Dictionary Challenge Week One: Slaughtered

I’m a week in. That’s the equivalent of 70 pages. 70 dictionary pages. This isn’t like picking up a Calvin and Hobbes collection or Into The Wild or diving into some 50 Shades action. This isn’t even like reading the encyclopedia where you can get carried away into the story or the references.

This is an onslaught. And I’m losing. Bad.

Of those 70 dictionary pages that should be under my belt after one week, I’ve managed to only lock in 10. Yup, that’s right. Just 10 pages. Perhaps I jumped the gun and should have started a week from now when I’ll be more commitment-less or perhaps I shouldn’t be so confident in my ability to succeed. Except that neither of those things really matter.

Starting a week or two later really wouldn’t have changed anything – as the saying goes, there is never a good time. You can plan and put off, but eventually you just have to jump in or else you’ll never do it. So here I am, sinking fast, but still at least trying to go the distance. My real fault might lie in the fact that I can crush any work of fiction and, to a lesser extent, non-fiction. I assumed I’d be able to do the same with the dictionary. Clearly, I was wrong.

I’ll be honest. It’s pretty boring for most of the slog, but every once in awhile a word pops up that grabs my attention or piques my interest. Like the word acephalous. It means headless. And maybe that’s a little weird that that’s the word that caused me to pay attention. But, I mean, really – how bad ass would it be to write some haunting, Mary Shelley-esque sentence for a short story or a novel? “And an acephalous body crept past in the moonlight…”

Bad-assery aside, I’ve already learned a few things. Like how close the words accomplice and accomplish really are. They’re listed right after one another and sound suspiciously similar and yet seem to be at the opposite ends of the spectrum. But I suppose to the guy robbing a bank with his getaway driver accomplice, it’s still an accomplishment when they pull off the heist despite the illegality of it all.

All in all, I have a more sobering picture of what the next 6 months are going to be like and it’s just slightly terrifying. As terrifying as running into an acephalous man in a dark alley… Maybe? Maybe not. Either way, I’m being slaughtered out there so far with this challenge, but – as always – upward and onward.


Starting word: A                        Ending word: Acid House

Pages: 1-11                                 Total Pages: 10/1850

Ahead/Behind: -60 pages

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