Saturday, April 30, 2016

Curmudgeon - Wordsmith, Part 2

Hello Fellow Scriveners and Lovers of Words.

Here are a few more terms, which intrigued me, so I checked out their meaning and origin.
Curmudgeon: a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man (Merriam-Webster)

Etymology: 1570s, of unknown origin; the suggestion, based on a misreading of a garbled note from Johnson, that it is from French coeur mechant "evil heart" is not taken seriously; the first syllable may be cur "dog." Liberman says the word "must have been borrowed from Gaelic (and references muigean "disagreeable person"), with variant spelling of intensive prefix ker. Related: Curmudgeonly.

Why just an old man? I'm a woman and perfectly capable of being very curmudgeonly!

Evanescence: the process or fact of evanescing, disappearing, vanishing. (Merriam-Webster)

Etymology: comes from the Latin evanescere meaning "disappear, vanish."
"the evanescence of a rainbow detracts not a whit from its beauty" - (said who? couldn't find the source)

Obsequious: "obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree."--I don't need to worry about this one. I've never been very obedient!

Etymologylate 15th century (not depreciatory in early use): from Latin obsequiosus, from obsequium ‘compliance,’ from obsequi ‘follow, comply with.’

Any words that intrigue, puzzle, excite you?

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Serendipity - Wordsmith, Part 1

I decided to toss around some interesting words. As a writer, and particularly one who writes in her non-native language, I'm constantly trying to expand my vocabulary. I love words, most of all those whose meaning I don't know or I keep forgetting, such as:


Where does it come from and what does it mean?

Merriam Webster defines it as: "luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for."

Wikipedia: "'fortunate happenstance' or 'pleasant surprise'. 

It was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754 in reference to the Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip. 

Did you know this, my fellow scriveners or loyal readers? 

I ordered the fairy tale from the library and look forward to reading it.

And, by the way, "fortunate happenstance"--happenstance, anybody?
It means, of course, coincidence. What I didn't know: it stems from the late 19th century and is a blend of:
"happen" and "circumstance."

Enough for today. 

Are you having fun with words? What are your favorite ones? 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Day 7 of the Scenic/Landscape Challenge

Day 7 of the Scenic/Landscape Challenge. I conclude it with the stunning scenery of Peru:

El Beso, famous sculpture in Lima by Victor Delfin

Artisans in Cuzco creating native handicraft
Cathedral at the Plaza de Armas in Cuzco
Plaza de Armas in Cuzco
Desert near Arequipa with carvings from a pre-Inca tribe

Tunupa or Wiracocha, the legendary Pilgrim Preacher of Knowledge above Ollantaytambo
Sixteenth Century Convent Santa Catalina in Arequipa
And, of course, Machu Picchu

This is the end of the Scenic/Landscape challenge. I hope you enjoyed it. Leave a comment, if you wish!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Day 6 of the Scenic/Landscape challenge

Day 6 of the Scenic/Landscape challenge: Thinking of a wonderful trip through Maine I took with my friend, Diane Busch. And here are some pictures of that gorgeous landscape.

May you, too, have fair winds and following seas! More to come.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Day 4 and 5 of the Scenic/Landscape challenge!

Just to summarize: I was invited to take part in the Scenic/Landscape challenge by Darlene Foster. Here are the pictures of Day 4. (I actually mixed up Day 3 and Day 4, but it doesn't really matter).

So here we go. Day 4 or 3 of the Scenic/Landscape challenge: Germany meets California: A sculpture of Goethe and Schiller, two German literary greats, in the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco!

Day 5: More pictures from the beautiful Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The Japanese Garden is one of its many scenic spots.

And more to come!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Day 3 of the Scenic/Landscape Challenge

Day 3: Castello di Pavone in Ivrea, Italy (Piedmont). This is unique castle dates back to Medieval times. It is now a hotel/restaurant, where we celebrated an important birthday of my nephew a couple of years ago. The castle is privately owned by a family who lovingly renovated it while leaving the original intact as much as possible. Wonderful place! Find out more here:

To be continued.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Scenic/Landscape Challenge

I was invited by my friend and author Darlene Foster to take part in the Scenic/Landscape Challenge and post a picture a day for the next seven days. I decided to put them on my blog as well, since some of my friends may have missed them on Facebook. Here is my contribution for the first two days:

Day 1: This is a picture of my home town in Switzerland with hoarfrost and the fog snaking its way through the landscape. I thought of it because I woke up this morning in California to a foggy day.

Day 2: The following are pictures taken from the Botanical Garden at Berkeley of the San Francisco Bay and the gardens I visited together with my friend Susan Deming. We were surprised to find a rock with a poem by Sylvia Plath in the gardens.

To be continued!