Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Glittering Pages


"Stay alive, refreshed in language! Listen to little toddlers bopping metaphors around the room like balloons. Let language zip and lean, sound can lead you, be surprised as you are writing. I play with words every day and I am going to play right now. It takes me where I need to go, into the real content, and into serious hard places, too. Experimenting means anything goes. We need to keep doing that on our pages if they are to keep glittering and waking us up."
~ Naomi Shihab Nye




Don't you just love that? Naomi Shihab Nye is a brilliant wordsmith. "Famous" is one of my favorite contemporary poems. In fact, I used it in a post a couple of years ago HERE.

Ralph Fletcher, one of my favorite writing gurus is a collector of words and phrases. When he hears something interesting or memorable, wherever he is, he writes it down and adds it to his collection. One of my favorites I found in his book, Pyrotechnics on the Page: Playful Craft that Sparks Writing. He overheard a three-year-old girl on a tricycle yell to her father on a park bench, "You stay with your sun, Daddy. I'll ride with my wind."

Other nuggets from his collection include:
  • Overheard at a bar: "Mothers raise their daughters and love their sons."
  • His brother: "A knife will cut you until it earns your respect."
  • His son: "Daddy, could you really get in a barrel and go over Viagara falls?"
  • Shared with him by a 5th grade teacher about a student: "There is April the month, and there is April Ham Lincoln."

Don't be afraid to eavesdrop, collecting nuggets like these ones for your own "collection". Then, when the language play in your MS feels a little dull, you'll have a fun source of inspiration. And I recommend anything and everything written by Ralph Fletcher. He is my greatest source of writing wisdom and inspiration!


Do you have any fun nuggets to share?

16 comments:

Jen Daiker said...

These were fabulous little nuggets Shannon! Love coming to your neck of the woods, always inspiring!

Love the new look you've got going on! Super fun!

Old Kitty said...

Viagra Falls!! LOL!! I must remember that!

Take care
x

Natalie Aguirre said...

Yes that Viagra Falls one is funny. Sorry I don't have one to add.

Kenda Turner said...

Love this post! The idea of playing with words like this is such fun. I can't think of a child's nugget of wisdom at the moment, but my daughter when little did call grape juice "perkle" (purple) juice :-)

Susan Fields said...

When I was little, at church I thought they were saying Jesus was "king of the juice" instead of "king of the Jews." I always wondered what made juice so special that Jesus was its king.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon .. Viagara Falls is just too great .. as well as April Ham Lincoln ..

Just brilliant - we do hear them .. and I wish I could remember them ..

For now - zilch .. cheers Hilary

K. Turley (Clutzattack) said...

Oooh, I really do like that first quote. I want to put that in a frame now on my wall.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wonderful! Thank you! I feel like collecting words and tossing them up and finding the gems. These are great nuggest . . .I loved the "stay with the sun while I ride with the wind" quote.

Carolyn V said...

lol. I love the ease dropping. There's a lot of interesting things going on out there. ;)

Laura Marcella said...

Those are great little nuggets! There's always something glittering when you eavesdrop. :)

Patti said...

On facebook, one of my son's friends comments had me laughing. She said, "Boys are so much better in movies."

DL Hammons said...

I'll never forget what my son said when I pointed out a setting sun.

Me: Look, the sun is going down.
Son: Actually, we could be going up. :)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I jot down things my kiddo says all the time.

When we first moved to Iowa she noticed the deer crossing signs, with a completely straight face she asked how they knew where the signs were for them to cross.

Yes, she's in honors classes and even advanced grade levels in a couple subjects...Just never lived in the country before.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Haha! My daughter is full of these sorts of nuggets--they make my day!

Meredith said...

Ha, love these! Language can be such a funny thing. :)

Heather said...

You've just given me a wonderful idea for the new journal I got for Christmas. Thank you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...