The first word on my word-a-day calendar is autodidact (someone who is self-taught) followed by inchoate, fop and pecuniary. Frankly I was expecting way more weirdness with words that are much more enigmatic and obscure and infinitely harder to spell. The autodidact in me has been passed on to Jazzy, who needs a challenge and a reason to go on making strange remarks. She also has a new wardrobe and a lot of wine to consume, as well as an email subscription to Wordnik where the words are often arcane, abstruse and about as clear as mud. Exactly her kind of thing.
Welcome to Jazzy Words. Because it’s never too late to learn something new.
A drink made of molasses and water, and sometimes a little vinegar and ginger; also, rum and water sweetened with molasses, formerly a common beverage among American sailors; hence, in sailors’ use, any strong drink, sweetened and flavored.
Water, thickened with oatmeal, or made spicy with vinegar and ginger, ‘switchel,’ as it is called, served to quench the thirst.
The clock is ticking down on this weekends Trifecta challenge – exactly 33 words written in first person narrative. Ha – how simple should this be, since I do it here every day. It is forever and always, ad infinitum, all about me, me and me. And then a bit more about me. The hard part of course is saying something worth saying in just 33 words. That’s probably why they call it a challenge.
And her squawking, huge and urgent need, for long.
Quietly he took off, left.
Inner blankness all he wanted.
Sensation of quiescence,
Blanket of relief.
Trifecta Challenge : This weekend it’s another word game – seeing what can be done with a particular word bank. From the 33rd page of
Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge, scour the page, choose 33 words and reshape them into a piece of your own.
This is so much harder than it looks. And that was a great book, by the way. Happy Weekend.
Trifextra Challenge: For this weekend’s challenge we’re asking you to include some hyperbole in
your piece. It doesn’t have to be the whole piece, but it needs to be in there,
and we’re looking for 33 words, as usual.
“It takes forever to get home by cab and costs a fortune. I live on the other side of the universe.”
“We’ve asked you a bazillion times, please stop exaggerating. You’re killing us.”
Authors Note: The hardest part of this challenge was, for yours truly – the ultimate supreme hyperbole queen to infinity and beyond – having to stop myself at 33 words. Whew. But don’t cry me any rivers, I’m okay. I refrained from setting myself on fire in frustration. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and lie down for a couple of days.
It’s a beautiful fall day in 1973, sunshine pouring through the campus medical office window where Lara sits with her back straight, hands folded primly in her lap, waiting for her examination results.
“You are definitely pregnant”, the doctor tells her. “Four or five weeks along. Do you know what you want to do about this?”
Do? Lara tries to clear her head and imagine what exactly people are expected to doin this kind of situation. Cry? Throw a party? Why does the doctor care what she’s going to do?
“Was this pregnancy planned? Is your husband going to be okay with it?”
No, not planned, Lara tells her. Not discussed, not anticipated. Big surprise, really. So much for the diaphragm as birth control. Throwing that out now I guess. Stupid thing. They stare at each other for a moment in silence.
“If you decide to terminate this pregnancy, it’s best to do it now. You will need to let me know as soon as possible so we can make the arrangements”
Lara’s heart thuds and she moves her clasped hands up across her belly. An abortion, that’s the option Lara is supposed to be considering, and immediately she knows that for her it isn’t an option at all.
“Oh God, no, I’m really happy about this!” She supposes the doctor can be forgiven for not figuring out that her shell-shocked expression is an indication of joy. And if Stan isn’t thrilled with the news that he’s going to be a parent before his university semester is over, oh well. Lara decides she won’t dwell on that.
Because it doesn’t matter. She is going to have this baby. The doctor gives her a huge smile, as if to say she’s made the right decision, and tells her to come back and see her in a month.
When Stan picks her up ten minutes later he doesn’t even ask. Laras beaming face tells him everything he needs to know.
(This is in response to this weeks Trifecta Challenge)
Trifextra Challenge: This Trifextra isn’t so much a writing challenge; it’s more of a reading challenge. We want you to scour through your favorite pieces of
literature and give us the best 33 words you can find.
From The Time Keeper, by Mitch Albom
There was not a sound on earth. Airplanes hung silently above runways. Puffs of cigarette smoke remained solid around their smokers. Phones were dead. Screens were blank. No one spoke. No one breathed.
Today I’ve been inspired by Far Away in the Sunshine to fill in some blanks in a soul-searching exercise. I did something like this before in Complete This Thought about six months ago, but the prompts for this one are a little different, so I’ll see if I am different now as well, or if I’m simply remaining stubbornly the same.
Here is what you can copy and paste to do your own soul-searching. I hope you will take this little challenge and reveal yourself to the world. The more we know about each other the more there is to love, right? Well, I hope that’s how it works.
I am always
I can usually be found
I am scared
I am happy
I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a grandma and a child of the universe.
I know a little bit about love.
I want the people around me to be happy and unafraid.
I think entirely too much about inconsequential things and not enough about what’s really important, and there are days when I really can’t figure out which is which.
I have everything I need. And then some.
I dislike all this clutter, but I don’t know where to start to make it disappear. Come on over and help me out with that.
I miss my mom.
I fear poor health and pain and tragic accidents.
I feel blessed.
I hear voices in my head. No, I don’t. It’s just me pretending to be voices in my head.
I smell a little off. No shower yet today. I’ll get around to that shortly.
I crave inner peace. Perhaps a shower would help.
I search for more and more things that I’ve misplaced as the years progress.
I wonder why I thought a cupboard shelf was a good place to set down my phone.
I regret nothing major in this charmed life because look where it has taken me.
I love my family.
I care what happens to them.
I am always reading.
I worry that my eyesight will fail before I’ve read everything there is to read.
I remember when that happened to my mom and how audio books saved her.
I sing in a grandmas weakened voice, off-key and scratchy, but with joy in my heart.
I argue about the dumbest things.
I write because writing is as vital to me as breathing. I write on everything, everywhere. I write in my head.
I lose track of time.
I wish there could be an end to all the fighting.
I listen with my ears but I try to hear with my heart.
I can usually be found reading, writing, and never even remotely involved in anything to do with arithmetic.
I am scared of losing the people I love.
I need peace and quiet and a good book. And the occasional glass of red wine.
I forget the bad things as fast as I can. That way there’s more room for remembering all the good stuff.
I am happy to be alive.
I have a big mouth and a terrible habit of talking about people when they’re not around, being sarcastic and rude, and pointing out all the things I find infinitely irritating and stupid.
It’s a nasty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.
I really and truly try to stop myself from being negative and judgemental. Especially when in the grand scheme of things it makes no difference what I think. Often the person I’m blathering away to couldn’t care less. So why do I do it? It doesn’t make anything better. It often makes a bad situation worse.
Before I start talking I try to imagine if I would ever say such a thing if the person in question could hear me. If the answer is NO, then I know it’s time to shut up.
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