Floating in the flow of Word River

I watched the Next Iron Chef last night. I am jazzed by competition . . . with myself. It’s the reason my hobbies are cooking, painting and golf. The exhilaration comes when I’ve outshined my previous best.

It goes without saying, my competitive spirit applies to writing, too. I can see the big picture of a story, and I’m good at breaking it down into connecting pieces before I put words on any page. I’m task oriented. That comes from my Six Sigma background . . . Well, okay, I was born a little OCD. That, and all the tests I took while serving my time in corporate America labeled me an Expressive Driver.

So last night while watching the Next Iron Chef, I also played ‘How Strong is Your Vocabulary?’ on the Merriam-Webster website: http://www.merriam-webster.com.
While Chef Zakarian battled seafood, I battled words. Make sense, right? He’s a chef working with food. I’m a writer working with words…

I recommend the test. It takes less than 100 seconds or a minute and forty seconds or less than two minutes. You select which description kicks you into competitive mode. When you click on ‘Take the Quiz’, you are advised that you will get 10 seconds per word to select the perfect definition. There are ten words that make up the quiz and your score is based on the level of difficulty of the word and how quickly you select the right answer. Rather competitive, right? I thought so, too.

Each word is ranked: Easier, Medium, Harder, Hardest.
To here’s the list I zoomed through.

Correct Answers:
1. Ornery: Irritable (Medium)
2. Prowess: Ability (Easier)
3. Hierophant: Supporter (Hardest)
4. Immanent: Inherent (Harder)
5. Orthodox: Conventional (Medium)
6. Raucous: Rowdy (Easier)
7. Impasse: Deadlock (Harder)
8. Quaint: Old-fashioned (Easier)
9. Imbibe: Drink (Harder)
10. Palpable: Noticeable (Medium)

The average score for this list of words is 2470. My score was 3700. I think someone else could score better, if they are quick about it.

And exactly how does this competition relate to *floating* in the flow of Word River? For me, they are the antithesis of each other.

In the battle of intense competition, my creativity doesn’t flow. It’s shut down. My reptilian brain is on! I have to quiet the beast. How do I get to Word River? Meditation and showers help, along with a few chocolate chip cookies. (Being a southern girl, I prefer pecans to walnuts in my sweets.)

As I stood in the shower after watching last night’s show, warm water sluiced over me. I thought about the humor short story I’m working on, seeking the perfect, succinct words, because after all, it’s a short story and word count is half the battle. Under the flow of the water, letting my mind float, the words came effortlessly, poured like rich dark chocolate flowing over the moistest almond-flavored sponge cake. (Can you tell I love writing and food?)

There is a flowing river waiting for you to fish out your best words. And you can land the perfect ones for your writing when you’re floating in on Word River.

Confession time. I took the test several times to get all ten answers correct.

Take the vocabulary test and let me know if you had fun!


About Linda Joyce

Writing is a curious journey. You don't pick it, it picks you. See my website at www.Linda-Joyce.com to learn more about me.
This entry was posted in Authentic Living, Creativity, Uncategorized, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Floating in the flow of Word River

  1. Oh, how I detest those vocabulary tests. I truly need to improve my vocabulary. I sound like an 8th grader when I speak. My written vocabulary is a bit better, but not by much! You always have the right word for the situation. I’ve always been impressed by your skill to do just that!

    • Linda Joyce says:


      Thank you for your kind words!
      Today, when researching “traditions” I learned several words I have never seen before. I’ll be sitting with a dictionary later today.
      ~Linda Joyce

  2. Linda Apple says:

    After a couple of tries I got up to 3020! I’m stopping there while I’m ahead of the curve! 😉 BTW who won Iron Chef last night, I fell asleep.

    Love your posts.

    • Linda Joyce says:

      If you go to the Merrim-Webster home page, there’s another quiz- they show a picture and you have to give it the correct name. 15 seconds for each picture. I didn’t fair as well with that one.
      Next Iron Chef is down to 2: Chefs Zakarian and Falkner will face off in one final test: an epic battle in Kitchen Stadium- next Sunday night. ~ Linda Joyce

  3. Jan Morrill says:

    Fun game. I scored 3060, but in my competition with myself, I’m sure I’ll return to better myself. Thanks for a fun post, Linda!

    • Linda Joyce says:


      If you go to the home page, there’s another quiz you can take. They show you pictures and you have to guess what the word is…like parts of a guitar or a fountain pen or food or even ladies underwear. Glad you enjoyed the challenge! ~ Linda Joyce

  4. Karen La Rue says:

    Hi Linda—that was fun!
    I took it like 6 times in a row—
    I don’t remember my high score—
    but I averaged about 2600…
    there were 3-6 words that I had NEVER
    even seen before….I’m kind of curious
    about how they do the scoring…
    missed word vs. speed
    should one try to guess or just move on?

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Hi! Karen!
      It isn’t about the score, it’s about taking the challenge and having fun, which you clearly did. I think guessing is good. You can’t get the next word to pop up until you answer the question before you. I did it quite a few times and sometimes I guessed wrong, sometimes right. I made a list of the words I didn’t know. And, I might add, I think a few of their definitions are rather suspect. ~ Linda Joyce

  5. Wow, thanks for this post. You seem to be quite the expert in this category. I’ll stop by more often.

    • Linda Joyce says:


      Did you try to vocabulary test? I’m not an expert by any means. I consider myself a student of words. I love putting them together to make sentences that others read and have a positive response.

      Stop by as often as you are able.

      ~Linda Joyce

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