Anchor here: Powder Keg Online Writing Workshop

anchor has many meanings, one of them is “a reliable support"
Dictionaries, the hard copy kind, the sort that anchor banging doors on breezy afternoons, are a resource for writing and inspirational text. Writers rely on them.

I first handled a large-scale dictionary when I was at the Millay Colony with my collaborators for a winter retreat. Every day I read a random page and let those new words filter in to my writing that day.

Thus, adytum entered my vocabulary.
And alveary.

Today, I turned to page 79 in the tome I brought home last week.
This act of sacred and random reading is often called Lectio Divina.
This practice suggests that you let go of your agenda (YIPES), read a page that calls to you, then let it filter in to your day, meditate on it, let it flutter around your prayers as you gather yourself for beginning.

Yes, even the dictionary can offer nutrition.

Maybe as you wake up you ask your self before the coffee, before the argument about salami or peanut butter, snow boots or windbreaker, you ask-

What page should I read today?

Then you turn to that page in any of the books near and dear to you.
Like my hunkamunka Webster’s Third New International.
It is 4 inches thick.

Page 79 yielded “anchor.

In this way, I gather wisdom to guide my day. A dictionary is a reliable support for me as a writer, and as a human, to spread my understanding of language. I learn a better sense of meaning, true, succinct, and enlivened.

If you are aching to nurture a daily writing practice, please consider joining me for Powder Keg Online Writing Workshop. It is truly an anchorage (: a means of security, a ground of trust, a resting place for mind or feeling) as you navigate the expression of your own voice. Experienced and new writers are welcome.

Here is what one Powder Keg writer said:

Suzi is like nourishing food for the writing soul. She made me feel like I can build a writing practice and be creative, and showed clear, tangible examples of how to do this. I had figured that since I wasn’t coming up with creative ideas as I sat in front of the computer, that maybe writing fiction or creative nonfiction just wasn’t going to happen for me. But I learned that there are ways to build that creativity and that it’s an essential part of the process if you want to have a successful writing life.


bread anchors many

Lavash in Gyumri

Anatta, anchor, anchorage, anchorite, keep me company today. They surely provide another lens through which to make meaning in my day. I do believe it is a worthy effort to know the meanings of the words we use, to use them well, and to expand our vocabulary beyond, “Huge” “Amazing” and “Great.”

Have a happy Thursday, whatever you do today.


Here is a blog post by Katey Schultz-she’ll help you cut to the chase, get to the page!

Here is one by Janet Elsbach-sure to inspire your marmalade and your activism.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Marisa

    Oh, Suzi, what an unexpected sliver of delight. Actually, that’s not quite true. Whenever I give myself the gift of your words and your world I know there’s delight in store… I love the art of “dictionary dipping” and you remind me that this perfect little practice will be vital to my #365magicwords project when I use up all the “re” words that have been filling my January. Anyway, you have me remembering my 20-something self who watched complicated films (the joys of working in an academic library!)… Did you ever see The Anchoress? All love and gratitude, Marisa

  • Barb Buckner Suarez

    I used to do this very thing – it started when I was small and I looked up all the words I was not allowed to say in our house (why? what do they mean? what is the official definition of “fart?”) but it continued as I got older and I entertained the idea of wanting to learn a new word each day for awhile there (remember those desk calendars? I loved mine…) Love how you ended this piece. So sly. XO

    • Suzi

      Thank you BBS. I write for readers like you! Today’s word is “logorreaha:pathologically excessive and often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness.”
      My intern and I found this on our random word search on page 1331. Who does it remind you of? xoxoS