The only way to describe this weekends writing is ‘blergh’ (which is how I describe a lot of stuff that I can’t be bothered with), for I rolled out of bed on Saturday and was in a funk all day, and not the good ‘Uptown Funk’ that Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars have blessed us with, but the kind of funk in which you avoid doing just about anything. I got some washing done though, so I guess that’s a good thing, but it was procrastination central in terms of writing. Every weekend since NaNo started, I’ve managed 10,000 words across the two days, which has meant that I’ve been able to avoid writing during the week – good for me as I have a job and Uni to do as well.
As of this Friday night just gone, my word count was at 35,217 – which was my total word count at lunch time last Sunday. With grand designs for another 10,000 word weekend, I aimed for 5,000 words on Saturday and managed a paltry (by my standards), 2550. But yesterday, a beautiful sunny Sunday on which the temperature reached a disgusting 35 degrees Celsius, I was determined that this would not be the only weekend I didn’t do 10,000 words. So after a great deal of sweating over my laptop (it was a REALLY hot day), some tears (over ruining the life of my main character) and surprisingly no bleeding fingers (considering my word count for the day), I managed 7300 words – officially the most I’ve ever written in one day, so I’m pretty proud. It left me just short of the 10,000 I was after for the weekend, but it did take me to the magical 45,000 word mark which excites me more than anything else.
But how am I going with my obscure Oxford English Dictionary word challenge I was crazy enough to set myself? Well I’m glad you asked. I managed to work in a week and a half’s worth of weird and wonderful words into one day of writing. I’ve been very lucky that some of the words just fit into the story – thankfully I decided early on to make my main character a learned man, so it’s not shocking that he would know some of these words! I have to say that setting myself this little challenge has not only been interesting, but has also helped me figure out what to write next. Despite this, I have little doubt that most of these words and the sentences in which they nestle themselves, will end up with lines through them once I start editing, but for now they shall stay where they are. So here are the words I used this weekend along with their definitions and the sentence I used them in. Now on to the final week and 50,000 words!
Phlegethon, n. Something regarded as resembling the mythical river Phlegethon; a river of fire, a seething torrent or turmoil. “Inside her was a phlegethon – a river of fire that could only be quelled by Rolf.”
armistice, n. Originally: a suspension of hostilities; a (short) truce, a ceasefire. Later chiefly spec.: a total suspension of hostilities formally agreed on by the governments of warring parties, typically for the purposes of negotiation and as a prelude to a lasting state of peace. “When armistice was called on the Western Front, it brought with it a myriad of emotions.”
periclitation, n. The action of exposing a person or thing to danger; the condition of being exposed to danger; danger, hazard, etc. “I knew that in coming here I would be exposing myself to great periclitation – it is true that this is a most hellish and perilous place to be in.”
proot, int. (and v.) A command to a donkey or mule to move faster. “To get him going, it just took one word: “proot” and he’d be off.”
philippic, adj.1 and n. Of the nature of a bitter attack, denunciation, or invective; that is a philippic; spec. relating to or designating the Philippics of Demosthenes and Cicero. “I hear, every day, bitter philippics orated by the men in charge against the Germans.”
Proxima Centauri, n. A faint red dwarf star in the southern constellation Centaurus, which forms part of a three-star system with the binary star Alpha Centauri. “News has reached me that a new star has been discovered – I believe it has been dubbed ‘Proxima Centauri’.”
adipsia, n. Absence of thirst; lack or loss of the desire to drink; reluctance or refusal to drink. “He seems to be suffering from adipsia, brought about by hallucinations in which he is convinced that someone is trying to poison him.”
maven, n. An expert, a connoisseur; a knowledgeable enthusiast, an aficionado. “Hugh could no longer bear the thought of sharing his red haired maven.”
Goddard’s drops, n. A liquid medicinal preparation of uncertain composition, used in the treatment of a wide variety of disorders. “…perhaps I should take one of Goddard’s drops to cure what ails me!”
knavigation, n. A statement or story that is characteristic of a knave, esp. in being dishonest or fraudulent. “…he was what they would have called a knave in days gone by, and everything he said and did was little more than knavigation.”
panem et circenses, n. Bread and circuses or (more generally) food and entertainment, regarded as typically satisfying the desires of the mass of the people; hence used allusively of anything which pleases and pacifies the people, thus helping a government to further its political ends. “War is nothing more than panem et circenses to the men in Whitehall: it allows them to satisfy their need for bloodshed without themselves shedding any blood.”
pettitoe, n. A pig’s foot, esp. as an article of food; a pig’s trotter. “I was given the honour of eating what I believe the French call a pettitoe.”