Writers love words. They can inspire and infuriate. Today in the MUSEologies Studio, one writer (that would be me) was struggling with the project-at-hand. Words appeared jigged-jaggedly out of balance on the page. Futility and frustration were bouncing off the tent-pitched-in-the-sand-writing-studio walls. Looking around at the pile of books on the floor, this writer spied a new favorite we have mentioned before: Simon Hertnon's Endangered WORDS, A COLLECTION OF RARE GEMS FOR BOOK LOVERS. Remembering the advice of Master MUSEologist, Jill Badonsky, this writer decided to: 1) Invoke some Muse Magic, 2) Strip away the silly egocentric angst of trying too hard, and 3) Just have some F.U.N. What a novel concept!

The Challenge:
Create a 'scene' using one endangered word
from Simon Hertnon's book.

The Result:
Wonder of Wonders, words appeared on the page.
A more serious bout of writer's constipation averted.

**For the 'official' definition of KUMATAGE,
scroll down to Postscript.

The Scene:

Michael discovered the stunning calendar in a small art gallery on Duval Street. The glossy- black pages showcased magnificent images created by the most famous photographer on the island. Rob O'Neal happened to be at the gallery, happily grappling with his fame as he signed his latest book: Key West Photo Safari. The irony wasn't lost on Michael. In the last year, his life with Faye had been a wild and woolly safari culminating in the cross-country expedition to recapture their happiness. Michael bought Rob O'Neal's book and calendar straightaway. The photographs were simply too inspiring to pass-up and the synchronicity of discovering them was powerful. He knew Faye would love hearing about his unexpected find and planned to give her the book for their upcoming anniversary.

Michael and Faye sat across from each other in companionable silence. They had mutually decided KoKoMo Beach would be the perfect place to celebrate a twenty-fourth wedding anniversary. Their newly bronzed faces gazed, expectantly, outward in the same direction. Above the disreputable, graffiti-carved-wooden picnic table, palm fronds gently swayed in the balmy tropical breeze. The purple-hazed hour cast a mystical spell. Leisurely, Michael dug his bare toes into the warm sand.

Without fanfare, the enormous opalescent moon appeared above the horizon line of the turquoise sea, spilling its treasure of shimmering light; a thousand glittering diamonds adorning the rippling waves. Faye reached into her paint-stained pocket and pulled out Maya White's Horoscope she'd torn from The Triton-Megayacht News. Faye and Michael shared the same astrological sign. With dramatic flourish, she cleared her throat and began to read aloud,

"GEMINI. May 21 - June 20.
The full moon will be extraordinary this month, Gemini.
It's a full-blown kumatage.
All you need do, is appreciate it!"

KUMATAGE (koo-mah-TAHZH): According to Bowditch's Navigator (24th Edition, 1854), a kumatage is: "A bright appearance in the horizon, under the sun or moon, arising from the reflected light of those bodies from the small rippling waves on the surface of the water."


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