Whether it's jotting down a journal, composing a book or typing up a blog, searching for the precise word is something all writers have experienced.

While writing a book on her maternity journey, Brookfield's Laura Grebe, a Wauwatosa West graduate, put together lists of words as resources. When she went to meet with a potential publisher in Waukesha, her lists are what caught the eye of publisher Reji Laberje.

"When I approached the publisher (Laberje) about my paternity journal and I had all of my stuff out that had these lists and she said, “You know, this is a resource that you’re using for your writing, it would be really useful for others in their writing, too,'" Grebe said. "So we came up with the idea of putting them in these workbook formats."

Trio of books

The three books that grew out of Grebe's lists are called "An Experimental Play on Words" series and are currently available on Amazon. The first book, "1000+ Still Useful Words and how to use them in your writing," launched Nov. 25. Books two and three in the series, "700+ Verbal Emojis" and "500+ Happenings to Prove Existence," were released Dec. 7.

As of this writing, Still Useful Words is No. 1 on Amazon in the Reference: Word Lists category, Verbal Emojis is No. 1 in the Reference: Synonyms and Antonyms category and Happenings to Prove Existence has yet to be categorized.

"I developed a list of emotions that I felt during all my pregnancies. From the good emotions; being happy and elated and super excited to being overwhelmed, anxious and hesitant," Grebe said. "I also developed a list of activities that I could do while I was confined to the couch. I couldn’t go to the gym, I couldn’t do my usual shopping and I couldn’t go to work."

Wauwatosa West 

Grebe, who lives in Brookfield with her husband Josh and daughter Maddy, participated in forensics and drama, played soccer and was in German Club while at Wauwatosa West.

In high school, writing was just something she did on the side, but she always knew she wanted to be a lawyer. Her early goals were met when she attended law school at Marquette University and now works as a patent law lawyer at Husch Blackwell (formerly Whyte, Hirschboeck, Dudek).

In her spare time, Grebe enjoys reading Nancy Drew novels, scuba diving, jumping out of planes, attending church services and showing Maddy the world. Prior to Maddy's arrival, Laura and Josh lost a son who was stillborn and Laura also had some difficulty while carrying Maddy.

Maternity journal

"I had a couple rough pregnancies and all of the maternity journals that are out there dealt with how far along are you in decorating the nursery, and how excited are you, and how many days do you have left until this wonderful bundle of joy comes into the world," Grebe said. "I didn’t feel like writing how happy and cheerful I was because we weren’t sure if there was going to be a nursery in the end. So I decided to write my own guided maternity journal that would validate my fears."

The maternity book will be coming out in February and Grebe said she wrote it to address the fears parents have about pregnancy — even those that go well. She said often aspiring moms and dads aren’t sure how they are going to be as a parent and are often worried about the delivery process and her book will help couples through that.

"I wanted to write something so that no matter how you were feeling, your feelings were validated," Grebe said.

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