Editor’s Note: Writing Life is taking an October humor break thanks to artist and writer Katherine Revelle, who I met at HippoCamp 2019. When I saw her at HippoCamp 2021, she told me about her “supportmanteaus,” words she created about the writing life. Katherine created the word “supportmanteau” from the word “portmanteau.” A portmanteau is a word that blends the sounds and combines the meanings of two words. (“Motel,” for example, combines “motor” and “hotel.”) Enjoy a few of Katherine’s creations and let us know: Does the seahorse look familiar? — Kristen Paulson-Nguyen, Writing Life editor
creative non-friction – n. \krē-ā-tiv nän-frik-shən\(orig. friction, creative nonfiction)
The genre of writing-adjacent work characterized by the writer’s use of quasi-productive tasks; a literary avoidance device allowing one to glide atop the surface of a work in progress if delving beyond the superficial elicits considerable resistance.
See also: work-around, adaptitude, skimprovising
successorizing – v. \sik-ˈses-ə-ˈrī-ziŋ\ (orig. success, accessorizing)
Habitually acquiring new accoutrements believing the exchange of monies for goods might create enchanted objects capable of conjuring magical—or financial guilt-based—surges in motivation. Common among practitioners of wordcraft: e.g., pens, journals, spell books, hydration cauldrons etc.
See also: shoptimism, practical magic
friennui – n. \fren-ˈwē\ (orig. friend, ennui)
The ambivalent lassitude felt when you want to, wish you wanted to, or worry that you really should be more social, only to find yourself unable to resist the comfortable companionship of other writer’s words and worlds. Often accompanied by wine, cheese and far away stares. A very French, film noir mood.
See also: hygge, escapism, 2020, 2021
Katherine Revelle is a Boston-based writer, physician, and fledgling illustrator. You can find her essays and humor writing in the Washington Post, Ravishly, The Belladonnas, and elsewhere. A graduate of The Second City Satire Writing Program, and perennial student of creative nonfiction at GrubStreet in Boston, she feels most at home writing on the sharp edge of humor and poignancy. Katherine is also a Moth StorySLAM champion with a well-honed knack for alchemizing paralyzing stage fright into over-preparation. Follow her on twitter @katervelle, or follow the trail of Post-its, empty Fresca cans and half-read books. You’ll likely find her recopying to-do lists with a newer, cooler pen.