It will come as no surprise that I love words. From a behaviour perspective, that means I’m a dedicated reader. It also explains why I’ve collected words for as long as I can remember. If some piece or paragraph, some book or story, some cartoon or poster has said something brilliant or funny chances are I saved it.
I also maximize my driving (or is that reading?) time by listening to audio books. Because I love a deal, I end up buying at a thrift store or library discard sale. That’s led to a disparate selection of material.
One of my newest acquisitions is Debbie Macomber’s One Perfect Word. I love, love, love it and its premise. I’ve since bought a used paper copy.
According to her website bio, Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide. She uplifts her readers with stories of connection and hope. In addition to fiction, She’s published two bestselling cookbooks, an adult coloring book, numerous inspirational and nonfiction works, and two acclaimed children’s books. Her Cedar Cove books led to a TV series; her Christmas books to five Hallmark Channel movies. She also has a café and gift shop.
She’s no slouch. Her faith in a God-focused life is no secret and underlies the premise of the book.
More than twenty years ago, she decided to select one (perfect) word to focus on for an entire year. This book covers fourteen such words. They are biggies: Desire, Believe, Hunger, Trust, Brokenness, Seek, Surrender, Wisdom, Hope, Passion, Purpose, Balance, Prayer, and Obedience. She begins with a quote from scripture and the dictionary definition of her chosen word. The chapter typically includes journal entries, a prayer, and a story or two. She includes advice on choosing one’s word. In the section called Wordplay, she suggests tangible ways of having fun with the selected word: design a greeting card with the word, carve your word into a paperweight or doorstop, find a talisman that reminds you of your word, get a charm with the word for your bracelet, create a stepping stone for your garden, scrapbook about your word, work your word into a quilt, stencil your word on your wall, create a Christmas ornament, do an altered book.
Naturally, I too wanted a word. My first impulse because I’m starting so late was to give my word a week. No, That’s shortsighted. Okay, maybe a month. Six months. Foolishness. To get the full benefit why not do what is proven instead of trying to find a shortcut?
I began with brainstorming a list. After a few days of reflection I chose FREE. It had possibilities as both a verb and an adverb. I started to play with a sketchbook. Yet, just a week later, I changed it to KINDNESS. As I see where this focus takes me over the year, I’ll report back. In the meantime, I hope you choose your own one perfect word, from where I sit.
Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.