A world in a word

Words! Words! Words! I love words. I adore words - words that roll off my tongue, words that paint a picture, words that make me laugh. Here are a few of my favourites - furtive, haberdashery, twit, tonsillectomy, pith, pudding. A whole story starts to form in my mind with each of these wonderful words.

Likewise, the name of a book can be jolly exciting.  (Jolly is another favourite word!) Just this week, I purchased two second hand books, solely because of their title - Rex the Rectory Mouse and The Chums of Study Ten. Who wouldn’t want to read about a mouse who lives in a rectory? He’s sure to be poor but cheerful. He may even help the vicar write his sermons. The fact that he is called Rex is just an added delight.

And the boarding school capers that spring to mind at the mention of chums and Study 10 are endless. I’m hoping to read about midnight feasts, pillow fights and a shy, weepy girl called Pip or Ruth, who becomes rather brave and outspoken by the end of the book. There is sure to be a deep, dark mystery which the chums will solve after much hiding in mahogany wardrobes, happening upon secret messages and late-night jaunts through a deserted mansion.  Of course, I could be wrong, but see what a few simple words have done? I am already bursting to read these two tales.

Sometimes, when I am wondering what to write next, I play with titles or character names. A fun name can provide the seed for a whole adventure. A slug called Tony deserves a book of his own, surely. So does a prim teenager named Samantha Appledawn. A clumsy but charming cow  named  Cora Campbell might need a series of books -  Cora Campbell and the Eventful Ramble … Cora Campbell and the Jaunt to Coonamble … Cora Campbell and the Blackberry Bramble.

Fourteen years ago, I wrote a story that started with two words - Pig McKenzie.  The name grew into a vain, greedy pig who filled a whole book.  The tale was passed around , talked about and giggled over but failed to find a publisher. Never the less, this despicable swine continued to barge in on my daydreams and wipe his muddy trotters across my computer keyboard from time to time.  Now, Pig McKenzie has shoved his slimy snout right in the middle of my next book, Olive of Groves. His name will be in print by November. He has even muscled his way onto the front cover beside Olive and Mrs Groves. Not bad for a pig who grew out of two little words.

I wonder which words, character names and book titles give you a buzz …