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.
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!