Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, April 19, 2010

H is for Harpy and I is for An Impressionist with an Infinite number of Individual Idiosyncratic Ideas.


(okay i'll stop yelling now)

Harpy: literally means "that which snatches" from the Latin harpeia from the Greek harpuia. In Greek mythology she was a winged being, half woman, half bird who stole food from Phineas. Phineas had the gift of prophecy and apparently said too much about the plans of the gods. Zeus being Zeus got pissy about it and blinded poor Phineas. If that wasn't enough Zeus placed him amidst of sea of food. Each time Phineas was about to put something to his mouth the Harpies came and snatched it out of his hands.

A shrewish woman is called a harpy.

And yet we have the harp, a musical instrument that produces the most beautiful of sounds. Inspired by listening to my father's record of Harpo Marx, I wanted to learn to play the harp . But my mother pointed out it would be like lugging around a piano. Imagine...piano, jeep, four-wheel drive roads.

As for the bird above, she is related to the mind games of C is for Cranial Contortions. I think we all know someone like her. This person grates on our ears like the screeching breaks of a locomotive train.

"Why don't..."
"You shouldn't..."
"You can't..."
"You haven't..."
"You aren't..."
"You won't..." etc. etc. etc.

What makes it so destructive is that it tends to be our own inner voice. We are our own worst harpy. At least I am.

I've spent a life-time keeping her voice muffled. Most of the time she's locked up in the dungeon but she does break out from time to time. Her threats are mostly gaseous belches that stink so she doesn't frighten me any more. Besides easy to turn her negative into positives.

What about you? Are you able to keep your inner harpy in chains?

Idiosyncrasy: From the Greek idiosynkrasia, from idio+synderannynai meanining to blend, from syn+kerannynai meaning to mingle, mix.
Idea: Latin from the Greek idein, meaning to see.
Impressionist: Impress, Middle English impressen, from Latin impressus (there's more at press.)
Individuality: Individual from Middle Latin individualis, from Latin individuus meaning indivisible.
Infinity: Infinite from Middle English infinit from Latin in+finitus meaning finite.

As you can see I had trouble deciding on an "I" word.

I like playing with words so here for your amusement are five sentences containing all five words. This is something you can do as a writing prompt with any group of random words.

An idiosyncratic impressionist is an individual with an infinite number of ideas.

Infinity is the place idiosyncratic individuals long to be so they can express their impressionistic ideas.

Impressionism is an idea for individuals of an infinitely idiosyncratic bent.

Ideas can be found in an infinite number of idiosyncratic places, particularly by impressionistic individuals.

Individuals of an idiosyncratic nature tend to have an infinite number of ideas and may become impressionists.

Ha! Join me...make up your own sentence.


  1. Bish, you are absolutely awesome! I totally LOVE these posts.

    My inner harpy lives on the outside and is constantly shouting at me. I have to knock her out every once in awhile, and that helps.

  2. This is a very creative post! A person with an infinite number of ideas would be a great writer! And I love the idea of a harpy. I've put one in one of my fantasy short stories. Just don't let your inner harpy out!

  3. You are doing a great job on the alphabet challenge for April. Love the word etymologies.

  4. I'm pretty good at keeping my inner harpie on lockdown. She comes out every once in a while, usually after a rejection and makes me wonder if I'm ever going to see the end of the queryinig process. But I've got an inner warrior bitch who tells her to sit her ass down.

  5. HAHA! I bet my kids think I'm a total harpy! :) But sometimes we need a harpy to get our butts into gear :)

  6. Ah, the inner harpy. Most of the time it's caged but it seems to come out when I'm lying there late at night, trying to sleep.

    Love your I words, too!

  7. I keep my inner harpy drunk so she doesn't make any sense any more. That's one way to shut her up.

    Also wanted to say congrats on winning the critique from Marcia! Bet you get this one published -

  8. Oh come on...isn't anyone gonna try to write a sentence with my five words? Hmmmmmmm?

  9. I think the harpy in my house might be my hubby! :-)

  10. What a fantastic post!!! Oh and CONGRATULATIONS ON 93 FLIPPIN FOLLOWERS!!!! 100 FOLLOWERS ANY DAY NOW!!! Okay I'll stop yelling now, lol

  11. Another fabulous post, Bish! Yes, my inner voice can be a total harpy! I've never thought of it in this way before, but you have nailed it! LOL! Thank you for that! : )

  12. hahah i loveee this! you're awesome for keeping up with all those letters!! tehe

    great post!! :D

    my sentence: Idiosyncrasy can be an idea or an entity: an impressionist, an advocate of individuality for infinity.


  13. What a great post, cool stuff! And the I's were great. Hey I joined your blog and got it a little closer to 100 for you!

  14. Love this post. My brain is too frazzled to think of a sentence at the moment.

  15. Bish, you need a column ... and a thousand readers, at least. I love learning new things and I always come away with a new appreciation.

    My inner harpy is not going to let me play with the i's. My favorite i has got to be infinity.


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!