Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How many words is a day worth?

Since mid-2008, Kathryn and I have been doing a daily Word of the Day. It's a little project where you take the word of the day supplied by and write something containing that word. There's no set word limit, so it could be anything from a short sentence to an eight page story.
I think Mum originally intended it as an English exercise to improve our vocabulary, spelling, handwriting, and our use of language in general, but it's actually just a lot of fun :)

Some of the words we've had include triskaidekaphobia, halcyon, wunderkind, kismet, irascible, and pecksniffian.

I thought I'd post one of  my stories here, this one is from December last year. It's a little darker and creeper then most of my writing, which is generally much more lighthearted. But Kathryn liked this one, and I was pretty pleased with it, so here you go. 
It's also a little long; sorry!

Liminal \LIM-uh-nl\ , adjective;

1.Relating to the point beyond which a sensation becomes too faint to be experienced.
The Ash Glades could take days to reach if you didn’t know the way, but for those who did, it could be reached within half an hour.
The temperature began to drop as the healthy pines and oaks thinned, giving way to twisting brambles and creaking, slender trees so grey and lifeless they looked like stone. By the time Luka stopped Ava’s nervous, shuddering breaths were clouding before her face, curling away like ribbons of white smoke.
Ava Trueboat hated the Ash Glades; she could feel the luminal sigh of death brush across her neck, hear the groan and creak of every tree, like a thousand souls trapped in some eternal misery, and she felt the mystery and horror that hung in the air seep in through her toes and fingertips.
“Well, don’t dawdle.” Fear made her snap.
“Keep your pants on,” Luka muttered, unconcerned where Ava was terrified. And that was reason the Headmaster had asked him to do this little errand; Luka knew every twisting turn and narrow path. And he had asked Ava because he knew she wouldn’t let Luka out of her sight; because no-one, no-one who wanted to return whole and sane, went into the Ash Glades alone.
“Here it is.” Luka said, having located their quarry.
And there it was.
Hanging from the bushes’ spindly branches, surrounded by inch long thorns, were Hairy Hearts, their plump beating mass covered in thick dark fur.
“How many did he want?” Ava asked, all the while fighting down nausea.
“Five.” Luka replied shortly. He unscrewed the jar they had taken for the grisly use of storing the hearts. “I don’t suppose there’s any point asking which one of us is going to do this?”
Ava shook her head. In comparison to their grey surroundings, even her ashen tresses shone with colour.
Luka knelt grimly to his task. He grimaced as he took hold of one and twisted until it pulled free. The heart shuddered in his hand as he dispensed it into the jar.
By the third one, Ava had to turn away. She screamed when she felt a hand grip her shoulder.
“It’s just me, Ava.” Luka gave a shaky laugh.
“You’d better cover that up; we don’t want to scare the students.” Ava said, motioning vaguely to the Hairy Hearts.
Luka nodded, slipping it into his backpack. “Let’s get out of here, you look like you’re about to faint, or throw up.”
So do you, Ava could have replied in perfect truth, but she just nodded and followed him out into the normal world, where the ground didn’t smell like death and the sir didn’t taste like ash.

There you have it! Writing is fun, so hop to it!