A Play Date with Words
Monday, July 6, 2009

To maintain a career as a writer, I have to wear, oh, so many hats--and juggle several projects, all at various stages of completion. My marketing hats are the most gruesome of all—they fit too tight, they itch and squeeze my redheaded head... But in this world of writing, they are a must hat, no matter how ill fitting or uncomfortable they might be.

One of the hats I love to don is the creative one. It's all floppy and comfy. It wiggles around on my head and plays jokes on me. It's colorful and is a good companion when I want to just goof around and enjoy words without having them make all that much sense. This hat-made-for-fun doesn't mind if I toss it in the air or use it to gather runaway marbles. It's the perfect play date hat.

I recently put on this hat, took a break from the business side of writing and spent several hours over on the www.Wordle.net site. I had a blast. Since my picture book on St. Brigid is just coming out, I decided to see what the full text would look like as a word cloud. You can see two of the examples above. But I didn't just make two. I was in a playful mood, and I made eight! Not to mention the fact that I also made several of The Man and the Vine as well... (You can see those creations on my Links page...)

So when you're needing a bit of a break from research or heavy writing, or from MARKETING! (or from diapering, or cooking, or running errands, or changing sheets, or sweeping up crumbs from day old muffins, or folding laundry, or writing an explication paper for your English teacher, or taking out the trash, or telling toddlers how to share, or convincing ants to find another home, or paying the bills, or driving to and from baseball practices or school or work or the gym or the beach or the dog park or Trader Joe's, or... we do wear so many hats, don't we?) take a break and play with your own words... You're never too old for a play date.