“Q” is for ten points

Today, I’m honored to host Crystal Thieringer, a wonderful writer I’ve gotten to know over the past year. Crystal has published several pieces in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Her first Young Adult novel is in development. I’ve had the pleasure to be one of her early readers and marvel at her ability to write the unseen. Her work often makes me gasp at its truth, its wonder, and its grace.

I highly recommend her blog Muse and Meander.

DSC_0188On any given day I have ten different Scrabble or Words With Friends games going. The games are all online, and I appreciate that because I play when I’m waiting in a doctor’s office, in the car or when we’re traveling. If I can’t find a word one moment, I move on to the next game.

More often that I should probably admit, my words are guesses. I play a lot of “wouldn’t it be nice if these letters arranged just so created a word?” I’m often delighted to find they are, though certainly not words I ever would have thought of on my own. Qoph comes to mind (the nineteenth letter in the Hebrew alphabet). Qanat, too (gently sloping underground for irrigation). Or Qiviut (musk ox wool)


I know, it’s not exactly the right way to play. The idea of the game is to be able to answer a challenge, to define the word if someone believes it doesn’t exist. As a result, I don’t enjoy the physical game as much as the virtual game. I even lack the patience to sit through one.

Sometimes I’m successful with a great play, and I’ve won more than a few games. I’ve also lost some in spectacular fashion. My friend Karly is able to come up with the craziest words (like Qindarka–the plural form of Qindar, an Albanian currency). I’m reasonably certain she would win every single challenge were I silly enough to make one.


My friend Shelley usually doubles my score too, creating plays like Qabalas (secret doctrines). Like Karly, Shelley reads voraciously and would likely trounce me in a challenge. Both ladies routinely beat my score by several hundred points. It’s humbling. It really is.

Perhaps that’s the secret. Read a lot, write a little, look things up, and most of all, remember the words your friends play against you.

Q-2015Many of my writing friends are participating in the A-Z blogging challenge this month. I could not, but in reading their posts, I kind of wish I had. Three of them invited me to take a day. This is the second one, for Tonia Hurst. Tonia’s blog, The Vast and Inscrutable Improbabilities of Life is an engaging read. Tonia’s passion is research, and you’ll be amazed at the things she discovers. Head on over and check it out!

5 Replies to ““Q” is for ten points”

  1. Crystal and Tonia,
    I love this post! Such artful examples and definitions! I used to play Scrabble in Spanish with my students. Nothing so engaging but we learned some new Spanish words and it was fun, away from the routine. 🙂

    1. I tried playing scrabble in French once, to learn new words, but there weren’t enough of the important letters to make it helpful. Tonia took all the pictures–couldn’t have done the post without her. Turns out, I don’t have a physical board anymore.

    1. They worked well for this post…but I don’t think I’ve ever remembered to use them in an actual game. Still, it’s nice to know you don’t always need a “u” after “q”

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