{Story Diary} Words and The Meanings by Kate Bassett

Apr 22, 2015

waom coverWords and Their Meanings by Kate Bassett
Young Adult Contemporary
September 8, 2014 from Flux

Anna O’Mally doesn’t believe in the five stages of grief. Her way of dealing with death equates to daily bouts of coffin yoga and fake-tattooing Patti Smith quotes onto her arms. Once a talented writer, Anna no longer believes words matter, until shocking discoveries– in the form of origami cranes– force her to redefine family and love.

As Anna goes in search of the truth, she discovers that while every story, every human being, has a last line, it might still be possible to find the words for a new beginning.


I can't hold my breath for the full nineteen minutes.

Crucify (v.)

1.) To kill (someone) by nailing or tying his or her hands and feet to a cross;
2.) To criticize (someone or something) very harshly.

Palabra (n.)

Spanish for "word".

Callipygian (adj.)

Having shapely buttocks.

Lavash (n.)

A thin, round Armenian flatbread.

Swooning (v.)

1.) To become very excited about someone or something;
2.) To become enraptured.

We're all guilty of doing this, am I right? ;)

**Definitions were pulled from the Marriam-Webster dictionary**

"We're all made up of opposites, and they often crucify us."

-- Patti Smith

"Wherefore with infection should he live..."

 -- first line from Shakespeare's Sonnet 67

»Full Shakespeare Sonnet here«

Then Mateo touches my knee. Light. Like almost a non-touch. I hate the word swooning. But I might be doing it. A little.

--Kate Bassett, Words and Their Meanings (pg. 75)

Mateo grabs my hand and holds it to his chest. My skin glows, matches a painting of sun on the river. I try to pull away, but he holds tight.
"Fine. Okay. I've never been here."
"It's the best spot in town," Mateo says with obvious appreciation. He stops and catches my eye. "And right now, it's more beautiful than ever."

--Kate Bassett, Words and Their Meanings (pg. 137)

We sort of fall together in a slow, careful way. His forehead rests against mine.
"I'm not going anywhere," he whispers . . .

--Kate Bassett, Words and Their Meanings (pg. 183)

The universe is made of possibilities.

--Kate Bassett, Words and Their Meanings

Silence is beginning  to say more than I ever imagined it could.

--Kate Bassett, Words and Their Meanings

You never feel more aware of what it means to be alive than when you're falling in love.

--Kate Bassett, Words and Their Meanings

I was always looking backward. It took me a long time to appreciate the present.

--Kate Bassett, Words and Their Meanings

"In the end, we all die alone. But we shouldn't have to live that way too."

--Kate Bassett, Words and Their Meanings

We are human. We are fragile creatures made of fragile parts.

--Kate Bassett, Words and Their Meanings

One paper bird means something different than a thousand birds together, just like one piece of a life, on memory, is never the whole story. We are made of secrets and contradictions, stardust and possibilities.

--Kate Bassett, Words and Their Meanings

This is one of my favorite books, which started my love for Kurt Vonnegut's works.


I might not be as big of a Patti Smith fan as Anna is, but I did like this Patti Smith memoir. I keep my copy handy on my nightstand. Any Patti Smith fans in the house?

Everyone gets one last line. But first lines, stories of love and loss and hope floating on backs of paper cranes? We choose how many of those we get to tell.

All we have to do is breathe deep. Breathe life in.

My eyes slipped closed, and I do. I breathe. I breathe. I breathe.

Greetings and salutations!

I’m Kate Bassett. I can’t stop giggling.

Writing an “about me” page for a website dedicated to ME the book writer is weird. And awesome. And slightly (totally) self-absorbed. So on that note…I’m a YA writer repped by the one and only Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary. My debut novel, WORDS AND THEIR MEANINGS will be out fall, 2014, with Flux.

Some details: I was born in 1978 (year of The Horse, if you’re a fan of the Chinese Zodiac) in Saginaw, Michigan. I could have (might have) won contests for having the county’s biggest cheeks as a child.

My little brother likes to remind me of this. I like to remind him he was bald until age 2. I spent my youth bouncing between a country club and, um, the detention room. My mom likes to say I got a PH.D in Life Lessons (which is a nice way of saying I got in trouble for skipping school, forgetting to do my homework, and maybe traveling across country without permission– none of which I endorse, by the way).

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