In honour of International Happiness Day I thought I'd choose happiness as my wonderful world.
Happiness is an odd quality, it's something we spend our whole lives pursuing. We often have a very fixed idea of what it looks like, how it will be, what to expect; but life never turns out the way you expect. Plans go wrong, things change and you're left trying to pick up the pieces. I have a tendency to stomp my foot and demand it turns up now. Right now. Not tomorrow. Now. It doesn't often seem to work.
Today I've chosen a very writer-ly word - verisimilitude. It is a term that writing tutors love, agents look out for and writers strive to capture.
Verisimilitude means the appearance of being true or real: 'the detail gives the novel some verisimilitude'.
I love the way it sounds; but it can be as difficult to capture in a novel as it is to spell.
I discovered the word emacity while I was wandering around an online dictionary, what can I say, I like words and they tend to lead you down a rabbit hole, one leads you to the next and the next. Wait that's called reading...
Okay, so I spotted emacity and it struck a chord, I'm known in my family for having expensive tastes. I like to think its a sign that I appreciate quality. Hopefully my spending isn't uncontrollable. Unless of course I'm around jewellery, or clothes, or shoes, or craft bits, or kitchen items, or.... Wait a minute...
Emacity is an uncontrollable desire or fondness for buying things. It comes from the Latin word emacitas (fond of buying), from emere (to buy).
Language is a gift, something that is hugely overlooked. Can you imagine a world where you couldn't communicate? Couldn't share your joys and sorrows, express yourself and understand those around you?
Words can be carried around the world, recorded for all time in so many ways now, both through voice and print. Without language we wouldn't have books, films or songs. There would be a void in our lives, that's why I'm going to pay tribute to some of my favourite words that I discover during the course of writing my novel.
To start off...
Serendipity means a "fortunate happenstance" or "pleasant surprise".
I love the melodic sound of Serendipity, it's a joyful word to say. The fact that it means a happy accident is even better. Who wouldn't want a life full of serendipity?
It was invented by Horace Walpole, the 4th Earl of Orford, in 1754 who said that a hero in the fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip had this quality.
"I once read a silly fairy tale called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of"
You can read more of his story here...
I wish you serendipity today and every day.
I won the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition. My novel, The Box, is going to be published on 25th July 2019, by Orion