Day 1 – A is for Abature


Well, well, well…looks like April is upon us already. A promise of spring and all things new. And the looming shadows of my two giant writing projects: 50k words for Camp Nano, and the A-Z Blogging Challenge.

Still, I remain undaunted completely frozen in fear. You would think I would be better prepared, having done NaNoWriMo MULTIPLE TIMES and such…but no, I have been all but running away from my keyboard today. I sat down at 7am this morning and got myself all prepped to write…And here it it, nearly 11:30am, and I’m finally putting words on the screen.
But I’m putting all that fear behind me now, because there’s no use in learning from your failures if you don’t take the risk to fail at all. And basically, I can’t fail with these projects as long as I’m willing to just sit down and write. No one’s judging me on quality here, right? Right?

So bear with me through this month. I’ll do my best to at least keep it real. Without further ado…

Day 1 – A is for Abature

I was going to do something entirely different today. I had lists, story notes, research, help from family and friends, a near-complete topic list…That I promptly decided to scrap literally a minute ago. It just didn’t feel right, whatever that means.

My original topic was going to be all fantasy themed: armor, dragons, classes, etc. But I really didn’t have anything new to say about the topics, other than “Hey, unicorns are pretty cool! Let’s all be wizards, okay?” And for the topics I did have something to say about, it was a much longer article than I wanted. On the A to Z Challenge website, they say to keep your posts short, so that other people can read them quickly and have more time to read more blogs. (It’s really a big social event excuse, now that I think about it.) So writing an essay paper on the function of historical armor versus fantasy flair clothing would not really fall into that category. And so, on a great big ol’ whim, I decided to change my topic.

Plus, I wasn’t sure you lovely peeps want to read a whole month of fantasy nonsense. Sure, I like fantasy and I love to write it, but that doesn’t mean I want to read it everyday…actually, no, wait, I do, but I don’t have a fantasy-themed blog, so it would be unfair to submit all the rest of you to that particular brand of torture. You’re welcome, I think.

So the Official New Theme for the A-Z Blogging Challenge will be: Random Words. Yes, I will be picking a random word for each day, hopefully an obscure one so we can all learn something together. I am literally just going to a big list of words and picking one out of the ether, so hopefully it will stay a bit more interesting for both me AND you.

Today’s word: Abature

Noun: (usually plural only) Grass and sprigs beaten or trampled down by a stag passing through them. [Late 16th century.]

I lived in rural Indiana growing up, and hell if I didn’t go down my fair share of abatures. We merely called them deer trails, little paths carved by hooves that always threatened to get you hopelessly lost. My father passed on his love of trail hikes to me, and one of the most infuriating things was thinking you were going the right way on a trail only to end up looped a half mile back and losing the trail in the middle of nowhere. Seriously, deer infrastructure sucks. (Getting into nettles was a serious tie for second most infuriating thing. Tied with ticks. Nature is beautifully gross.)
Now I don’t know if abatures have to only be caused by a stag, or can be caused by any deer, or really what a stag is even (apparently just a really big buck), but I hope I can still call them abatures anyway.

Since this year’s Camp Nano theme is all about cultivating a “Creativity Garden,” I’d like to imagine mine as a hidden forest grotto sort of thing, and the only way to get to it is by running through the Endless Abatures, and you have to backtrack at least three times or else it just doesn’t even show up when you get there.

Bonus points if you get stuck in a deer gridlock on the way.

Happy trails for the weekend, everyone!


(A smallish disclaimer: there is a possibility that I am completely misconstruing this word and it just means the ACTUAL grass and whatev’s that the stags step on and not a path, and if so, just pat me on the head and say “yes, dear, whatever you say.” I won’t be offended.)



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