Sunday, November 8, 2015


I haven't started working on the novel yet today, but I checked out the word-of-the-day: frangible -- easily broken, breakable. As in, "All these glass plates we are donating are quite frangible. Should I put a label on the box?"

Why not just say fragile? The words are synonyms, but frangible has overtones of brittleness more than weakness. Fragile implies delicacy. The frangible plates in my example are quite sturdy in themselves, but they are glass and thus breakable. The spun glass seaweed in the photo is definitely fragile.

At any rate, today begins Week Two of National Novel Writing Month, and this week has the reputation of being the most challenging. Lots of high hopes become quite frangible when the enthusiasm of the first week wears off. The characters become recalcitrant, the quirks that made them endearing last week are only annoying now and the plot is leaking out in all directions, none too promising. It is easy to let the project slip.

The secret to getting through the week, in my experience, is to keep plugging, keep showing up at the keyboard and hitting the keys. If you know anyone in a Twelve Step program who has stayed with it for years and years, maintaining sobriety or a healthy weight or emotional stability for decades, and you ask them how they did it, odds are the answer would be "One day at a time."

One word at a time.


Ur-spo said...

You and I both get word of the day. It is delightful to read your thoughts on them; I have no one else with whom to process the word of the day whether it is a 'good word' or not worth remembering or interesting to try to get into our lexicons.

Frangible 'loses' for me as fragile is good enough.

Michael Dodd said...

I worked frangible into the story when the narrator smashed the neck of a bottle of Liberation Ale. (An India Pale Ale from Live Oak Brewery in Austin.) The word will not survive editing. It seems a bit effete, certainly for a character in Central Texas.