Getting over the hiccups

Maybe the word ‘hiccup’ was onomatopœic… maybe the noise which is probably more irritating to those who make it than those who hear it is named after the sound it makes… or possibly not. The word seems to appear by the late 1500’s as hickop,  hicket or hyckock and seems similar to the French word hoquet, Danish hikke, Persian hikuk and Hindi hichki… and all those words sound like the emitted and very annoying noise. In much earlier times it was thought to be caused by elves – and it does seem random – and teh Anglo-Saxon word was ælfsogoða.

A hiccup is ‘a quick, involuntary inhalation that follows a spasm of the diaphragm and is suddenly checked by closure of the glottis, producing a short,relatively sharp sound…’ but it can also be an unexpected interruption to something, something which has gone wrong or something which unexpectedly and temporarily prevents something else from continuing.

I had a hiccup with what I am writing now; I had an involuntary loss of inspiration, or maybe not so much inspiration as a muddle as which way to go. One of the strands of my novel has led me, and I hope my readers to a particular conclusion, the end of that particular thread of the story; but there remained a gap between the events and the action and the conclusion… what had seemed a clear path suddenly got lost. it was as if a hiccup had interrupted something i was going to say and made me lose my thread. I seem to have been struggling with this for several days if not a couple of weeks… and suddenly the hiccups have ceased and i see which way to go.

On reflection, maybe I hd too many different story lines, but I have come to far to be able to unpick any one, and as has happened before, I think once the whole thing is finished it will be alright – like the knitting pattern with a complicated design of a jumper… as you’re knitting away it seems impossible, but suddenly all the threads come together in the right order and the completed jumper is fine!

If you want to see how i got over my previous hiccups, here is a link to my books:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lois+elsden

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