A single mosquito turns a man into a eunuch.
Sometimes, when I’m listening to other’s conversations, which I do quite frequently because I love to use people’s unique expressions or cadence in my writing, I hear something that really makes me stop and think.
This often happens when I’m lucky enough to be sitting close to people of other cultures who either speak English perfectly or who speak it well enough to get their point across. I also love when they intersperse their English with wonderful words or sayings from their own cultures.
I grew up with a grandmother who used Yiddish as a way to really explain what she wanted to say because, in her mind, the word was more expressive than the English term she knew. She grew up in a Yiddish-speaking home but spoke English during school and throughout adulthood. The cultural words she used were branded into my psyche as well, and if I can’t come up with the right term for something, especially around friends who also had Yiddish-speaking grandparents or parents, I’ll find myself using the Yiddish term. More often than not, the person I’m trying to explain something to will have a “lightbulb” moment and go, “Oh! Of course!”
For example, sometimes saying, “He’s a great guy,” just doesn’t cut it. But, to certain friends, and to me anyway, “What a mensch” tells an entire story all on its own. The word conveys that you’re speaking about a person of integrity and honor and that the person is someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character.
My German-speaking grandfather once admonished me by saying, “Don’t be a schadenfreude.” I know I had a blank look because he thought a moment and then explained, “It literally means ‘shadow joy.’ Don’t take joy from someone else’s misfortune.” Shadow Joy. How wonderfully descriptive is that?
What got me onto this topic was a recent chance overheard conversation where one man said to another, “A single mosquito turns a man into a eunuch.” Since I absolutely couldn’t fathom what the heck that meant, I leaned across the gap between our tables, confessed to eavesdropping, and asked if he would explain to me what that meant.
Both men laughed, and the one explained that in their culture, eunuchs are social outcasts, but their blessings and curses are powerful things. People ask for their blessings and will pay for them. When a eunuch wants money in return for giving a blessing, he spreads his fingers and claps his hand. Therefore, when a mosquito flies in a man’s face, and that man claps to kill it, he is acting like a Eunuch. Apparently, there is a deeper meaning to the saying, but I’d have to do some research to be able to fully understand it.
When your characters explain things to other people, invent a backstory that allows them to use interesting and descriptive colloquialisms. I’m going to use those two men as a fun aside in my latest Alex Wolfe mystery and give their explanation as to what that phrase means. It won’t be a huge part of the book, but it will add a little je ne se quoi to the overall understanding of the Alex Wolfe character. Have fun with your writing, and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box whenever you possibly can. Readers enjoy little surprises, and I always try to accommodate them. If you don’t already, give it a try.
Elyon’s Blades, book one of the New fantasy series, The Daughters of Elyon, is an epic fantasy adventure that takes place in the Cibían Empire.
The story follows the military sect of all-woman warriors who live in the Temple of Elyon, led by their fierce Arch Priestess, Sábria.
As protectors of all women in the empire, the Daughters of Elyon are constantly on the move, rescuing women from dangerous situations and seeking vengeance for those who were not saved in time. They are an unbreakable force, bonded by their shared mission and their devotion to the Goddess Elyon.
Elyon’s Blades is a thrilling F/F epic fantasy adventure that explores themes of loyalty and courage. With its richly imagined world and compelling characters, it is sure to captivate readers who love strong, independent heroines. It is a thrilling start to an exciting new fantasy series that will leave readers eagerly anticipating the next installment.
My heart and prayers go out to the Ukrainian people. If you feel powerless to help such brave, strong people and have even a few dollars to send, there are several charities I like because you can specify where your money goes and they are rated highly with Charity Navigator, a group that monitors and rates charities.
On a personal note, yesterday I went hiking in the desert with my 95-year-old Dad and my stepmother. I hope I’m so lucky to have his strength and stamina at 95 and her positive and caring attitude. We had a great time photographing flowers. The desert is beautiful at this time of year and we brought along my horse, Loki, who thoroughly enjoyed my Dad and nuzzled him whenever he got the chance. Spring in Arizona is full of cool weather and if it rained enough over the winter we get an enormous amount of wildflowers dotting the desert in the foothills where we ride and hike. P.S. If you’re wondering, Loki is carrying my Dad’s jacket for him.
It’s also time for me to take my writing outdoors. Some people prefer writing in a single spot, at a desk in their office, or wherever they have their preferred writing space. I prefer to be outside, whether I’m sitting in a stream cooling my toes in the water or on the bank of a lake, or even just outside in my front yard listening to the water rushing over the rocks of my fountain.
I’ve been enjoying writing a short story every week and I’ve found it’s a very freeing experience. I get to explore new genres and meet new characters, many of whom will eventually have their own novels because I enjoy their company so much.
Anyway, I’d love to hear from you. Is it spring where you are yet? What have you been doing with your time? How have you weathered the pandemic? Drop me a line ‘cuz I’d love to know!
I’m finally on Instagram!
In addition to the usual social media sites, I’m also on Bookbub and Pinterest. All of them offer insights into my twisted mind and writing, so if you’re so inclined, follow me!
As far as writing goes, I’m currently writing Credo’s Run, the latest book in the Alex Wolfe Mysteries. Alex hunts for a monster who is drugging children as young as eight-years-old. Lucky for her, she has some help from some four-footed friends who discover that police work can be a ton of fun.
I’ve also started a fun challenge of writing a short story each week. So far, they’ve mostly been stories set in the Ar’rothi series. I’m sending them off to various magazines. After they’ve been published in one or more magazines, I intend to put them into a collection so everyone who loves the Ar’rothi characters can meet some interesting people they’ve never met before.