Pandemic Wordle #271


© James Pyles

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Ben found himself wistful in recalling the green and growing Spring, the triumph of life in its myriad expressions. The world had been a lively place back then, marked by the paint of the Sun’s light upon the world.

But life eventually will falter and bend under the forces of time and circumstance. As much as he wanted to lift above the sorrows, he sank back down in his nakedness. The icy hiemal that was now existence ruled everything. He doubted he would see another Spring, even when the season actually arrived.

Commanded by the powers to live in perpetual fear of everything that was really nothing, he could ignore it or decide to leave. The leaders said everyone who did not obey would die anyway, so why did it matter if it happened their way or his?

Don’t worry, I feel fine, but as I started to write the wordle, my thoughts drifted across the sense of hopelessness the “official” response to the COVID 19 crisis imparts on so many people.

This wordle, hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie requires that the following list of words be used to manufacture a poem, short story, or some other creative work. The words are listed in my story in bold and are:

Wistful- pensive, especially in a melancholy way
Myriad- a very great or indefinitely great number of persons or things: ten thousand
Hiemal- of or relating to winter; wintry.

Speaking of winter, my first self-published novella Ice finally got its first review on Amazon, while my first ever novella Time’s Abyss is up to three. Not much, I know, but that’s life as an indie writer.

To read other works inspired by the Wordle, click on Mister Linky.

2 thoughts on “Pandemic Wordle #271

  1. It’s pleasant to see you limbering-up your creative capacities with a bit of exercise. Many of our skills tend to “rust” somewhat during the winter period when our activity level declines from constraints of cold and inclement weather. You’ve touched on another sort of artificial constraint that can produce a similar disuse.

    Whoever designed this particular exercise obviously wished to emphasize a most unfamiliar word for “wintry”. There is a database of word usage that might offer examples of the word’s prior invocations and a better sense of its connotations and imagery, which I have not yet consulted. The notion of “wintry” may conjure different images for different climates; and the Latinate origins of “heimal”, along with its Greek cognate relating to snow, may be a guide to what aspects of winter the word should invoke.

    Not everyone experiences a snowy winter. For some, it is a time of monsoons. For others, merely a pause between growing seasons. In the southern hemisphere, it is the reverse of the northern hemisphere, hence summer and winter may be applied to diametrically opposed weather and climate conditions. Or maybe the words carry their traditional northern-hemisphere meanings but at different times of the year. So one may consider whether “wintry” or “heimal” should evoke a calendar period or a climatic condition, a time period or a feeling. Should it be perceived as a physical or a metaphorical reference; and which should have priority?

    These are the considerations which writers should entertain as they seek to express some aspect of a story and its setting — though, admittedly, a brief exercise like the above may not be expected to receive a comprehensive treatment. On the other hand, it could be argued that a short story might be even more demanding than a novel, because it lacks the space in which to develop the imagery of its setting — thus it is more dependent on the words themselves to carry that purpose.

    I had a rather odd experience encountering this word “heimal” which was entirely unfamiliar. I falsely perceived in it the Nordic root “heim”, a “home” or a center of authority. Hence the impression upon me was one of cocooning, wrapped for warmth against the cold of the winter that the context suggested and enclosed in a protective space. Curiously, that misperception wasn’t entirely inaccurate, though linguistically wrong. It wasn’t based on the word and its origins that actually determined its meaning. This sort of confusion is also something a writer should consider when selecting an unfamiliar word for its actual connotations which make it the most suitable term to express a particular flavor or viewpoint. But I suppose I’ve done more than enough of this sort of musing for the nonce.


    • As usual, I didn’t put that much thought into it. I just accepted the basic definition of the word after giving it a ten second Google search and then rolled with it. As far as practice, a few hours ago, I submitted a SciFi/Space Opera short story to an open submission, so I have been staying creative. 😉


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