Another thing I forgot was to check last week for the close of Ad Hoc Fiction‘s “Switch” ebook, which included one of my stories. The anonymous contest voting typically lasts a week. I had figured posting a week and a half after the contest start would be safe. However, the period for that edition lasted two weeks. I took down the story when I noticed.
A version of my Ad Hoc story will post again to my blog this Saturday.
IWSG Prompt and Answer
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
When I was in elementary school, likely somewhere within third to fifth grades from what I remember, I sat in the parking lot of Walmart in the back seat of the car waiting for my mom to return from shopping.
She returned in a huff. My dad asked from the driver seat if she bought a pair of glasses.
“No. All of their glasses are atrocious.”
Dad was prone to arguing at anything my mom said. This time, he accepted her answer with a shrug.
Atrocious. I collected that word in my mind, holding onto it. Atrocious. I looked it over and felt its points. What a word. A new favorite in my vocabulary but special, a word that needed to be stored away from daily use. Atrocious.
The hundreds of the glasses in the store were all wrong for my mother. They were too ugly for her to show Dad. She’d looked in the mirror and saw conflict, the way, unknowingly at the time, I would through my teens for similar reasons.
The word sounded more mature than ugly and more intense than horrible. Other kids might not know it, but I could consider it as a tool for talking to adults. It had more power in uneven relationships that mundane, egocentric phrases such “not for me” or “I didn’t like them”. The value in the word avoided monetary cost, a topic that always seemed like a jab at a cancerous wound when mentioned.
Despite the appalling feelings associated with it, the word is also beautiful. I’ve wondered at the leading “a”, the “t” at the leader’s side like shelter, then the rowing to a delicious finish.
Atrocious. That word is as protective as a dagger flashed at predators who need reminders to respect others. Like any knife, it could be used as a weapon to harm someone, but I continue to marvel at it in my collection.
Like an ornate dagger, that’s a word better stored than needed.
The Insecure Writers’ Support Group aims to inspire writing and sharing. Writers are encouraged to express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who “have been through the fire” can offer advice. It’s set up to be a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.
See a full list of IWSG authors, click here.