Positive vs Negative, or When Negative Wins


I have to tell you right off… this isn’t a post about attitude adjustments, or mean people taking over the world. Nope, nothing quite so deep for today. This is about a little pet peeve of mine. Allow me to share a story.

Each night before going to bed, we watch an episode of M*A*S*H. Yeah, the show from the late 70s/early 80s with Hawkeye and Hotlips and the whole gang. (In fact, we do this with such regularity that the dog recognizes the ending credits music as a sign that it’s time to go to bed. But I digress.) One such episode centers around two plot points: one) it’s blazing hot in Korea, and two) they’ve been sent placebos (sugar pills) in place of another needed medicine. Hawkeye and BJ convince Klinger that the sugar pills are an experimental drug to regulate body temperature, and he buys it. They are are sitting there hot, sweaty, miserable and in comes Kilinger fresh as a daisy. BJ’s response is to say, “Look at him. He’s sheveled!” I love this because it’s clever, and grammar jokes make me giggle. But the reason it’s clever is that “sheveled” isn’t a word. It ONLY exists in a negative form: disheveled.

And thus began my quest. I’ve been collecting words for a while now that only have a negative form. How is that possible? How can you say something is “dis-” or “un-” or “-less” without having something that you’re actually “dis-” or “un-” or “-less”? Now I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that some of the words I’ve collected actually DO have positive forms, but they’ve fallen into such disuse I didn’t even know they were words. Interesting that the negative form would survive and the thing it is negating did not. Anyway… without further ado. Here is my small collection of bothersome words.

  • Disgruntled (when was the last time you heard of a gruntled employee?)
  • Ruthless (unless you’re describing a guy who divorced a lady named Ruth, no positive form here.)
  • Unkempt (I found a source that says you CAN use kempt, but nothing to back it up, even within the same source.)
  • Uncouth (“couth” actually is a synonym for “sophisticated,” but when is the last time you heard it used??)
  • Uncanny (nothing to add here. Now that IS uncanny!)
  • Inclement (again, here is one where you can say “clement” weather. But nobody does. Just the negative.)
  • Unfurl (you hardly ever read about a flag being furled.)

So that’s it. My little list of collected negativisms. And what is my point? I don’t really have one. I just like grammar and words and interesting bits. Do you have any to add to the list? Or any strange pet peeves like this? Share! 🙂

Drawn In, Fun

Drawn In Cast List

cast list

So I’m writing this on the 17th (even though I’ll post tomorrow), and today is my one month-iversary of releasing Drawn In! It’s been so much fun to have people email me and send me messages on Facebook with pictures of receiving their book in the mail, or their pleas for the second book. I love it!

And as people read and ask questions, I’ve had several people ask who the characters would be cast as in my dream movie version, so I thought I would do a post to answer the question! Not all of the characters were inspired by actors, most of them just live in my head. But I’ll do my best to piece some folks together.

So, starting with my MC, Rennie was based on Molly Quinn (best known from Castle on ABC).

molly quinn3

Her BFF Maia was based mostly on my friend Meghan, with a touch of Miranda Kerr (the less made-up versions of her that I’ve seen anyway):

meghan - maia       miranda kerr

Her love interest Alex I haven’t found an exact match for, but he’s got a little Ben Barnes going on:

  ben barnes2

Seth is part antagonist for Rennie, part love interest for Maia. Again, no exact match, but he’s definitely got some elements of Theo James (cos, let’s face it, the guy is HOT and this is a good opportunity to post a picture) :

theo james


Okay, moving on … the only other two characters that I deliberately based on actors were Aidan (Maia’s father). He has always been Nathan Fillion in my head. Despite my adoration for Theo James, Nathan Fillion is my future husband. So hands off, ladies:


And last but definitely not least, the character of Hollis was written to be Dennis Haysbert:

dennis haysbert-the unit

And that is my cast for Drawn in! What do you think?

Do you cast your novels as you go? If you’ve read Drawn In, do any of these match your own ideas?