Wednesday, 1 June 2011

THE LEXICON OF LUSH - Collecting words, sentences and hooks

My favourite note book has a pale turquoise, fabric cover printed with silver leaves and flowers. The cream pages are sewn in with sliver thread. 

Empty, it was special. Beautiful. It sat on a shelf for months. I smiled every time I looked at it. I thought it was too beautiful to use.

After I heard about The Writer’s Portable Mentor, A Guide to Art, Craft and the Writing Life by Priscilla Long, I knew what to do with my notebook. 

Ms Long says all writers would benefit from collecting the juicy, hot morsels of words: the gourmet, 5-star Michelin vocabulary. She recommends recording words in a book.

A Lexicon of the lush.

Priscilla Long  says you should capture the special words -the ones that resonates with you. You should write them, not more than two words to a page. This collection should not be alphabetical like a dictionary, just a homage to the wonder of words. 

Written with my best fountain pen, the pages in my note book are filling up with words. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't add to my collection.

destiny  spindle  fissure  equitable 

A few months ago, it occurred to me that Hooks were almost more delicious than individual words. I started collecting opening sentences in the back of my Lexicon.

"Mum, Dad - if you're listening - you know I said I was going to the South Lakeland Outdoor Activity Centre with the school?"  COSMIC by Frank Cotteral Boyce

A week ago, I started writing Twitter length quotes. And they are not just the ones designed to inspire me to keep up with the word count.

"So, this is how you died, in whispers that you didn't hear." ~ Ernest Hemingway (in a short story)

It won't be long before I have to use an elastic band - or silver ribbon - to hold my Lexicon together. 

I collect words, phrases and sentences in a book.

If I'm stuck for words, I turn the pages until something sparks an idea, and then I'm off again.

Do you keep a note book of inspirational words?

How do you get the words to flow?


  1. This. Is. Fabulous. I'm going to do this! Thank you!

  2. This is quite a lovely idea. I get a word every day but I may try this is a notebook I have! Thanks!

  3. Hi Ali
    Thanks :D I love my notebook this was the only thing that seemed worthy of it.

    Hi Danette
    I adore individual words, and I was happily collecting them. Collecting phrases and Hooks just seemed like a logical extension.

  4. Great suggestion! I now need to find that special notebook.