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Metaphors can be magical; Similes will leave you spellbound

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I don’t remember how old I was when I was first introduced to metaphors and similes in English class, but I never forgot the definition I was given for a simile. “A simile is a figure of speech comparing two unlike objects using like or as”. Maybe that was were I caught the love for words bug?
Webster’s Dictionary currently defines similes as “a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as (as in cheeks like roses)”, while it defines a metaphor as “a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in drowning in money).”
I often say to my youngest daughter “You are my Texas tornado” referring to the ramshackle state she can leave a room in a matter of minutes. That would be a metaphorical statement. The other thing I may say to her is “you go through a room like a tornado!” Again, in reference to the shape of the room when she leaves, except this time it’s a simile.
All you need to do is look around you to find similes and metaphors. They are in the songs we listen to (You are the Sunshine of My Life), the everyday expressions we use (like two peas in a pod), and the books we read. Much to my delight, there is an abundance of metaphors and similes in the picture books I’ve read, too many to list here.

Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen, has text rich in similes and metaphors. “Somewhere behind us a train whistle blew, long and low, like a sad, sad song,” is a favorite. I read this book many times as a mentor text for various manuscript ideas, but never had it felt so melodious and soothing as it was when I listened to the author read it aloud. I was completely captivated!

Other books filled with metaphors include You’re Toast (and other metaphors we adore) written by Nancy Loewen, and My School is a Zoo written by Stu Smith, just to name a few.

 

If similes are more to your liking, check out Muddy as a Duck Puddle (and other American Similes) written by Laurie Lawlor or My Heart is like a Zoo written by Michael Hall.

 

 

Can’t decide which is a favorite? Try Skin Like Milk, Hair of Silk: What are similes and metaphors, written by Brian P Cleary.

 

 

 

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A to Z

May the 4th be with you!

  Sadly, after I had chosen and written my post for today, I heard the news of the passing of Peter Mayhew, the actor who portrayed the lovable Chewbacca (Chewie) in the Star Wars Saga.  I know Star Wars fans worldwide join me in a tearful good-bye to the much loved character and the man who played him.

Today is Star Wars Day! My favorite pun is “May the Fourth be with You!” a greeting Star Wars Fans use to address their comrades on May 4th. (The original line in Star Wars is “May the Force be With You!”).
Puns are a form of word play which take advantage of words, or similar sounding words, with multiple meanings, often to create a humorous situation or joke. Puns can sometimes be created unintentionally, in which case the saying ‘no pun intended’ is used.

I was surprised and delighted to learn that many times a pun is a form of homophones, homonyms, or heteronyms. What’s that you say? I could easily confuse myself, (and you, dear reader), with all the information on the subject sitting out there on the information super highway. Suffice to say, for this post, I am taking all my research from a fairly reliable source, that being the on-line version of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. https://www.merriam-webster.com/.

HOMONYMS (as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary) are “one of two or more words spelled and pronounced alike but different in meaning (such as the noun quail and the verb quail)” A few examples would include:
Book: Something to read or the act of making a reservation
Bat: An animal or something you use to hit a ball in baseball/softball
Lie: To recline or tell a falsehood
Pen: Where animals may be kept or something to write with
Bark: The outside layer of a tree or the sound a dog makes

HOMOPHONES (as defined by the dictionary) “one of two or more words pronounced alike but different in meaning or derivation or spelling (such as the words to, too, and two).” Some examples are:

Chute; shoot Parachute; shoot a gun
Feat; feet A deed notable of courage; body part
Stationary; stationery Unchanging in condition; materials used for writing (paper)
Knead, kneed, need What you do when making bread; using knee to kick someone; obligation
Overseas, oversees beyond the ocean; watches over a project or group

Hopefully, you aren’t confused yet because here comes my favorite part of the world of homonyms and homophones!
HETERONYMS (sometimes called homographs) “are words that are spelled the same but pronounced different and have a different meaning.” A familiar example would be SOW. As a noun it can refer to “an adult female swine”. As a verb, it could mean “to plant seed for growth especially by scattering”. Examples include:
Tear: to rip Tear: fluid in eye
Dove: Dove:
Wind: to coil up Wind: the blowing air
Wound: to injure Wound: coiled up
Bow: front of a ship Bow: tool to shoot arrows
Combine: put together Combine: piece of farm equipment

Can you think of any others?

Delighted with this topic, I decided to come up with a story using as many homophones as I can (and it still make sense of course!).  Here is my opening sentence:

At peace with her decision, Danielle settled in to eat the last piece of cake.

What do you think? Want to try your own story? Check out this website that lists homophones from A to Z. Yes! X, Y, and Z have homophones! https://www.homophone.com/.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed todays post. Leave positive feedback and don’t forget to follow us!  May the Force be with You! Happy Star Wars Day! Live long and prosper for all my fellow Trekkers!

 

 

A to Z

My second confession…

In my last post, I confessed “my fascination with words qualifies as a first-rate fetish”. This time I confess I love picture books that “break the fourth wall” (some know it as metafiction), where the reader is invited into the story as an active participant or the reader becomes the narrator. In my research, I read a myriad of books that came under this category. Some worked wonderfully. While it was hard to choose, I absolutely came away with some favorites.

I can’t get enough of that crazy cat in the Here comes the (cat) series by Deborah Underwood. Each story is conversation between the reader and Cat on a variety of escapades, each with a delightful surprise or sweet ending.
The series started with Here Comes the Easter Cat, followed by Here Comes Santa Cat in 2014. Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat and Here Comes Valentine Cat came out in 2015, while Here Comes Teacher Cat was published in 2017. I admit, Here Comes Santa Cat is still my favorite!

Press Here written by Hervé Tullet is by far my favorite (of all the ones I read to research the topic). As I read, I found myself doing what was instructed and enjoying guessing what was to follow with every page turn.

 

 

OPEN VERY CAREFULLY: A BOOK WITH BITE written by Nicola O’Byrne follows a crocodile who has accidentally fallen into the picture book and is eating all the words. The main character enlists the help of the reader to rock the book side to side to make the crocodile fall asleep. All too soon the crocodile wakes up and is unhappy to discover he’s been drawn on! Chaos ensues until…Yup! You guessed it. I won’t give the ending away! Time to check it out of the library!

What’s Next Door? by Nicola O’Byrne includes pages of the book the crocodile has taken a bite out of to get to the next page. Does he ever find his way home? You’ll just have to check the book out of the library to find out!

This Book is Full of Monsters was written by Guido Van Genechten. Time and again the reader is asked “Are you brave enough? Are you sure?” This is well worth checking out of your local library especially if you have brave little monster lovers of your own!

 

 

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