Nov. 19 wordcount: 27,606Merriam Webster
word of the day: meshuggener
In the musicians corner, Stephen and Karl were attempting a duet. "You play like a meshuggener," Stephen exclaimed, showing Karl how the part went for the eleventh time. "A bit more control, please. We want people to dance, not whirl around like tops." Karl flexed his wrists and picked up the violin and bow to try again, peering over the polished wood of the instrument with a grin.
"Last time you said you wanted more spirit, that we wanted people to dance, not dissolve into their graves from boredom."
"Find a happy medium between the two is what I'm saying," groused Stephen, though he couldn't hide a grin of his own.
Nov. 20 wordcount: 29,742Merriam Webster
word of the day: nictitate
It's eyes, she realizes suddenly; enormous eyes, staring her down. When they nictitate, Klara feels her heart lurch again and her brain engages. So this is what the soldier's second dog looked like! Brave man to advance further when confronted with such a guardian.
Nov. 21 wordcount: 32,003Merriam Webster
word of the day: kafkaesque
Knit Cap startles. "What's that?" His companion yelps and drops the lantern. The gleam of the eyes winks out, but now it seems as if the night is stalking toward them. Both soldiers step back and Klara tires to pretend that she hasn't seen anything kafkaesque and that nothing untoward moves through the streets tonight.
Nov. 22 wordcount: 35,027Merriam Webster
word of the day: protocol
The clerk shrugged. "What can the king do?"
Klara drew herself up to her full height, astonished at the obduracy she'd already met. It wasn't that she expected the clerk to care about the fate of her family, but wasn't protocol supposed to get her farther than this? The clerk had no authority to decide what cases went before the king, only to schedule people according to their arrivals. "That's why I want to see him—to find out."
"I'm afraid he is very busy, miss."
Nov. 23 wordcount: 37,216Merriam Webster
word of the day: impute
When it came to Karl's turn, he couldn't resist showing off. He made a point of greeting the horse-it bared its teeth at him-and then vaulted into place. Squeezing with his knees, he commanded the horse to walk on.
Uncle Alaric held up a hand before he'd done more than turn a tight circle. "That will be enough."
Karl had felt his mount begin to respond, to be eager to take to the air. He sighed. Uncle Alaric was always taking the fun out of things. Not to impute motives that weren't there or anything, but it was harsh to deny the overworked flying horse its natural element, and Karl had been looking forward to being airborn again.
Nov. 24 wordcount: 37,552Merriam Webster
word of the day: riddle
Why hadn't anyone who could see what was happening been able to explain the situation to the king? It was a riddle for historians, not a former stableboy turned aerial messenger. But Karl had to think of something while he was flying from point A to point B