"Use your Sparkle Words!"
Flashing back to my son's first grade classroom, I easily hear his teacher rallying her students to include descriptive adjectives into their writing. As they were six years old, those words often consisted of a favorite color from an eight pack box of Crayolas; or the words a lot, very, many, great, or cool. As simplistic as those words are, even several years later, I still think of those or any descriptions as Sparkle Words.
Clearly, those lettered images grow as kidlets' vocabularies increase. And by the time words are whipped into published story, hopefully those stitched together letters and phrases paint pictures for readers to see into the writer's world.
Cynthia Bond transports her reader, creating magic with her Sparkle Words, in her debut novel, Ruby. The imagery her words paint firmly embeds a reader into time, place, sight, sound, and smell.
My eyes sucked in the opening of Bond's tale, telling of a mad woman, but it was only the second paragraph that grabbed and pasted me stuck like a winged creature on a permanent fly paper pit stop. Bond uses her version of Sparkle Words to tell us of Ruby Bell.
Eyes read those words, just as I was taught at three, moving from left to right across the page. But, once was not enough. And I still did not have enough, even reading it five, six, seven times. Due to its subject matter, the book is not one my kidlets are ready for, but I knew those words in the second paragraph - the ones that would not let me go - are the perfect sample of where I hope they learn to grow their own versions of Sparkle Words, so I read it to them. And even still, it was not enough.
It took me at least a day before I was able to move beyond just the second grouping of sentences. And the very last set of words from that second grouping held so tightly to my breath, I fell asleep several nights watching them parade across my closed eyelids.
Fortunately, Bond continued to share her rich and layered imagery for my eyes to greedily suck in the hundreds more paragraphs in her tale.
I hope your world is adorned with Sparkle Words - words you hear, words you read, words you write, words you speak.
This post was inspired by the novel, Ruby, by Cynthia Bond, a gripping story about overcoming our past and embracing love in a racially charged rural 1950s Texas. Join From Left to Write on May 8th, as we discuss Ruby. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.