D.F.L. Bag

Do you ever wonder how words came to be what they are? I do. All the time. And it’s usually random words that come to mind and people look at me like I’m crazy when I bring them up.

Which I probably am. But that’s a different story.

So I’m getting ready for my vacation (I leave with my sister on Wednesday) and I’m wondering – where did the terms “suitcase” and “duffel bag” come from? Follow my train of thought here:

Suitcase is made of two words, “suit” and “case.” Well, that makes sense. It’s a case for your suit. Problem solved.

 Duffel bag, though? That’s weird.

 Well, bag is self-explanatory. But “duffel”?

What is a duffel? Is it even a thing? Is it even English? Maybe it’s from a foreign language? Or maybe it’s one bigger, obsolete word that got mashed together to be a new word. Or maybe it’s from an abbreviation. What kind of abbreviation?

 Duffel…could be “D.F.L.” What could be abbreviated that way?

 “Dress for life.” Or “Don’t forget leggings.”  Or—

 Hey, D.F.L. is almost like D.L.F. (Dear Little Friend, a reference to Narnia – Prince Caspian, to be exact).

 Well, the bag is about the right size for the dwarf. So the bag was invented in Narnia to smuggle dwarves to safety after the Telmarines took over!

 That’s settled. Duffel bags are infinitely cooler than suitcases.

 Maybe I can bring a dwarf home with me from Disney…

Okay, you get the point. You’ve had a picture of what happens when I start thinking about things. The worst part is – all this thinking, and I still don’t know what a “duffel” is! I guess that’s why we have the internet. So I looked it up  and it turns out the real definition isn’t nearly as cool as the Narnian definition I came up with. Sometimes it’s exciting to find out the origination of words. Sometimes it’s a disappointment.

But the beauty of being a writer is that I have an imagination, so I can make up my own words or my own definitions! That can keep me entertained while I finish packing.

Let’s compare notes. How would you define “duffel”? What other words or definitions have you made up in the past?

Hot Cocoa and Cheez-Its

What could be better than writing a novel?

Why, writing it in 30 days, of course!

Welcome to NaNoWriMo – short for National Novel Writing Month. It comes around every year. November is the month people from all over the world frantically write 50,000 words. That’s the goal, to write 50,000 words in a month.

Fifty. Thousand. Words. In thirty days.

Could you do it?

Sure you could! I’ve done it a few times. If I can do it, you can.

It’s an excellent time to be reminded how much fun it is just to write. No plotting, no editing, just writing. Because when you are trying to write 50,000 words in thirty days, there is no time for anything else. The key in November is to get the words out and meet the goal. Anything else can wait for later. No more excuses for why you can’t write. You just have to do it.

My plan for NaNoWriMo this year is to write 2,000 words per day, and 10,000 words on the weekends. This should put me ahead of my goal, even though I am taking a week off for vacation (FLORIDA, HERE I COME). And then if I fall short some days, it’ll be okay, because I’ll be going over on other days. The best way for me to succeed at NaNoWriMo is pre-planning. I’ve learned this the hard way. Oh, I’ve won (met the goal) before without having any planning done ahead of time. But it’s so much easier when I already have the outline of the story, and the outline of each chapter, and events planned ahead of time.

And a healthy supply of hot cocoa and Cheez-Its. Because that’s my NaNoWriMo fuel.

Now, today is the first day of November, the first day of NaNoWriMo. I’ll tell you more about my NaNoWriMo experience this year as I go. But for now – I must write!

What are you writing for NaNoWriMo?