Chapters 31–45

Willow Chance is an offbeat genius whose life is thrown off course when her adoptive parents die in a tragic accident.

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definitions & notes only words
  1. dynamic
    characterized by action or forcefulness of personality
    I've tried to be invisible, but just my presence here has changed the dynamic of the situation.
  2. disposition
    your usual mood
    Her even disposition is one of her best qualities.
  3. churning
    (of a liquid) agitated vigorously; in a state of turbulence
    The unpredictable current and the vast, complex system of wildlife that resides beneath the churning water gave me hives.
  4. strew
    spread by scattering
    Comic books and magazines are strewn next to the bed, which doesn't have sheets or a mattress pad.
  5. nondescript
    lacking distinct or individual characteristics
    Pattie has picked out a red Formica table with four nondescript dining chairs, a stuffed lemon-colored sofa, and a leather lounger that swivels in a complete circle.
  6. defy
    It seemed obvious that they were going around the law, or at least defying some rule or regulation.
  7. detritus
    the remains of something that has been destroyed or finished
    By the time Dell and Quang-ha come up the stairs carrying the box of kitchen stuff, we have mopped the floor (which turns out to be shades of orange, not brown), cleaned the microwave and all of the counters, and filled eight trash bags with more detritus.
  8. scowl
    a facial expression of dislike or displeasure
    In a month, I've never seen Quang-ha happy, so his current scowl is just more of the same.
  9. shard
    a broken piece of a brittle artifact
    Green glass shards go flying and several pieces land on the clear plastic of the newly uncovered skylight.
  10. amber
    a hard yellowish to brownish translucent fossil resin
    He then positions a piece of amber glass on the surface.
  11. regain
    get or find back; recover the use of
    He was looking to regain control, and so he returned to the Dell Duke System of the Strange.
  12. prospective
    of or concerned with or related to the future
    She also told me that prospective parents always pick the blond kids first.
  13. sarcastic
    expressing or expressive of ridicule that wounds
    He hoped it sounded deeply sarcastic, but she answered: "Me too."
  14. insist
    be emphatic or resolute and refuse to budge
    The crazy Nguyen woman had insisted that he send an e-mail right away and then to his horror his laptop showed an immediate reply.
  15. mime
    an actor who communicates entirely by gesture
    Because Dell was so tired, he looked appealingly like someone who had been to mime school.
  16. migrate
    move periodically or seasonally
    Back home, when I used to sit in my garden, I liked to observe birds, and not just the green-rumped parrots but also the migrating species.
  17. fatigue
    temporary loss of strength and energy from hard work
    Dehydration is the cause of ninety percent of daytime fatigue.
  18. surveillance
    close observation of a person or group
    Since the accident, I feel next to nothing about everything, so it is possible that this surveillance will be beneficial to me from a psychological standpoint.
  19. insight
    a feeling of understanding
    I realize that this is a unique opportunity to get insight into both of these people.
  20. reflexive
    without volition or conscious control
    Their behavior appears completely reflexive and natural.
  21. dissolve
    pass into a solution
    I then add one cup of sugar, which easily dissolves because of the heat.
  22. competent
    properly or sufficiently qualified, capable, or efficient
    I know that Dell's not a very competent person.
  23. indigenous
    originating where it is found
    "Sunflowers are indigenous to the Americas. They came from Mexico."
  24. quiver
    shake with fast, tremulous movements
    Jairo tried his best to make his quivering mouth form some kind of grin.
  25. collective
    done by or characteristic of individuals acting together
    The crowd gave a collective groan, followed by laughter and chatter.
  26. optimize
    make optimal; get the most out of; use best
    When Pattie casually said that she wished she had room to add another manicurist, Willow made a floor plan of the nail salon that optimized the space, moving the front counter and three of the four manicure stations.
  27. incidence
    the relative frequency of occurrence of something
    The next day, when Willow handed her a detailed report on the incidence of infection from manicure and pedicure treatment, Pattie got angry.
  28. gruesome
    shockingly repellent; inspiring horror
    It was a gruesome nightmare in which her clients all keeled forward, face-first, onto the manicure desks.
  29. gist
    the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
    Her eyes glazed over when Willow spoke about new drug-resistant bacteria, but she got the gist of the whole thing.
  30. manifesto
    a public declaration of intentions
    Pattie put Willow's manifesto on the front window, and she adopted the girl's proposed new slogan:
  31. salvage
    collect discarded or refused material
    Technically it was an old computer, or at least a machine made from salvaged parts, but it was faster and more efficient than any other piece of equipment he'd ever owned.
  32. hygiene
    a condition promoting sanitary practices
    He'd raised the bar on his personal hygiene in a lot of areas.
  33. monitor
    keep an eye on; keep under surveillance
    I don't make a chart and monitor the percentage of germination, because I don't do that anymore.
  34. germinate
    sprout; produce buds or branches
    I put the drawing of the man with the germinating brain in my room on the wall where I can see it when I roll over.
  35. distillation
    purifying a liquid by boiling it and condensing its vapors
    I give him a single-page document with a distillation of what he should know for his upcoming test.
  36. implant
    fix or set securely or deeply
    After two blocks on the course, I get a pain in my left side that feels as if a knife has been implanted just below rib 7 (individual ribs do not have names, and are only referred to as one through twelve, left side, right side).
  37. pulmonary
    relating to or affecting the lungs
    I experience so many different health conditions—rapid heart rate, elevated blood pressure, dry mouth, pulmonary shock, muscle spasm—that it is impossible for me to even chronicle the degree of body breakdown.
  38. clarity
    the quality of being coherent and easily understood
    It is in this moment of clarity that I understand that I have never danced.
  39. exertion
    use of physical or mental energy; hard work
    I think that the effort put forward in matters of physical exertion is more important than the outcome.
  40. vigorous
    characterized by forceful and energetic action or activity
    I know that vigorous exercise changes brain chemistry.
Created on August 21, 2014 (updated September 4, 2018)

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