Tuesday, March 31, 2020

SOL 20 Slice #31: The end?

I am participating in the
All participants are sharing stories about moments in their lives, writing 
 every day for the month of March 2020.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

It seems appropriate to end this Slice of Life Story Challenge of 2020 with a focus on my favorite book: Roget's International Thesaurus, Third Edition (1962). This was a gift from my father, when I went away to college - though, to clarify, is it called a gift when you have borrowed it for so long, that it just gets caught up in your belongings and no one is really the wiser? 

Dad showed me how the thesaurus worked when I was about ten years old...and perhaps that's why I fell in love with this book: it needed directions! You didn't just pick it up and start reading; no, you went right to the back, found the word you were thinking about, looked for its unique numeric code, and then flipped back to the front part of the book until you found that number in the sequence. Why would you do this? To find a whole other world of additional words that were similar in meaning...to find synonyms

It still strikes me as such a fanciful and whimsical idea for a book: think of a word, follow a trail to other words that are nearly the same, and get ready to go on numerous other tangents, along the way. 

I loved everything about this tome. As a young girl, my favorite feature was the fore edge [FYI - I just now looked up this term] of the pages...these had hollowed semicircle indentations, to make it easier to turn to the section you needed. I had never seen these on any other book. They seemed elegant, special, stylish, refined, sophisticated, ingenious - ah, you get the idea.
My writing nook, with Roget's.

I liked that Roget's had a special place on Dad's desk, right next to the dictionary. I like that he signed his name in the front of the book, in black marker. I like to think about my father writing, that he was fascinated enough about words that he bought himself a thesaurus. Wow. I have no memories of him writing for anything other than work (he was a naval officer), though, I remember he did enjoy writing letters to family. I liked that he had this book to expand his word choice; I thought that conveyed a certain respect for writing itself - to seek help and information, to make your writing better.

Even though I can look up synonyms on Google, I still enjoy looking them up in my Roget's. There is something very grounding about this.

There's something very grounding about this Slice of Life Challenge every March, and, particularly, this March, 2020. We have held each other up, we have shared our stories, and we have documented our personal history of this pandemic. I am so appreciative of this writing community, and I thought I'd let Roget's explain. The Slice of Life Story Challenge provided me with:

a very special place

Thank you, one and all, for your writing and your comments. You have made me a better writer! I hope we meet up again on Tuesdays, for weekly slicing.

My favorite page from Eric Carle's "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly" Said the Sloth; clearly Mr. Carle had a thesaurus!


  1. Oh - the first time I encountered a thesaurus as a child I thought it was the greatest thing ever. After I got over it sounding like some kind of dinosaur ... What a wonderful word bank you've amassed from the slicing community experience. I don't know why "oasis" and "solace" speak loudest to me but they do (could be different words tomorrow). And you're so right about this challenge being special, documenting our personal history of the first days of the pandemic. We came this far together; we will get through the remainder together. Fun and lighthearted note to end on, Carle's page. Yes had HAD to have used his Roget's!

    1. Thanks, Fran! I do love that Eric Carle book - and just made a video read-aloud for my preschoolers, virtual learning...I think it's what triggered the focus of this slice.

  2. I’m going to pretend you left the sloth poem for me. I love it and this celebration of words. I love thinking about how you think about your father and his gift of words to you. My father bought encyclopedias. I remember three different sets, all w/ different purpose. We are lucky to have these fathered who taught us to love words. My favorite part of this post is “It still strikes me as such a fanciful and whimsical idea for a book: think of a word, follow a trail to other words that are nearly the same, and get ready to go on numerous other tangents, along the way.”

    Thank you for being part of my writing community. I always look forward to the words you share.

    1. Back at you, Glenda! I always look forward to your comments. Truth be told, your sloth post reminded me of the Eric Carle book - and the next thing I knew, I was thinking of Dad and our thesaurus. Happy last day of the challenge! See you during April Poetry Month!

  3. Oh, wow! What a beautiful multi-tribute to your father, Roget, and the Slice of Life writing community. I loved reading this. Thank you. And thank you for helping me be part of this writing community, as well, with all your lovely comments on my posts. I will be back on Tuesdays in April. I hope I can keep it going. Thanks, Maureen.

    1. Thanks, Denise! So great to connect with you through this wonderful writing challenge.

  4. This is lovely, magnificent, sublime, glorious, great, wonderful, bodacious, fantastic, delightful, awesome, and a touching tribute to being yourself.