The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

  • raja sahara

    raja sahara (100)

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    A CONTEST CENTERED AROUND OBSCURE WORDS
    “we write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
    ANAÏS NIN


    P R E M I S E
    I don't know if you guys have ever come across this website, but it's called The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, and it's full of obscure, random words that are unique and beautiful ways to describe feelings. So the basis of this contest is to pick a word below (or one from the website if nothing tickles your fancy) and write a one shot/short story about it.

    R U L E S
    • Follow all Mibba guidelines
    • Minimum 100 words; maximum 5 chapters
    • No prewrites
    • You can only choose one prompt, and you can change it once
    • Only two people per prompt
    • No incest, rape, or m-preg, please
    • Link the contest in your summary
    • Legible layouts if they're custom

    D E A D L I N E
    To submit: March 30, 2018 April 20, 2018
    Let me know if you need an extension

    B R O W N I E P O I N T S
    • Diversity (in all aspects)
    • Stunning layouts

    P R I Z E S
    • One custom layout (examples: x, x, x, x, x)
    • Two comments on the stories or poems of your choice
    • One ficmix for your entry
    • One custom signature (example: mine below Shifty)
    • Four recommendations (user, story, poem, blog, etc)
    • One custom drabble (FIRST PLACE ONLY)
    • A blog interview

    First place can choose three
    Second place can choose two
    Third place can choose one

    All entries will receive a comment and a recommendation

    O B S C U R E S O R R O W S
    • onism
    n. the frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time, which is like standing in front of the departures screen at an airport, flickering over with strange place names like other people’s passwords, each representing one more thing you’ll never get to see before you die—and all because, as the arrow on the map helpfully points out, you are here.

    • lachesism
    n. the desire to be struck by disaster—to survive a plane crash, to lose everything in a fire, to plunge over a waterfall—which would put a kink in the smooth arc of your life, and forge it into something hardened and flexible and sharp, not just a stiff prefabricated beam that barely covers the gap between one end of your life and the other.

    • exulansis
    n. the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it—whether through envy or pity or simple foreignness—which allows it to drift away from the rest of your life story, until the memory itself feels out of place, almost mythical, wandering restlessly in the fog, no longer even looking for a place to land.

    • altschmerz
    n. weariness with the same old issues that you’ve always had—the same boring flaws and anxieties you’ve been gnawing on for years, which leaves them soggy and tasteless and inert, with nothing interesting left to think about, nothing left to do but spit them out and wander off to the backyard, ready to dig up some fresher pain you might have buried long ago.

    • occhiolism
    n. the awareness of the smallness of your perspective, by which you couldn’t possibly draw any meaningful conclusions at all, about the world or the past or the complexities of culture, because although your life is an epic and unrepeatable anecdote, it still only has a sample size of one, and may end up being the control for a much wilder experiment happening in the next room.

    • ambedo
    n. a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details—raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—briefly soaking in the experience of being alive, an act that is done purely for its own sake.

    • nodus tollens
    n. the realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore—that although you thought you were following the arc of the story, you keep finding yourself immersed in passages you don’t understand, that don’t even seem to belong in the same genre—which requires you to go back and reread the chapters you had originally skimmed to get to the good parts, only to learn that all along you were supposed to choose your own adventure.

    • kairosclerosis
    n. the moment you realize that you’re currently happy—consciously trying to savor the feeling—which prompts your intellect to identify it, pick it apart and put it in context, where it will slowly dissolve until it’s little more than an aftertaste.

    • adronitis
    n. frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone—spending the first few weeks chatting in their psychological entryway, with each subsequent conversation like entering a different anteroom, each a little closer to the center of the house—wishing instead that you could start there and work your way out, exchanging your deepest secrets first, before easing into casualness, until you’ve built up enough mystery over the years to ask them where they’re from, and what they do for a living.

    • keyframe
    n. a moment that seemed innocuous at the time but ended up marking a diversion into a strange new era of your life—set in motion not by a series of jolting epiphanies but by tiny imperceptible differences between one ordinary day and the next, until entire years of your memory can be compressed into a handful of indelible images—which prevents you from rewinding the past, but allows you to move forward without endless buffering.

    • gnossienne
    n. a moment of awareness that someone you’ve known for years still has a private and mysterious inner life, and somewhere in the hallways of their personality is a door locked from the inside, a stairway leading to a wing of the house that you’ve never fully explored—an unfinished attic that will remain maddeningly unknowable to you, because ultimately neither of you has a map, or a master key, or any way of knowing exactly where you stand.

    • mimeomia
    n. the frustration of knowing how easily you fit into a stereotype, even if you never intended to, even if it’s unfair, even if everyone else feels the same way—each of us trick-or-treating for money and respect and attention, wearing a safe and predictable costume because we’re tired of answering the question, “What are you supposed to be?”

    • monachopsis
    n. the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as maladapted to your surroundings as a seal on a beach—lumbering, clumsy, easily distracted, huddled in the company of other misfits, unable to recognize the ambient roar of your intended habitat, in which you’d be fluidly, brilliantly, effortlessly at home.

    • énouement
    n. the bittersweetness of having arrived here in the future, where you can finally get the answers to how things turn out in the real world—who your baby sister would become, what your friends would end up doing, where your choices would lead you, exactly when you’d lose the people you took for granted—which is priceless intel that you instinctively want to share with anybody who hadn’t already made the journey, as if there was some part of you who had volunteered to stay behind, who was still stationed at a forgotten outpost somewhere in the past, still eagerly awaiting news from the front.

    • fitzcarraldo
    n. an image that somehow becomes lodged deep in your brain—maybe washed there by a dream, or smuggled inside a book, or planted during a casual conversation—which then grows into a wild and impractical vision that keeps scrambling back and forth in your head like a dog stuck in a car that’s about to arrive home, just itching for a chance to leap headlong into reality.

    • rubatosis
    n. the unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat, whose tenuous muscular throbbing feels less like a metronome than a nervous ditty your heart is tapping to itself, the kind that people compulsively hum or sing while walking in complete darkness, as if to casually remind the outside world, I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.

    • mauerbauertraurigkeit
    n. the inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like—as if all your social tastebuds suddenly went numb, leaving you unable to distinguish cheap politeness from the taste of genuine affection, unable to recognize its rich and ambiguous flavors, its long and delicate maturation, or the simple fact that each tasting is double-blind.

    • jouska
    n. a hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head—a crisp analysis, a cathartic dialogue, a devastating comeback—which serves as a kind of psychological batting cage where you can connect more deeply with people than in the small ball of everyday life, which is a frustratingly cautious game of change-up pitches, sacrifice bunts, and intentional walks.

    • anchorage
    n. the desire to hold on to time as it passes, like trying to keep your grip on a rock in the middle of a river, feeling the weight of the current against your chest while your elders float on downstream, calling over the roar of the rapids, “Just let go—it’s okay—let go.”

    • heartworm
    n. a relationship or friendship that you can’t get out of your head, which you thought had faded long ago but is still somehow alive and unfinished, like an abandoned campsite whose smoldering embers still have the power to start a forest fire.

    • degrassé
    adj. entranced and unsettled by the vastness of the universe, experienced in a jolt of recognition that the night sky is not just a wallpaper but a deeply foreign ocean whose currents are steadily carrying off all other castaways, who share our predicament but are already well out of earshot—worlds and stars who would’ve been lost entirely except for the scrap of light they were able to fling out into the dark, a message in a bottle that’s only just now washing up in the Earth’s atmosphere, an invitation to a party that already ended a million years ago.

    • antematter
    n. the dream versions of things in your life, which appear totally foreign but are still somehow yours—your anteschool, your antefriends, your antehome—all part of a parallel world whose gravitational pull raises your life’s emotional stakes, increasing the chances you’ll end up betting everything you have.

    • hanker sore
    adj. finding a person so attractive it actually kinda pisses you off.


    • lethobenthos
    n. the habit of forgetting how important someone is to you until you see them again in person, making you wish your day would begin with a “previously on” recap of your life’s various plot arcs, and end with “to be continued…” after those will-they-won’t-they cliffhanger episodes that air just before the show goes back into months of repeats.

    P A R T I C I P A N T S
    nearly witches. | lachesism | Cachaemic
    witch mercy | anchorage | entry
    floral and fading. | rubatosis | The Time of Your Life
    izuku midoriya | altschmerz | entry
    Godmother | hanker sore | entry
    SmilingScarlet | ambedo | Ambedo
    headspace | hanker sore | Hold Me Tight, or Don't
    electrovoid | gnossienne | entry
    springer dinger. | degrassé | entry
    Lover of Polka Dots | heartworm | entry
    January 19th, 2018 at 06:30pm
  • nearly witches.

    nearly witches. (15250)

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    I mean I shouldn't really be joining any other contests but fuckit, count me in with lachesism tehe
    January 19th, 2018 at 06:50pm
  • kaul hilo

    kaul hilo (100)

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    Can I enter with 'anchorage' please? tehe
    January 19th, 2018 at 06:53pm
  • raja sahara

    raja sahara (100)

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    @ nearly witches.
    @ witch mercy
    You've both been added! Cute
    January 19th, 2018 at 07:05pm
  • mikrokosmos.

    mikrokosmos. (100)

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    May I enter with rubatosis, please? Cute
    January 19th, 2018 at 07:52pm
  • izuku midoriya

    izuku midoriya (100)

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    Could I enter with 'altschmerz' please? Cute
    January 19th, 2018 at 09:14pm
  • raja sahara

    raja sahara (100)

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    @ floral and fading.
    @ izuku midoriya
    you've been added!! Cute
    January 19th, 2018 at 09:19pm
  • Godmother

    Godmother (100)

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    hanker sore please Smile
    January 19th, 2018 at 09:28pm
  • raja sahara

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    @ Godmother
    Added!
    January 20th, 2018 at 07:43pm
  • El Sol

    El Sol (105)

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    I’d like to enter with Ambedo please
    January 21st, 2018 at 01:29am
  • mikrokosmos.

    mikrokosmos. (100)

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    @ leopold fitz
    My entry In Love
    January 21st, 2018 at 07:27pm
  • raja sahara

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    @ SmilingScarlet
    added!

    @ floral and fading.
    Omg it looks awesome! Cute
    January 21st, 2018 at 11:54pm
  • headspace

    headspace (100)

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    Could I enter with hanker sore?
    January 22nd, 2018 at 12:01am
  • raja sahara

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    @ headspace
    You've been added!
    January 22nd, 2018 at 12:22am
  • headspace

    headspace (100)

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    My entry Cute
    January 22nd, 2018 at 06:56am
  • El Sol

    El Sol (105)

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    click to edit
    January 22nd, 2018 at 09:28am
  • nearly witches.

    nearly witches. (15250)

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    This is my entry! Cute
    January 22nd, 2018 at 04:37pm
  • raja sahara

    raja sahara (100)

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    @ headspace
    @ nearly witches.
    THESE LOOK SO GOOD Cheese
    January 22nd, 2018 at 05:59pm
  • electrovoid

    electrovoid (100)

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    May I enter with 'gnossienne,' please?
    January 22nd, 2018 at 10:04pm
  • raja sahara

    raja sahara (100)

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    @ electrovoid
    You've been added!!
    January 22nd, 2018 at 10:26pm