Thursday, September 9, 2010
(OT: Celebrated 30 fabulous years with the LoML on Monday. We hosted 50 friends and family who gave up their holiday to spend it with us. We are blessed.)
Gems come in all shapes and sizes and colors and levels of clarity. I adore the ones given to me by my husband, but I'm also thrilled by the little ones I mine that come in print form.
Recently, I found a couple of things that are right up my antagonist's alley. One is a term I first saw in Timothy Hallinan's A Nail Through the Heart, and the second is from one of those Word of the Day things you can subscribe to.
The first time I ever heard the term "hungry ghost" was in Tim's wonderful novel. His series is set in Bangkok, and as I've mentioned once or twice *wink*, amazingly well written. I can't remember now what "hungry ghost" was in reference to, but I had the idea it might apply to my bad guy. I made a point of Googling (what a wonderful research tool!) the term after finishing his book, and found the following:
Hungry ghosts are found mostly in Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism. We've all seen pictures of them. Huge, empty stomachs and tiny, pinhole mouths. Hungry ghosts have uber-thin necks so it's impossible for them to swallow even if they get anything in their mouths. They are tormented by unfulfilled cravings, having uncovered a terrible emptiness within themselves.
Those pieces of information work for my antag. What doesn't work as well is, according to Buddhist belief, hungry ghosts are people who have been reborn as these entities due to their greed, envy and jealousy. They are associated with addiction, obsession and compulsion. These elements don't fit quite as well because my guy's motivation is an absolute vacuum of emotion. His craving is to feel something—anything.
But I'm using it. Thank you Mr. Hallinan.
And my word?
Degage. Pronounced dey-gah-ZHEY. It has two definitions, and the second one fits my antag perfectly:
1. Unconstrained; easy, as in manner or style.
2. Without emotional involvement; detached.
Thank you, Dictionary.com for your perfect timing.
Oh, and thank you, Love of My Life, for the stunning pearl necklace.
So tell me if you're willing . . . what kinds of gems have you mined?
CR: The Dark Tide by Andrew Gross.
It's all better with friends.