Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Weight of Words

I’m still fighting off the word lag associated with finishing up a novel in a short amount of time. It’s not an official diagnosis, but I consulted Dr. Google, and I’m pretty sure that’s what I have. It’s similar to jet lag, but rather than crossing time zones at a high rate of speed, you pass through worm and plot holes. Someone really needs to write a wiki page for that condition. Writers everywhere will thank you.

Lest you think the Ransom Series is doomed to perish in premature abandonment, here is a pic I snapped minutes after writing the final words to Rise of the Seer:

I know. It’s a little crazy, but the feeling of accomplishment temporarily nulls your senses as you bask in word counts and everything that isn’t touched by the ominous red squiggles of spellcheck. (300 pages=a plethora of squiggles.) Speaking of word counts, let’s talk about words for a moment. Behold, my glorious transition. Since childhood I’ve been familiar with the phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” (That paraphrase is from Tappy's Chicks: and Other Links Between Nature and Human Nature, by Mrs. George Cupples, 1872.) I say, poppycock to that whole notion. While I understand the idea is encouraging someone to let words roll off of you, rather than react in a physical altercation, I still don’t agree with the sentiment. 

Words have significant weight and value. They can make a day better or crush a heart. Words can draw people in and encourage them or they can wound viciously beyond repair. In short, what we say matters greatly. I’ve been thinking about that this week as articles have circulated about how people have lost jobs over what’s been said on social media or how some find popular literary works to be abusive and offensive. Whether they are spoken, written, signed, sung, painted or written across the sky, words are objects with remarkable substance and can stay with us forever. My hope is that there may be some word somewhere in my writing that would be a little breath of fresh air for you as a reader. I hope that there’s something in the world and characters I’m creating that will make you smile and give you a moment of happiness. Because I understand that the words we use to tell our stories, fictional or not, are each important and have the ability to impact the way we feel and respond to those around us.

Maybe today we can each choose to use our words to spread a little bit of beauty or happiness. I'll go first. Thank you, my fellow reader, for taking the time to read this post. I'm thankful for you and I truly hope that there is a moment in your day that puts a smile on your face. One final thought-*what happened when the bloodhound wrote his autobiography? It got on the best smeller list.

*I didn't make this up. To see more click here.

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