May Word of the Month

happenstance [hap-uh n-stans]

noun 1. a chance happening or event.

Origin of happenstance

1895-1900 First recorded in 1895-1900; happen + (circum)stance

Some years ago (which boggles my mind, it seems like only yesterday) Joss Whedon treated fans to a magical “Sing-along Blog” about Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer. If you missed it, you have my deepest sympathy. The songs were amazing and lots of fun to sing along to, the story smacked one around in the feels, and the best thing about it was a beautiful gay man in the title role who drove women crazy.

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Dr. Horrible’s secret identity was that of Billy, who loved in angst and silence the pretty and perky Penny. Until one day at the laundromat, they met and had a “crazy, random happenstance” over frozen yogurt. And since that day, I find the word popping up in my brain.

050318 crazy random

Words are like that. Back when I tried to learn German, and then Italian, and then Russian, and then Japanese, words in those languages would catch in my brain and whirl around like laundry in a dryer. So when I was casting about for an appropriate word for May, I dredged up happenstance. My curiosity took over and I wondered about the origin. I find it interesting that the word is not very old at all.

Obviously, it’s not a word to be used in my Regency Romances, but contemporaries should be fine. I expect it will show up in the Bowman’s Inn stories to come, and also sci-fi romance where it could be the name of a planet or a colony. Or a ship!


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My Space Ship Happenstance?


Think how random your life has been. Mine has some amazing incidents that might be considered predestined. I met my husband online 23 years ago. While we both wish we had met each other sooner, we can be moved to tears when we realize how close we came to never meeting each other at all.

My final Regency Banquet book also has a touch of happenstance. The heroine has to strike out on her own before the hero realizes how much he loves her. His twin brother has to protect his wife from a blackmailer whom they just happened to meet with once they got to England. And obviously, happenstance doesn’t have to be a good thing.


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Words belong to a proper time and place.


We all seem to live “under things tumbling” through daily life. I continue to try to keep too many irons in the fire, which has impacted my writing and my organization. Slowly, I plan to make little changes so that soon I will be free of the ties keeping me from writing full time. Those things are mostly of my own creating, so I am therefore capable of “uncreating” them. Thank you for joining me on this journey and thank you for reading. I’ll be back on Sunday.


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