Word For The Day 6-15-2017


be·grut·ten \bi-ˈgrə-tən\
Popularity: Bottom 10% of words


Showing the effects of much weeping; marred or swollen in face through sore or continued weeping.


When, therefore, she came on deck and found her own handmaid with her pretty little face swelled, or, as she expressed it, “begrutten,” and heard her express a wish that she had never left home, she lost command of herself — a loss that she always found it easy to come by — and, seizing Bertha by the shoulder, ordered her down into the cabin instantly.
The Norsemen in the West

She stood bravely beside her father, whose face was as begrutten as hers was serene, and those who put her through her catechism found to my mind but a good heart and tolerance where they sought treachery and rank heresy.
John Splendid The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn

Why, your face is as much _begrutten_ as if you were a mere baby.
The Norsemen in the West


The word ‘begrutten’ comes from the prefix “be-” and the past participle of ‘greet’, “to weep”.


Word Of The Day 5-25-2017


thren·o·dy \ˈthre-nə-dē\
Popularity: Bottom 50% of word


A song of lamentation; a dirge; especially, a poem composed for the occasion of the funeral of some personage.


House of Exile is a bold, inventive and often haunting threnody for European letters in a terrible century.
House of Exile by Evelyn Juers – review

In fact, its tensions could have as much to do with the exquisite intensity of love — Barber didn’t intend it as a threnody — but Alsop and the orchestra did nothing to go against the prevailing view; it got a gentle, modulated performance from the orchestra’s rich strings.
In performance: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

“I Remember Clifford” is a jazz threnody written by Benny Golson in memory of the Clifford Brown, the influential jazz trumpeter who was killed in an automobile accident in 1956 at the age of 25.
Archive 2008-12-01

But my toaster doesn’t offer the tantalizing music of Pynchon’s voice, with its shifts from comic shtick to heartbroken threnody, its mordant Faulkneresque interludes, its gusts of lyric melancholy blown in by way of F. Scott Fitzgerald, its ecstatic perorations from Jack Kerouac.
November 2006

The widow, bloated with tears and surrounded by her would-be comforters, was indeed still spouting words between her bouts of weeping, and had no objection to continuing her threnody for the benefit of the sheriff, when he drove her companions away for a short while, to have the bereaved woman to himself.
The Rose Rent

Did You Know?

Threnody encompasses all genres. There are great threnodies in prose (such as the lines from Charles Dickens’ Bleak House upon the death of Little Jo: “Dead, your Majesty. Dead, my lords and gentlemen. Dead….”), in poetry (as in W. H. Auden’s “Funeral Blues”: “The stars are not wanted now: put out every one, / Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun….”), and in music (Giovanni Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater,” for one). Threnody, which we borrowed from the Greek word thrēnōidia (from thrēnos, the word for “dirge”), has survived in English since the early 1600s. Melody, tragedy, and comedy are related to threnody through the Greek root that forms their ending-aeidein, which means “to sing.”


The word ‘threnody’ comes from the Greek roots meaning ‘dirge, lament’ and ‘song’.


Sunday Photo Fiction 4-4-2017

Each week a photo is used, donated by one of the participants of Sunday Photo Fiction, and the idea is to write a story with the photo as a prompt in around 200 words.


© A Mixed Bag

He could just make out the roof of the house, the stark white of the barn, the lighthouse beyond. If he could see them, they could see them, but would they?

“Daddy?” Strawberry blonde curls tangling in the wind.

“Yes?” He looked down.

“When is Mommy coming back?”

God, it broke his heart. “Never, baby.”

She started to cry and he knelt, folding her into his arms.

“I’m not going to leave you, Baby. Never, never, ever.”

“Ever?” asked her tiny tear-filled voice.

“Never,” he promised, knowing he was lying, but lying had become his life. How else could he keep her safe, keep his promise?

He rose, holding her in his arms, walking back along the trail which led, eventually, to the house. Hopefully, a safe house, at least for the time.

What do you want for dinner?”


He laughed. “Then chocolate chip pancakes it is.”

“Stuffed full!”

“Stuffed full,” he replied, hiding his own tears.

“I love you, Daddy.”

A hesitation. A catch. “I love you, too, baby. I love you, too.”

He hoped, for today, that would be enough.



The challenge for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner will open early Wednesday morning, February 8th. Allow the prompt to take you anywhere you want to go! (Limit your stories to 200 words.)

This challenge is open until 11:00 pm Friday night, February 17th, 2017.



His fingers flowed across the guitar strings, coaxing forth music as deep and broken as his soul. He used to play for folks, in straggly bars and tucked-away clubs, pure guitar or mixed with other voices, but no longer. Now, he played alone, heard only by the trees and the animals and the night.

“Come back, we want to hear you play,” the people cried. They offered money, then more money. Prestige. Fame. And still he played alone. Still, they didn’t understand.

She’d died at midnight, the soft strum of the guitar the last sound she heard; the first he heard in this new life without her. Maybe, if he’d stayed home, held steady against the temptations, she might still be alive. Maybe, if he hadn’t come home too late.

Sometimes people change. Sometimes, things are never the same.

Friday Fictioneers 2-11-2017



The chair sat alone, awash on the thin line between water and shore. Most days, he’d sit in the chair for hours; not fishing, just watching. ‘Drinking in the peace,’ he’d told her once.

Once hadn’t been enough. She wanted him back. In the chair. Drinking in peace. Bringing her peace by being there. But he wasn’t; he wouldn’t be ever again.

Walking to the chair, she tossed skyward the contents of the small metal box in her hands. Watched the ashes scatter in the wind, wash away in the swift current.

Now, she was the one alone.

FFfAW Challenge – Week of November 29, 2016

Week of 11-29 through 12-05-2016


Thank you Louise, with The Storyteller’s Abode, for our photo prompt this week!

Read more here.

She read the letter with sinking stomach, trying not to believe the words true. Sunlight streamed in as if nothing had changed, but it had. Her tea grew cold. Tears quivered on her eyelashes and she wiped them away. She would not cry. Not now. Not ever.

It was such a silly thing to cry. Tears felt good in the moment, but after one was left with an ache in their eyes as well as in their heart.

Her eyes wandered, touching the possessions she’d gathered over the years. Nothing was of particular value: trinkets he’d brought for her from far away places; her mother’s old tea set; the chairs they bought when first married. He was good to her. Not that he didn’t tease, but he loved her.

“Jacob, Mr March will be coming home today. Please prepare the parlor for his return. And ask Cook to prepare food for the mourners.”