The woman who sits next to me at my writing workshop wrote eight lines of poetry about taking down Christmas lights that were so exquisite and gleaming that I wanted to steal her poem, put it in my pocket and pretend I’d written it, but I had to hand it back to her with my comments.
It is rare for me to covet someone else’s words.
There was another instance today. In what was otherwise a very hard to follow chapter from a fellow writer’s many-charactered story involving talking creatures and mysterious wars, there was an enchanting scene of a water nymph calming an hysterical fish by carrying him in her arms encased in a bubble.
I didn’t want to steal that one but it was probably worthy of theft. But where would I use an hysterical fish?
I get transfixed by what is called a turn of phrase, an elegant phrase, a perfect image. So I become bored by long, gray narratives that move stories along like traffic on the Illinois Tollway, this toll booth, that toll booth, now and then a stop at an oasis for coffee. A blur, the whole trip becomes a blur.
The fewer words the better for me, three beads on a necklace instead of fifty. When there are only three beads, they have to be perfect on their own and with each other.
It is my aim to be a great beader.