The Writer’s Lexicon: Cries, Frown, Awesome (Replacement Therapy!)

Y’all know the drill. Here are exercises from Ms Steinemann’s vocabulary improvement book. I took her paragraphs, but replaced the overused words. Can you guess the emotion for each character?



Sushi whined and barked in the kitchen. Bob rolled over in bed to peer at the clock: 3:07 AM.

“Three times in less than an hour,” he muttered as he threw on his robe and lumbered out of the bedroom. “For cryin’ out loud what’s got into you, dog?”

A thunderous pounding on the back door vibrated the windows.

The hairs on the back on Bob’s neck bristled.

Creaking open the door, on the last step he saw there was a baby. So choked up with snot and drool, not a sound was coming out.



Tammy let tears stream down her face as she pushed Ansel away. “You don’t understand,” she said. “I want out. Now.”

He grabbed a pillow off her bed. “You want out?”

She staggered backward, her retreat thwarted by the wall.

Ansel stalked toward her, pillow clutched in his hammy fist, his eyes unblinking. Terribly unblinking. It hurt just to look at him.



Heath Stoltz agonized over it, clenching his jaw, and tapping his heel, as his granddaughter Emily stepped down the aisle toward her groom, Gardner Wheaton. Why hadn’t Heath told her the truth about Gardner. She might have may have married him anyway, just to prove love conquers all. But would she be smiling the way she was now? Or would she be bawling, just like Heath?



Bruce made a Grumpy Cat face, so Debbie knew something was up. She matched her husband, but added a little extra pout to her moue, and raised her voice loud enough for the neighbors to hear.

“Why do you always act like such an idiot whenever my parents come to visit?”

“Because I . . .” Bruce was frothing like a volcano. “Maybe because your mother makes me feel like a useless insect, and your father swears so much I want to beat the crap out of him.”



Eve gasped when she saw what her mother put on a plate in front of her. “Spaghetti!” Breathlessly, she scarfed the entire meal down, and then licked the plate clean. “Your spaghetti is the cat’s pajamas, Ma!” Her mother smiled and she sat down to eat. “What do you mean?” “The cat’s pajamas! I learned that expression today in school.”

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