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Research & Thoughts


I learned a new word today. It's from Booker T Washington's autobiography, and the word is geegaw. Now maybe you all knew it already. But I had to look it up. It means "a worthless showy thing." You know, like a knicknack you have on your shelf that just sits there for people to admire.


I once bought a magnetic decorated ball on a stand at a museum but it's not a geegaw. Why? Because it rotates. On its own. Without batteries. When the sun is out. It's cool because it proves something about the sun, right? Or is it just a geegaw after all? It also rotates at night when I turn the light on in the cabinet where I put it. Why? I don't know.


I'm not the collector type, but I like to buy at museum gift shops because they have cool stuff and they can use the money. But antique stores are filled with geegaws and it's an issue you hear talked about. You know, like, who's going to want all that stuff when you're gone?


I think about that a lot. So I watch my geegaws. And now the word has earned a place in the novel I'm editing, too. Malavika got me the novel "The Paris Wife," and I highly recommend it. It's a fictional story of Hemingway's first wife, and it starts in Chicago. So I'm trying to get inspired to make the right improvements on Dinner at Marshall Fields. Which is a novel I've tried to find a beta reader for.


But I get it. Who needs another geegaw?

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