The Krikey in my Life - Jo-Ann Carson

The Krikey in my Life


When I’m deep into a story I write and write and write until I empty all the images and scenes rumbling around in my head onto the screen. Then I come up for air. I don’t worry about the individual words in my first draft. I become ‘obsessed’ later. lol.
A couple of years ago, I asked JC to critique a part of my first story, an action packed romantic suspense about a brazen gun-toting teacher, a handsome sociopathic villain, a drool-worthy hero and a stolen Rembrandt. Yeah, it’s complicated. ┬áThe story mostly works, and I’m trying to see if I can save it from being forever cast under my proverbial bed.
This was the first time she’d critiqued my work. She told me in carefully chosen words that she liked the plot. We weren’t at the comfortable stage of just plowing into ‘the thick of it’ yet.
“But,” she said, “but,” and she paused. I’m sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what her next words will be. Is my heroine not strong enough? The sensual tension too timid? Maybe my settings aren’t clearly described…
“You use the word krikey,” she hesitated, “too much.” JC isn’t the kind of woman who hesitates when she speaks.
Krikey? I guess I had used it. I smiled.
“Do you know anyone who uses the word ‘krikey?'”
“Uh, no.” I started giggling.
Then she read some excerpts, and they were truly hilarious. To avoid swearing I had my heroine dropping ‘the krikey bomb’ all over the place. She laughed with me. And then she read me some more lines. It all sounded so silly I laughed harder, tears welled up in my eyes and I had to cross my legs.
“And Mom,” she paused, “No one my age says krikey.” That did it. We both broke into deep gut-busting laughter. Just the thought of a thirty year old saying, “Oh Krikey,” when a bad guy pulls a knife on them was more than ridiculous.
Our husbands downstairs yelled up, “What’s going on?”
So I stopped using the word ‘krikey’, unless of course I’m totally lost for a word and want a filler. JC and I have become close critique partners. ‘Krikey’ kind of sealed the deal. There’s nothing like laughter to forge a bond.
So that’s my Krikey story.

Your turn. Do you catch yourself putting weird words into your prose? Do you laugh with your critique partners? Ever used the word: Krikey?


0 Replies to “The Krikey in my Life”

  1. As an Irishman the word eejit comes up in my writing. It basically means idiot but to deduce that from the spelling would be a tough one…. also I’ve been living in Aus for 10 years and loke the coloquoil language, krikey is a great Aussie word

    1. Hi David
      …and welcome to my blog. I love your word eejit. I want to call someone an eejit today. I didn’t know that Aussies use the word, but I must have heard it somewhere. lol.
      Thanks so much for stopping by and adding to the conversation.
      Best Wishes

  2. Your excerpt made me smile. In my latest manuscript I’d used the phrase you’re just a ‘Chatty Kathy’ -where did that come from? I don’t even use that comment myself. Oh my -very fifties -there was a doll called that, at some point. Sometimes an era from the past creeps in. Made me smile, just like your ‘krikey’.

    1. Hi Jodie
      I remember the term ‘Chatty Kathy.’ I think girls sometimes got called that when they weren’t being suitably quiet. Isn’t it funny that it creeps into your writing. It’s such an intriguing process.
      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.
      Happy writing

  3. I too get my early thirties daughter to critique my manuscripts and she is quick to point out the words I use that are dated. I do have one heroine – single mother of a young son – who says Rats! She gave up swearing when her son was a toddler and this is a word she has substituted. It’s a word I hear in my own head because of a children’s game I used to play with my kids where when something bad happened you yelled Rats! They loved it. Of course, when the going gets rough my heroine becomes less clean spoken and the swear words start to pop out.
    Hope you’re feeling better.

    1. Hi Judy
      I like your Rats story. The word had meaning for you on so many levels.
      I am very grateful for my kids. They keep me young(er) in so many ways and they are really good at making me laugh at myself. Something I need from time to time.
      My characters now swear on occasion lol.
      I am feeling better.
      Thanks so much for stopping by and adding to the conversation.
      Happy writing

  4. Love this story, Jo-Ann. When you mentioned it before, I asked if it was the long “i” sound, but what I really heard in my head was something a bit different, more like what your Aussie mate suggested. I guess I must’ve heard it in movies or TV. Not a word I use, but I love it.
    Oh, my, I would take me a long time to share all my odd word choices. I think I choose to write characters who are a bit older because my language isn’t suited to the younger voice. I have to be careful to not have the younger characters sound too old, mature, fussy, etc. LOL
    MY CPs used to tease me that I’d use a 75 cent word even when a 20 cent one would do just fine thank you very much. That was when I first started and I think I’m better now.
    As to swear words. For my last book during line edits I realized everyone said “damn” and everyone said “hell-of-a-whatever.” I made myself a chart and assigned bad words. The heroine got damn, the hero hell, the brother said “crap.” And it’s escaping me right now, but the bad guy has his favorite word. On occasion, the pattern didn’t hold. This was probably a case of me taking to extreme the “rule” to try to make sure your characters don’t all sound the same. Writing is such fun! And the others, I too LOLed while reading this. I have a vivid picture of you and JC laughing your heads off. Sorry you’ve been under the weather so long, but glad you’re on the upswing.

    1. Hi Marsha
      I’m so glad you encouraged me to write this post. Now I know my Krikey came from Australia! I wonder if it’s used in Crocadile Dundee? I must have heard it somewhere and it stuck. Too funny.
      I love how you chart your ‘dirty words’. I’ve tried to add the word(s) of choice for each character in their chart which I keep in Scrivener, and that sort of works for me, but I think I should make a master chart like you to make sure they aren’t all saying the same thing. But that’s ultimately the problem with expletives. People generally use a very small dirty vocabulary.
      Writing is fun. I feel so grateful to have time to do it.
      Thanks so much dear friend for stopping by and adding to the conversation. Also, thanks for the SOs.
      all the best

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