Reverse Lookup for Words

…she stumbled and he caught her as she fell, sweeping her up in his – in his – what is that word? Darn it. You know the word. It means big, tough guy arms but not strong arms. Stereotype alert. What is that word? I had it a minute ago.

Happen to you?

It happens to everyone, especially writers. Sometimes I think our heads are so filled up with words, it’s like plunging your hand into an aquarium of tetras and hoping to catch just that one, you know, that one! The words slip right out of your brain.

The OneLook Reverse Dictionary and Thesaurus is here to help. It provides a free thesaurus and reverse dictionary look-up feature to help you overcome your brain farts, as we tend to call them.

I typed in the words “strong arms” and hit enter.

OneLook Reverse Dictionary - Stong Arms.

My choices were divided into All, Verbs, Adverbs, Nouns, and Adjectives, each with multiple pages of suggestions. “Strong arms” matched with the definition of “enforce,” which made me realize that the web page service concluded I meant “strong-armed” rather than the description of a pair of strong arms. Still, there were words I could use. In Adjectives I found muscular, heavy-armed, solid, colossal, substantial, gigantic, healthy, great, heavy, heft, savage, and smothered. My favorite was bionic but it didn’t work in this instance. There were many other words that weren’t appropriate, but they did trigger more descriptive ideas such as blockading, huddled, swarming, and pressed.

Clicking the “More Definitions” button opened a new web page with variations on the word “enforce,” which wasn’t going in the right direction, but did show the capabilities of the service to help you track down the right word. It listed links to definitions on over 30 different alternative sources, giving me the opportunity to really dig into the meaning of a word.

OneLook isn’t the only reverse word lookup service on the web. Experiment with The Reverse Dictionary and Reverse Word Search-Lookup by Wordsmyth.

And good luck with those word slippages.


Prompt-a-Month: Forgotten Things

Writers in the Grove Prompt-a-Month badge.The June prompt-a-month for our Writers in the Grove members is:

Forgotten Things

The deadline for submissions is 7/1/2017. Submissions will be published during the next 30 days.

Writers in the Grove members may hand in their submissions during the workshops or use our members only submission form. Check out the guidelines and instructions for submissions in the announcement.

November 3 Prompt – The Sniff Memory

The following prompt is from one of our Writers in the Grove members for our NaNoWriMo prompt-a-day project for November 2016.

Your prompt today could be done from your perspective or the perspective of your character(s).

When I smell [blank], I remember [blank].

Start filling in those blanks.

Check out our list of prompts for even more inspiration.

Young Body, Old Soul

The following is based upon the prompt Prompt: The Soul is Born Old, and written by Writers in the Grove member, Gretchen Keefer.

I could tell them so many things, answer so many questions, if I could only figure out how to make the noises they seem to understand. I have tried, and they respond with smiles, but they just do not understand.

When I am uncomfortable or hurt, I can make a harsh noise they respond to quickly. They make sure my physical needs are met.

Do they understand when I tell them “thank you”? I am grateful, even though this physical stuff is awkward, and challenging…and tiring! It feels good when they hold me, rock me, sing to me. I want to caress them back, but I still haven’t managed these limbs.

I want to tell them how glad I am to be here with them. I remember them from before, when we agreed they would go first and prepare a place for me.

I want to remind them that they promised to teach me all I needed to know to be successful here. Do they remember that?

Most of all I want to tell them that Father loves them and knows their concerns. He sent me here with a specific task…now I have forgotten what that was.

Every day I learn more and soon I will be able to tell them and show them so many wonderful things about where I came from.

Ahhh, where was that again?

Writers in the Grove member Gretchen Keefer enjoys writing short family friendly fiction. She has always had scenes developing in her mind, when she is not occupied with family or events on the rural Oregon property she and her husband share with the dog, cat, horse and 20 sheep.