Words—September 2, 2011
WORDS! Tools made up of squiggly little figures which are used to communicate. Billions of words can be found between the covers of millions of books.
Writers have the ability to treat our imaginations to mental holidays or introduce us to interesting characters. Beth Hoffman introduces an elderly aunt in Saving CeeCee Hunicutt with the description: “Framed in an open doorway at the end of the hall, she stood on a pair of thick legs that sagged into boxy brown shoes.” I can easily imagine the personality which completes that woman.
The Healing Tree includes many different personalities in a medical setting. “Maggie cackled and her mint green eyes sparkled, standing out against her fiery crown of fake red hair, reminding me that Maggie was the closest thing to a human Fourth of July fireworks display that I had ever known.” Joe Tye makes her sound fascinating. Maggie is someone who blasts the reader out of boredom.
Sometimes, words allow us to view beautiful artistic treasures in our minds. I love to savor Cornelia Funke’s personification of darkness in The Wildest Brother : “night pressed her soot black face against the window” . My mind views the image painted by those words as velvety and alive.
Let Them Play by Margot Theis Raven lets us share the excitement of a bunch of boys, black and poor, who share a common dream: to just play baseball in an era that allowed prejudice to dictate the rules. “Most folks say it was Coach Ben Singleton who pulled the All-Star dreams from the sky over Harmon Field and sprinkled them in the eyes of 14 boys that summer.”
Recalling her 10th birthday cake in Chocolate from the the Cake Doctor, Ann Bryn writes “the strong provocative scent of chocolate cake is so deeply etched in my psyche that my mind shifts to the past whenever there’s a chocolate cake baking in the oven. The same unbridled joy I felt as a chocolate-snatching child accompanied me…as I wrote this book.” There it is: in my mind, the sight of frosting dripping down the sides of a freshly baked cake not to mention the olfactory nerves in overdrive.
Reading has many rewards. Just don’t miss the creative genius writers possess.