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Free Rice: The ultimate time waster for readers and authors...

Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy, sent me this link a while agofreericelogo.gif. It’s a word game that will likely cause you to lose track of time and all else. Don’t say I didn’t warn you and don’t come back to complain. I do want to thank my historical authors for introducing me to certain terms that came in handy for the “free rice” challenge. Seriously, before my regency reading days, I am sure “fop” would not be a ready part of my vocabulary. Nor “benighted” or “mendicancy” or “grippe” or “forsooth.” And for those erotic romance authors, “concupiscence” is not a word used in everyday vocabulary, although I think we should make it so.

But while you may have led me up to level 46, you haven’t gotten me past it so my thanks are tempered with curses as well. Perhaps if you authors would incorporate “fauteuil” and “wight” and “pibroch”, I would have done better.

As it was, it took me several days, hours, minutes of valuable time away from reading this weekend to reach level 49. I don’t think I am going to try anymore. I am satisfied with this level. Srsly.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Robin
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 11:35:18

    I also can’t get past level 49, and I think I’ve only donated like two pounds of rice, but I know I’ll keep trying until I reach 50.

    This is why I don’t do computer games.

  2. Jane
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 11:39:53

    Since I’ve been knocked down to level 42, I think I’m done.

  3. MeriBeth
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 11:50:27

    You got higher then I did, Jane. I only made it to level 42. My husband showed it to me and drove me crazy with it.

  4. Jane
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 11:52:23

    MeriBeth – I think part of the reason that I have gotten higher is because I’ve begun memorizing the words I’ve gotten wrong. There are only so many that are in the database and overtime, if you play enough, you just start to remember the ones you’ve gotten wrong.

    This “game” has shown me two things: first, there are alot of words that I assumed incorrectly I knew and two, there are alot of words out there I don’t know.

  5. azteclady
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 11:59:01

    *happy dancing* 48!!!! *ahem*

    Not terribly bad for a first try *grin*

    And “I’ll be back!”

  6. Jill Myles
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 12:00:42

    Lord, I must be the stupid one of the group. It took me quite a bit of finagling to hit 43. ;)

  7. Janine
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 12:41:33

    Well, I got up to level 47 in 2380 grains of rice, but it’s become apparent that getting any higher will take a lot more playing and I don’t have the time for it right now. I’ll come back to it eventually, though.

  8. sherry thomas
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 12:41:56

    Fauteuil is sofa in French (or so I think). Does it mean the same in English?

  9. Robin
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 12:49:48

    I think there are two keys to the game. First, as Jane said, it’s learning from your mistakes. But also it’s about looking at the word to be defined and trying to pick out any kind of root or prefix or suffix that you know and choosing the definition word that echoes it. If you know or are familiar with a foreign language that helps, too. The higher I get, though, the more guessing I do, especially with the really short words.

  10. vanessa jaye
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 12:59:53

    I made it to level 42 too, the first time, before I had to quit. The second time I played on my lunch-break at work and maxed out at 41 (got knocked by to 39). The third time I tried to play it at work, I.T. had blocked the site. lol. I guess I wasn’t the only one at the office playing. heheh. Talk about addictive. Robin has the right of it, the higher I got, the more guessing was involved.

  11. Leslie Dicken
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 13:21:16

    I’ve been playing there for a few weeks. I’ve not gotten past 41. And I’ll admit to making some “educated” guesses now and then. It can definitely be addicting to play!

  12. Taekduu
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 13:23:20

    I knew those SAT words would come in handy one day!! Along with the romances, random forays into latin and russian. This is fun. and uhm, I hit 50.

  13. Robin
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 13:55:03

    If anyone who’s playing doesn’t know this already, you can set the game to resume at your last level every time you come back to it (do this in the options section). Also, if you’re at a level, and you don’t like the word choice you have, you can click away and come back and it will still be at your level but will give you a new word to start with. Also, I only play for less than five minutes at at a time because otherwise my brain gets fatigued (I have like the world’s shortest attention span and zero intellectual stamina) and I start making dumb mistakes.

  14. Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 14:26:12

    Ack, you’ve been secretly practicing this whole time! I’ve been sneaking in games here and there at work, but it looks like I’ll have to get serious and up my vocab level!

    Can you do a post on “Romance Books Most Likely to Increase Your Vocabulary Level?” :)

  15. Jane
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 14:30:18

    Sara – I actually thought about the fact that generally, I learn more new words from historicals and then paranormals and lastly contemporaries.

    I don’t know alot of contemporaries that are well known for their use of language.

  16. Jackie L.
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 15:13:01

    Sherry, fauteuil is armchair in French, very close. They have a lot of medical terms too which helps. Still can’t make it past 49, however!

  17. Bob R
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 15:21:13

    Thanks Jane. Very addictive! Just tried once briefly, but got stuck at 42 max. You guys must be amazing at 49 or higher! But it’s fun because they have a way of making it so that guesses turn out well most of the time, so it makes me feel smarter than I am! ;-)

  18. LinM
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 16:15:36

    Fortunately, the site has too many connections and I can’t continue. Definitely addictive. Did anyone pay any attention to the advertisers who are underwriting the rice donations? My maximum screen resolution is 800×600 and the ads are out of the visible area. I was trying to see the ads when I lost my connectivity – just curious about the sponsors.

  19. Meriam
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 17:21:52

    Over an hour later… and I couldn’t get past 47. Damnit. And I have a headache, And my eyes are crossed.

  20. ilona andrews
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 18:43:19

    Hee, played for 15 minutes, got stuck at 42 :)

  21. Keishon
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 19:24:07

    Very addictive. My family and I played for about 30 minutes and I had to go. I only got up to level 39 but I’ll continue to play – later. This was fun. I love word games.

  22. Kay Webb Harrison
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 20:01:05

    ADDICTIVE is the word. I adore word games. I made it to 50. Does it go higher? There are also words from non-European languages. I know Spanish and can guess some French and Latin, but the Greek trips me up. Sometimes when you know a little about a lot of things, you can make lots of errors.

    As someone pointed out, one of the ways to increas your score is to learn as you go along. However, if you spend too long at one sitting, you start to make mistakes.

    Thanks for the link.


  23. Ann Bruce
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 23:33:20

    Okay, I hit 50 and stopped because I need sleep or my brain won’t be at the full 10% for my presentation tomorrow.

  24. KristinaCook
    Dec 04, 2007 @ 14:51:34

    Oh, man, is this EVER addicting…up to level 45 and still going…..

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