Tag Archives: Austria

C is for Case (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)

by Lillian Csernica on April 4, 2017


In polite society, if you were anyone at all you carried calling cards, which made card cases among the most essential accessories for both men and women.



Antique Art Nouveau silver card case dated Christmas 1907

In addition to calling cards, ladies of society also had dance cards. When playing the marriage game or just having an evening out, a proper lady had to plan ahead!



Two Austrian dance card cases circa 1901-1902

Smoking was a common habit in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, even among ladies. The flappers of the Roaring ’20s called cigarettes “gaspers,” and kept them in ornate cigarette cases.



Antique Art Nouveau silver and enamel cigarette case



A Russian gun metal and silver Art Nouveau cigarette case, Moscow 1908-1917

For those who carried cigarettes, the natural companion to the cigarette case was the match safe, also known as a “vesta.”


dempseyandbaxter on ebay.com

Gorham Butterfly Woman Sterling Silver Repousse Match Case


American Sterling Silver Vesta




Filed under Art Nouveau, artists, Blog challenges, classics, creativity, fantasy, history, nature, Writing

Z is for Zygoma

by Lillian Csernica on April 29, 2013

Most of the people you meet will have a zygoma. You have one. I have one. Supermodels are often known for their zygomatic arches. I have read one description of the zygoma as being slanted like the blades of a scissors.

Do you, at this point, have any idea what a zygoma is? If you’re not in some field related to medicine, it’s a safe bet that you don’t.

The zygoma is the cheekbone.

Now you’re probably asking yourself, “What could the zygoma possibly have to do with writing technique?” I’m glad you asked that. The answer is simple.

  1. Do not use technical jargon unless you can create a context that communicates the meaning to the reader.
  2. You can explain the term in dialogue, but please don’t make it one character lecturing another. Dramatize!

It’s important to write vivid and realistic detail. If your characters have advanced degrees or they’re specialists in their fields, they will probably be using some technical jargon in their interior narrative, their dialogue, or any writing they do in the course of the story (journal, letters, memos, etc.). Context is everything.

Let’s make up a word: rumtinkflan.

Noun: My mechanic told me that it takes three weeks to get a rumtinkflan. There’s only one factory in Austria that still makes them.

Verb: If you try to rumtinkflan me again, I will take that serving fork and show you the color of your liver!

Adjective: The roses really are quite rumtinkflan this year, don’t you think?

Adverb: “Please, Jonathan, you can’t leave now!” she cried rumtinkflanly.

Yes, this is very silly. Does it make the point? I hope so. Put the technical jargon, foreign word, medical term, or invented jibberish into a context that gives the reader some clues about form and function.

This brings me to the end of the A to Z Challenge! Thank you all for joining me on this, my first blogging challenge! Please stay tuned for the Challenge Reflections post, where I shall give my post-game thoughts and analysis.


Filed under Blog challenges, fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Writing