The Stories I Tell ~ from The Word Cellar

Stories. Anecdotes. A free round of words for everyone!

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I love stories. I'm the one at social functions with a dozen new anecdotes. But I worry about hogging the conversation. Sometimes I tell myself that I'll be quiet and let others do the talking. But no matter how hard I try, my stories insist on bursting out! Here I can let my stories (the classics that I tell again and again, as well as new ones that unfold along the way) run free. I'm a professional writer and editor, and sole proprietor of The Word Cellar. I write for a variety of publications and clients on everything from green buildings and nuclear reactors to entrepreneurship and the arts. If you need words written, edited, or enlivened, I can help. Contact me.


Inspiration for the Masses

I'm not usually a fan of motivational speakers or the quotes they throw around, and I've never gotten into the infamous Stephen Covey of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People fame. (Not to be confused with Kip Winger of Winger fame.) I've heard good things about Mr. Covey. But like I said, I'm not so much into that whole self-improvement genre.

But today I read a quote that struck me as interesting, true, and yes, even a little bit inspirational. Of course, it could be because my mind has turned to Jell-O [wiggle when you jiggle it] after six days of good old fashioned headaches and these new-fangled (suspected) migraines. You be the judge:

"You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage -- pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically -- to say 'no' to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside. The enemy of the 'best' is often the good.'" -- Stephen Covey

Feel inspired?

Photo of Stairs in Bisbee, AZ by David McGuiggan

[p.s. Does anyone know how to add a rollover caption to photo in Blogger? I tried adding an ALT tag to the photo code, but it didn't work. ]

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add to kirtsy | 4:10 PM | 2 comments


Fun with Video

My brother, who is a keen collector of odd online videos, introduced me to, apparently run by a guy who is an even keener collector of such oddities. Some of the videos that David sent to me were downright disturbing, including a creepy montage of clips from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. I mean, really, how can you make Mr. Rogers creepy? (Sadly, it can be done. But should it ever be done? I think we all can agree -- No. Okay, my brother wouldn't agree. But I'm still not linking to it.)

But here are some videos worth watching:

  • All the President's Words (from Comedy Central)
  • "I lost to Barry Manilow!" (from the 2006 Emmys)
  • Crazy Frog Brothers (These techno-synching kids are awesome. You have to watch until the end of the video. What is the taller one swinging on? A rope? A curtain tie-back? Come to think of it, he looks like the pre-adolescent version of more than one of my teenage boyfriends!)
  • Acoustic Outkast cover (This is bloody brilliant. The original version of "Hey Ya" is a lot of fun, but this cover is miles away from it and just beautiful. I tip my hat to Obadiah Parker, which is apparently a band, not a man.)

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add to kirtsy | 5:58 PM | 2 comments


The Return

Well, after an unintentional two month hiatus, I'm back in blogging action (complete with my very own photo of a moonflower blooming on my back deck). I used my lackluster technical skills to mess up my template and have been utterly frustrated since my last post in June. I kept adding new posts and could see them in my Blogger account, but nothing ever showed up online. But thanks to a very helpful fellow Blogger user, I have fixed the apparently simple problem. Simple is in the eye of the beholder, I'd say. Merriam Webster online provides this delightful definition: "lacking in knowledge or expertise." Well.

And since we're being word geeks, the word of the day is:

orotund • \OR-uh-tund\ • adjective
1 : marked by fullness, strength, and clarity of sound : sonorous
*2 : pompous, bombastic

Example sentence:
Josh cleared his throat dramatically, then did a dead-on impression of the professor's orotund, patronizing speech.

Did you know?
The Latin roots of "orotund" are related to two more common English words—"oral" and "rotund." Latin "or-" means "mouth," and "rotundus" means "round" or "circular." The Roman poet Horace joined forms of those Latin terms to create the phrase "ore rotundo," literally meaning "with round mouth," and figuratively meaning "with well-turned speech." "Ore rotundo" was modified to "orotund" and adopted into English in the late 18th century. It can indicate either strength of delivery or inflated wording.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.


add to kirtsy | 9:09 PM | 2 comments