Wednesday 27 July 2022

In a mood

 Looking for a new small casserole dish last week - an apparent impossibility, they all seemed designed for feeding families of at least ten - I noticed a line of cookware from Le Creuset that was called Riviera. Bright, colourful and illustrated in use with pictures of some very nice food. Now as you know, my current series is also known as Riviera. It made me think about the power of a word to conjure an image, a feeling, maybe an emotion. My first stop on words is always the dictionary and the definition of Riviera from the Cambridge on-line edition is an area of coast especially with beaches where people go on holiday.  It's a popular term as Wikipedia, while pointing out that the conventional use is for the French and Italian Riviera, lists a large number of other places in the world that also use the designation - including the Torbay area in the UK.

Looks like we are all plugging into a mood here. 

The two aspects that I'm going for are coast and holiday. If they sum up my current series of books I'm happy. The word also says glamour to me - sea and sand yes, but also sunshine, beautiful buildings, fast cars, flowers, gorgeous food and drink ... That's a lot of freight for a single word.  

It's not the only word that does this. Think of beach hut - two very popular words in books titles and illustrations for summer reading. What does that conjure  - sand dunes, picnics, sea swimming, maybe surfing and watersports, family gatherings ...

At the other end of the spectrum gothic gives me shadows, candle light, menace, cold, that classic picture of the woman in the nightdress descending a staircase ...

Words are wonderful things. They are my trade. So many of them come with so much baggage. Endlessly fascinating. 

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