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Posts Tagged ‘words’

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Man, nursery rhymes are messed up.

Words can hurt, but they can also make us incredibly happy…euphoric in fact, when chosen wisely, used correctly and placed strategically.

But what if we only had a thousand? A thousand words to get to our point, a thousand words to evoke and enthrall, a thousand words to sell our very being, or a thousand words to make them believe?

We’d choose wisely, that’s what.

Write, write, write. The more letters littering the page the better is what a lot of us start out thinking and sometimes, it feels good to watch that word count rising. We feel like we’re getting somewhere, hitting a target…reaching a goal. But sometimes, we lose sight of what our goal was in the first place, or rather what it should have been. Was it to hit two hundred thousand words or to write with a flow and fervor of unquestionable quality?

One is not the same as the other.

I watched “A Thousand Words” a couple of weeks ago. My kids chose it and convinced me to sit and watch with them. I was cleaning up from one trip and packing for another, so I was reluctant and realizing it wasn’t the drama I wanted it to be after seeing Eddie Murphy’s face, I complained even further. (It seems I’m not a huge fan of silly when I have serious business to take care of)

But I soon quieted. It appeared Mr. Murphy was to play a literary agent and that’s all it took to draw me in. For me, the movie could’ve been about nothing else and I may have even secretly wished it were. As it turned out, there was a moral to the story.

He portrayed a fast and fancy agent that didn’t read. He was able of course, but simply chose not to. He went after big clients with the “it” factor; clients that would bring in mega money using a whole bunch of words saying a whole bunch of nothing. You know…the Hiltons and Kardashians of the world. (You can throw stones now)

Eddie’s career is put on hold when he is given a symbolic hourglass of time left on earth. How fast the sand falls is up to him; each word a grain and there are only, you guessed it, a thousand of them.

It takes him a while, but in the end, he learns to think before speaking, pick wisely…choose meaning.

It made me think of times when all I wanted to do was fill an entire notebook with scrawl; the more the merrier. Heck, I probably even dreamed of filling two notebooks. That was my goal – quality far from the forefront of my thoughts.

So, whether it takes a fast-draining hourglass, a leaf-losing tree or a badly reviewed movie starring Eddie Murphy, I’m grateful I have persuasive kids to make me to sit down and learn that sometimes silly can be real serious.

Word.

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I like punctuation…I love words. And, I take great pleasure pushing the limits in the ways that I use them. And although I have an aversion to puzzles, I enjoy writing immensely, undeterred by the fact that puzzling is exactly what I’m doing while assembling sentences.

Now, I’ve heard that to twist the literary rules, you should first be proficient in applying them. While I’m sure there’s truth to that, I bend that rule, because I don’t claim to be, in any way, an authority on the ins and outs of all things scribal. I go by instinct. If I think it sounds engaging, it goes to print, be it technically tight or not. After all, that’s the beauty of a blog, right? I’m in control of my publish button; unauthorized, reckless reading material unleashed…moonstruck, mad as a hatter muddles.

My endeavor begins with throwing the pieces on the floor. Some are bright, some muted, some are hefty, others are stunted, but one thing is consistent; there are always too many and I’m never sure they all belong in the same box. So, on the floor they go. I stare at them for a while, upset with the mess I’ve made. Disappointed with all the extra work I’ve given myself. All the sorting I will have to do.

You’d laugh if you could skim my first draft. Thank goodness you can’t. It reads like a child’s misguided decoupage.

But, I’m determined. I throw back the curtains, crack the window, and hunker down. The carpet is soft and it’s beginning to warm in patches where the sun is stretching out. I get comfy, don the glasses and get out the “goo-be-gone.”

I’ve been told it’s best to start with the corners of a puzzle as the frame is what pulls and holds everything together. So bit-by-bit, I fuse the bones and eventually master a skeleton, casting fragments and clinkers to the side, discarding unnecessary ulnas and tibias.

I try to extricate the pieces that have zing and zeal and descriptions that are born behind the barn. I mean really, how does born behind the barn work here? I don’t know, but it has arrived from that mystical place that sometimes blesses me and I’m using it.

I’ve always been a crafty girl. Back in the day, we’d eat off our laps as clearing the dining table of paper snippets, glue, scissors and stencils proved too exhaustive. As I mention in my bio, I’ve since traded the crayons and scrapbooks for a laptop and a disparate strain of creativity. It’s much less messy and our obliging dining room table was begging to see the light of day.

Everything about writing is enchanting and mysterious for me. It’s a license to whip up worlds and doctor domains. I don’t need schwag to partake, I use limited tools and I can jot with unbridled abandon. I don’t have to wear uncomfortable shoes or drive a fancy car. I don’t need to be an Olympic athlete or live on the coastline in the South of Wales. (although that would be nice)  I can live all that through my fingertips and I’m oh so thankful. It’s a spellbinding thing.

Now…how my focus ricocheted from a puzzle, to decoupage, to a skeleton and eventually resulted in a fleshy body remains unexplained to me and, I honestly hope no one ever divulges the trick. It would spoil the show.

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