penumbra |peˈnəmbrə| noun (pl. penumbrae |-brē, -brī| or penumbras) the partially shaded outer region of the shadow cast by an opaque object.• Astronomy the shadow cast by the earth or moon over an area experiencing a partial eclipse.• Astronomy the less dark outer part of a sunspot, surrounding the dark core.
penumbral |-brəl| adjective
ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: modern Latin, from Latinpaene ‘almost’ + umbra ‘shadow.’
Not all shadows are created equal.
ruminant |ˈro͞omənənt| noun1 an even-toed ungulate mammal that chews the cud regurgitated from its rumen. The ruminants comprisethe cattle, sheep, antelopes, deer, giraffes, and their relatives.
2 a contemplative person; a person given to meditation.
of or belonging to ruminants.
ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin ruminant- ‘chewing over again,’ from the verb ruminari, from rumen ‘throat’ (see rumen) .
So if someone says "You're such a ruminant!" they're either calling you a sheep or a deep thinker. Perhaps all sheep are deep thinkers.
celerity |səˈleritē| noun archaic or literary swiftness of movement.
ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from Old French celerite, from Latin celeritas, from celer ‘swift.’
Sometimes I wonder how and why word usage changes. I can understand "landau" going out of fashion, but what was wrong with "celerity"? Aside from sounding like a root vegetable.
brumous |ˈbrəməs| adjective literary foggy; wintry.
ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from French brumeux, from late Latin brumosus (from bruma ‘winter’).
That's the local scene from about a month ago—it gets foggy in my 'hood once in a few years. Currently it's summer in LA with sunny skies and temperatures in the eighties. Not a drop of rain in sight. El Niño has been a big disappointment so far.
Jordan Castillo Price is one of the first m/m authors I read, and she is part of the reason I started writing in the genre. So not surprisingly, I was a tad nervous meeting her in person at the Atlanta GRL, even though we had interacted only plenty times before. Fortunately, she was cool, and a little crazy, and we hit it off.
Jordan and I both design book covers too, and it's nice to have someone to talk shop with. It was her idea to do a design-off—both of us coming up with an original book cover using the same basic elements. These are the final result. Guess who did which one.
See the whole creative process in action on JCP's web page.
tiffin |ˈtifin| nounIndian or dated a light meal, especially lunch.
ORIGIN early 19th cent.: apparently from dialect tiffing ‘sipping,’ of unknown origin.
So very British. I think I spotted it in a Ngaio Marsh novel.
I'm usually terrible at entering competitions—too clueless to know about them, and lazy to do something about the few I know—but for once got my shit together enough to enter a couple of my cover designs to EPIC. One of them was chosen to be a finalist. This is the full print version of the cover:
The book's not m/m but straight-up mystery. Most of the covers I design are not even romance, and I like the variety. The concept came from the author, as it's generally the case. It has more individual elements than any cover I've done so far. This is where it begun:
Yes, it was a bit of work putting it all together. :P
propinquity |prəˈpiNGkwətē| noun1 the state of being close to someone or something; proximity: he kept his distance as though afraid propinquity might lead him into temptation.2 technical close kinship.
ORIGIN late Middle English: from Old French propinquité, from Latin propinquitas, from propinquus ‘near,’ from prope ‘near to.’
I acquired this word curtesy of P.G. Wodehouse. Propinquity, desired and otherwise, is a major theme of his books. And pigs.
Characters in British books have such great names. Like Gussy Fink-Nottle. American books suffer from a shortage of Fink-Nottles and the like. Somebody much more assiduous than me could do a scholarly research about the relationship between national character and naming of fictional characters. I've often wondered how Terry Pratchett named the denizens of Discworld.
pawl |pôl| nouna pivoted curved bar or lever whose free end engages with the teeth of a cogwheel or ratchet so that the wheel or ratchet can only turn or move one way.• each of a set of short stout bars that engagewith the whelps and prevent a capstan, windlass, or winch from recoiling.
ORIGIN early 17th cent.: perhaps from Low German and Dutch pal (related to pal ‘fixed’).
One of those things you never knew what they were—like the metal bit at the end of shoestrings. The things for which the words thingamajig and whatchamacallit were invented.