Thursday, July 6, 2017
Cooking up a recipe for success
My thesaurus is akin to the array of spices in my cabinet, the gravy on my mashed potatoes, or the drizzle of raspberry vinegarette on my lettuce.
When I have the meat of an essay, a hearty pile of information for an article, or a chunk of an idea, I like to enhance the flavor with improved word choices. My creative juices flow when I scan the pages of my well-worn manual. Like a chef searching through a treasured cook book for the perfect recipe, I feel a sense of satisfaction when I get the seasoning just right. I am proud to present the garnished product for consumption.
Although a thesaurus is a serious writer's tool, I sometimes use mine playfully to inspire my poetry. I fan through the book sort of like a child's cartoon flip book, front to back and then in reverse. I like the feel of words breezing by. I stop randomly ten times and peruse the copious salad of synonyms seasoned with sharp, spicy, pungent adjectives, vigorous verbs, and knock your socks off nouns. I select an interesting word from each page, toss them together, layer the stanzas, and dish up a poesy, a sonnet, or a rhyme.
My thesaurus has proven to be a recipe for success. Sometimes I am surprised at what I cook up. Do you use a thesaurus? Give this technique a try.