Cool news: my entry won the writing contest at Scribbit.
This made my day and almost made up for the fact that all week long I have been trying to work on various writing projects but have been thwarted at every turn by the realities of motherhood, teaching and housekeeping. I had to laugh as I read something today from Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. She is arguing that a writer needs a room that is quiet (even soundproof, can you imagine!) where she can be alone to work. She says, “a work of genius is almost always a feat of prodigious difficulty. Everything is against the likelihood that it will come from the writer’s mind whole and entire. Generally material circumstances are against it. Dogs will bark; people will interrupt [may I add toddlers will climb on your lap and poke you in the nostrils as you type] . . . If anything comes through in spite of all this, it is a miracle, and probably no book is born entire and uncrippled as it was conceived.” Ah, Virginia, I may not be writing a work of genius, but I can certainly vouch for the crippling interruptions.
I've decided I’m in love with the word thwart and will henceforth strive to use it as frequently as possible. Thwart, thwart, thwart. You just don’t get much closer to a vowel-deficient freak of language than that. It sits right under thwack in the dictionary and contains words that mean “a hard tumorous skin growth” and “open armed conflict or military hostility” within itself. It has a taste of the onomatopoeia to it—say it a few times fast and it sounds like you’re shooting darts out of your mouth or maybe imitating the sound of a boat oar knocking someone upside the head, both things you might try if you were attempting to obstruct or defeat a person’s plans, which is what the word means.
I feel thwarted lately and so I hereby declare this National Thwart Awareness Week. You are welcome to join me if you so desire. Please aim your darts responsibly.