|C. Kevin Thompson|
My wife and I were watching our favorite movie over the holidays, A Christmas Carol, starring George C. Scott. As I munched on popcorn, I was struck in a new, unique way by the phrase, “Bah! Humbug!” I know. It’s an old phrase. Been around since…well, 1843, right? When Charles Dickens wrote the story?
Actually, yes and no. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word humbug originated circa 1750 to mean a “trick, jest, hoax, imposition, deception.” Merriam-Webster seems to be in agreement. When it was used, it meant something negative. For Scrooge, Christmas was a humbug. A deception. An imposition. A holiday devoutly to be ignored.
What grabbed me this year was how its usage and meaning has transformed an entire holiday season. The crusty curmudgeon who uses it is not a character, per se, who could be called totally original. “Odious, stingy, hard, unfeeling” characters like Scrooge can be found throughout literature. However, it was his turn of a phrase (“Bah! Humbug!”) that made him so memorable. He took a word that was not all that common, added an exclamation of frustration, and used it to express his feelings and beliefs. The result? It transformed society to this day, pitting utter selfishness against the reclamation of God in one of the clearest pictures in literature.
Or how about Roald Dahl? Names like Willy Wonka jump off the page, don’t they? His words do, too. Can you imagine anything so frightsome as this writing life? Do you have any food you find scrumdiddlyumptious? Ever had a day that was splendiferous? Ever wish you could be that Dahlesque in your writing?
Or take the Star Wars franchise. Who would have thunk shortening a 300-year old word like androides, and making it into a somewhat proper noun, would have created such a stir? Now, even Lenovo, who owns Motorola (and Google, who created an entire cellular system to compete with Apple and its iPhone) has to pay Lucas films for the rights to use the word for their cell phones.
So, right now, as you read this, I’ll bet you are brainstorming which word you can truncate, cannibalize, or impregnate with another word for the purpose of funding your retirement, aren’t you?
However, I have a better idea. How about we insert words into sentences for the purpose of transforming society? Use not-so-everyday phrases in such a way so that they take on a whole new persona? Piece together letters into memorable clichés loved for generations to come?
God did it. For God so loved the world…
Dickens did it. Dahl did it. Even George Lucas.
Why can’t you?
A Clandestine Mission.
A Cryptic Message.
A Chaste Promise.
Blake Meyer dreamed of a peaceful end to a dutiful career with the FBI. Married now, his life was taking him in a new direction—a desk job. He would be an analyst. Ride it out until retirement. Be safe so he could enjoy his grandchildren some day.
But when a notable member of the IRA is murdered in a London flat, Blake’s secretive past propels him into the middle of a vindictive, international scheme so hellish and horrific, it will take everything Blake possesses—all of it—to save the United States from the most diabolical terrorist attack to date.
C. KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister with a B.A. In Bible (Houghton College, Houghton, NY), an M.A. in Christian Studies (Wesley Biblical Seminary, Jackson, MS), and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (National-Louis University, Wheeling, IL). He presently works as an assistant principal in a middle school. He also has several years of experience as an administrator at the high school level.
A former Language Arts teacher, Kevin decided to put his money where his mouth was and write, fiction mostly. Now, years later, Kevin is a member of the Christian Authors Network (CAN), American Christian Fictions Writers (ACFW), and Word Weavers International. He is the Chapter President of Word Weavers-Lake County (FL), and his published works include two award-winning novels. The Serpent’s Grasp (Winner of the 2013 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference Selah Award for First Fiction) is scheduled for reprint with Hallway Publishing, Spring 2017. Kevin’s second book, 30 Days Hath Revenge - A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1, is also scheduled for a second edition Oct. 2016, with Book 2 coming soon. Kevin also has had articles appear in The Wesleyan Advocate, The Preacher, Vista, The Des Moines Register and The Ocala Star-Banner.
Kevin is a huge fan of the TV series 24, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, and Criminal Minds, loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, too.
Kevin’s Writer’s Blog: www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com
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