Posts Tagged ‘blog challenge’

Words Matter Week 2011 Day 5: Most Captivating Writer

Moth or butterflyWords, like moths, are captured by writers who pin them to the page in various forms. What writer’s work most deftly captivates you? Why?

Difficult, difficult choice. However, I think I’ll go with Emily Dickinson, whose poetry captivated me from the very first encounter. Here are a few favorites:

I’m Nobody

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us?
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!
How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!
Much Madness is divinest Sense
Much Madness is divinest Sense —
To a discerning Eye —
Much Sense — the starkest Madness —
’Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail —
Assent — and you are sane —
Demur — you’re straightway dangerous —
And handled with a Chain —
“Hope” is the thing with feathers
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.
The Bustle in a House
The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted opon Earth –
The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity –

Words Matter Week 2011 Day 4: Mangled Words

Philichart elephantWords can be mangled, misused, or misunderstood. What is your funniest example of mangling, misuse, or misunderstanding?

Here’s a story that reaches far back into my childhood. I had a soft blue elephant toy, and his name was Philichart. One day my mother asked what “Philichart” meant.

“It’s from that song. You know, ‘Revive us again, philichart with thy love . . .'”

She wasn’t usually the hysterical type, so I was surprised when she laughed and laughed and laughed until tears ran.

“It’s not philichart,” she finally explained. “It’s ‘fill each heart.'”

Fill each heart or philichart, I still loved my little blue elephant.

Words Matter Week Day 2: Most Important Document in History

An illuminated text Words can change history. What speech or document do you believe to be most important? Why?

Since I’m writing a bit late on these prompts, I have the advantage of seeing what others have chosen. Many moving examples have been suggested, and most are or have been the “most important” speech or document of their age.

In choosing the one I believe to be most important, though, I think I will have to side with Hollee at HolleeDaze Ink who chose the Sermon on the Mount. It’s a concise outline of what Christianity looks like when practiced from the inside out, rather than from the outside in as the Pharisees had been doing.

Better Late Than Never: Words Matter Week Challenge Day 1

Yes or no: simple words that can change your life.The question: Is there a word that has changed, or could change your life? What is it, and what difference would it make?

A single word? What kind of question is that? Our lives are changed daily by words, and to choose one over the other seems nearly impossible. Therefore I’ll just share two simple, but potentially life-changing words.

Yes.” Whether it’s a response to “Will you marry me?,” “Did you turn off the bath water?,”  “Would you like to accept this position?,” “Are we expecting?,”  “Will you drive the get-away car?,” or “Do you love me?,” this simple word can change life in an instant.

No.” Generally meaning the opposite of “yes,” “no” packs an even more powerful punch to any of the questions posed above. If followed by the qualifier “but,” its power may be diluted.

There are many other potentially powerful words– love, freedom, truth, justice, and more, but taken alone, few hold the dynamite of a simple yes or no.

Words Matter Week Blog Challenge: Writers That Make My Heart Sing

Wednesday’s blog challenge question for Words Matter Week is:

Writers are people who take isolated words and craft them into memorable phrases, stories, poems and plays. Who are the writers who make your heart sing? What is the magic ingredient?

Different writers appeal to me at different times, and the magic ingredients can be found in different proportions in most of my favorites.

Here are the magic ingredients for me:

  • A sense of possibility
  • A big idea
  • Humor
  • A worldview that I can believe in
  • A wonderful setting (usually foreign)
  • Something unexpected

Writers who make my heart sing:

I love C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien anytime, all the time.

Other authors who’ve had the magic touch at some point in my life (and usually still do– I tend to remain loyal):

  • Madeleine L’Engle (Crosswicks Journals, as well as her middle-grade fiction)
  • Rosemary Sutcliff (Dawn Wind)
  • Edith Wharton
  • Dorothy Gilman
  • E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • Mary Stewart
  • Edward Ormondroyd (David and the Phoenix)
  • Frances Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun)
  • L. Frank Baum
  • William Butler Yeats
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea; Journals)
  • Laurie Colwin (Home Cooking)
  • Annie Fellows Johnston (Little Colonel books; Mary Ware)
  • Clair Blank (Beverly Gray series)
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Isak Dinesen

Of course, there’s always a flip side– things you couldn’t pay me to read. I won’t read anything in which an animal is harmed, and I am dismally bored by whiners, navel-gazers, chronically-depressed characters, and insecure people in unhealthy relationships. I confess to a completely low-brow desire to spend my reading time with characters, ideas, and settings I find interesting. Life’s too short to tolerate bores!

You can visit the Words Matter Week website and blog to find more posts from the blog challenge. They’ve been a lot of fun to read.