Thursday, August 22, 2013

Crone Lit: For the Modern Senior Woman

You read it here first! I am establishing a new sub-genre of women’s fiction and romance fiction: Crone Lit, coming to a book seller near you!

I happen to be one of the very few women, I discovered, who thinks crone is a perfectly good word that women ought to reclaim. I know I was influenced by the book, Crones Don’t Whine (Bolen, ). Until then, I never gave the word much thought. I loved the notion of being a “juicy woman”. Oh, and perhaps being a woman “of a certain age” I have come to a different perception, too. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be a "crone" than a "senior"!

I am convinced it was male underhanded dirty politics which led to the pejoration of the word. When you check it out, ignore the etymology from Old Northern French meaning “cantankerous woman”, and go to how the word plays out.

Here’s what Wikipedia had to say about “crone”:
The crone is a stock character in folklore and fairy tale, an old woman. In some stories, she is disagreeable, malicious, or sinister in manner, often with magical or supernatural associations that can make her either helpful or obstructing. The Crone is also an archetypal figure, a Wise Woman. She is marginalized by her exclusion from the reproductive cycle,[1] and her proximity to death places her in contact with occult wisdom. As a character type, the crone shares characteristics with the hag.

The word "crone" is a less common synonym for "old woman," and is more likely to appear in reference to traditional narratives than in contemporary everyday usage.[2] The word became further specialized as the third aspect of the Triple Goddess popularized by Robert Graves and subsequently in some forms of neopaganism, particularly Wicca in which she symbolizes the Dark Goddess, the dark of the moon, the end of a cycle. In New Age and Feminist spiritual circles, a "Croning" is a ritual rite of passage into an era of wisdom, freedom, and personal power.

What’s not to like about that?

Focus on these key terms: wise woman, wisdom, freedom, personal power. Okay, so hag is there, but really, that and the etymology are the pejoration pieces.

Focus on the fact that traditionally a crone could be either sinister OR sympathetic and supportive. Just like REAL people, right? So let’s write Crone Lit that shows real women “of a certain age” drawing upon those years of experience.

I have a play in progress with a crew of crones (that’s what I’m calling a group: crew), and I have outlined a novel. I think women want to read about women like themselves; older, wiser, without “work” having been done who face the realities of aging and loving. Don’t you?


Crones Don’t Whine: Concentrated Wisdom for Juicy Women, Jean Shinoda Bolen

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Words You May Misuse

Authors are word guys. Word Nerds, if you will. We respect words almost to reverence. We look to jump into a pile of words and roll around in them and toss them about.

Well, or something like that.

It drives me berserk to hear words used incorrectly. “irregardless”, “nuculer”, and  “Febuary” are just plain wrong. They are not words. And no, you can cast them as neologisms (for which I have a particular fondness). No, “chinique” (chic and unique) and “fantabulous” (fantastic and fabulous) are creations for fun. They are not for everyday speech.

By the same token, I take exception when people misuse “affect/effect”, “your/you’re”, “eager/anxious”, and others of that ilk. That is just plain laziness not to learn the accurate use of these common words. Lil Bro told me, after one of Big Mama’s spells, that her heartbeat was “erotic”. Well.

Am I smug? Of course. Arrogant even about my level of word usage and vocabulary store.

So imagine my distress when someone posted words on FB these words that many people use incorrectly--and I was among them. Well, not for all the words on the list or even most of them. But that there were any on the list bothered me immensely.

I mean the enormity* of it struck me full-face. (Uh oh. Misuse!)

It was enough to make one nauseous*. (Oops! There’s another one.)

Anyway, here are some links for you to explore and see if any of these words are your nemesis (“undoing, ruination”) [but NOT, as you might think, bĂȘte noire (“a person or thing one especially dislikes”)].

Did I make a plausible argument (“convincing, believable”; NOT “possible”, as you may think) for attention to word accuracy? What words others use incorrectly drive you nuts or what words do you struggle with? Let’s make our own list!

Sites for word use/misuse: