might be too mature for her age.

Ah Ha! thought I. I have proof that sixteen year old girls use this type of vocabulary in their journals. I have a sixteen year old’s journal!  I dusted it off and sure enough was able in response to supply the editor a selection of advanced words that I had used . Here’s the list, for anyone who is interested:

Writhe, bask, impending, quicken, integrity, fidelity, indulgent, communism, bourgeoisie, fascists, vacuous, vindictive, accosting

So, just like the time I FINALLY used the Pythagorean Theorem (learned in grade 10) to design a quilt (25 years later), at least now I know I got SOMETHING out of keeping a journal in high school.

2 thoughts on “Words to Cringe By

  1. Those are some great words for a 16yr. old journal. It’s hard to go back and read those thoughts, sometimes, but it comes in handy as a writer. Way to show your editor that you don’t have to dumb things down for teens!

  2. That’s awesome! My 12yo son has a huge vocabulary –bigger than mine, I suspect! But I think too often, editors go for simpler, when really, kids these days are much more advanced in their learning than we were at their age.

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