Have you ever been writing along and you fingers type a word that makes you stop and say, “Huh. The word fits… I think. But what does it mean????”

Okay, I’m probably the only one who does that, and maybe it means I need to sleep with the dictionary under my pillow a little more often so I can absorb some definitions via osmosis (a cool word in and of itself.)

So anyway, I was writing along and started writing this sentence… “But Jenny knew that beneath the subterfuge…”

And I did my whole “huh” thing.

Subterfuge? It sounds good there. And my fingers have typed it all by their wierd selves, because I really have no clue what the word means.

I looked it up on dictionary.com and was delighted to find out that it means EXACTLY what I’d hoped. “An artifice or expedient used to evade a rule, escape a consequence, hide something, etc.”


I LOVE finding the perfect word.

In this case, Jack and Jenny had been ignoring a huge truth in their lives. That they lived 9 hours from each other and neither wanted to move. So during their “meeting,” they played boyfriend/girlfriend. They both purposely didn’t think about the future, they pretended their lives where normal and that this problem didn’t exist.

In other words, they were practicing subterfuge.


For you writers out there, how do you keep your vocabulary “fresh”? Am I the only one who’s fingers are smarter than her brain when it comes to the ‘right’ word to use?

Note: In my example above, I fully realize that I used the word “knew” which is a tell-tale example of NOT being in deep POV. I am rushing to go change it right now!



  1. We’re not suppose to use “knew”? Boy do I have some work cut out for me. Every day I’m learning new words were not suppose to use, eventually I wonder what will be left? (OK, sorry for that bit of sarcasm!)

    And, no phone call for me. Not sure if I really expect one! I read yesterday on one of my writers’ groups chain emails that Camy was needing extra help with some aspect of the contest. So maybe they’ll be running behind this year.

    I surprise myself with words too! I think when we’re avid readers, the words stick in our brains without us even realizing it! Then they pop out at the most unexpected times!

    Have a great day!

  2. LOL, Jody. I probably use it way to much, and it isn’t that you *can’t* use it, it’s that you need to use it very little.

    Hmmmm… I can tell that there will be a blog post out of that particular writing rule (uh, I mean, guideline) very soon! Like, tomorrow?!?

    No phone call for me either. My chest about dropped into my stomach yesterday when they announced the agent/editor of the year on the ACFW e-mail loop. I was sure all the phone calls had been made and the genesis finalists were about to be e-mailed out!

    But they weren’t. I haven’t seen anyone else announce a *call* either, so I’m still twiddling my toes waiting!

    Yeah, and I saw also that Camy is on book deadline too so ugh, I can’t imagine having to cope with ALL that at once. I’d send her an e-mail thanking her for her hard work… but she probably doesn’t need yet another e-mail cluttering her inbox!

  3. Reading helps keep my vocabulary fresh. I think it’s important esp. when I’m with the kids all day.

  4. Usually I come up with a boring word and have to thesaurusify it to find a better one. 🙂

    Although, for sure, reading helps insert new wordage into my vocab.

    Hey, Krista, I tagged you in a thingy. Come check my blog to see!

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