My Love Affair with Words
“Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:5, RSV
My love affair with words began many years ago, when as a little girl I sat nestled beside my father on the living room sofa, watching him work the crossword puzzle in the evening newspaper. From time to time he’d even ask my advice, as if a 5-year-old had much to offer in the way of the English vocabulary. But with enough hints on his part, I guessed a few words right.
In addition, Daddy was a speech-maker. On a few occasions, he invited me to his weekly labor union meetings, and from the audience I shot admiring glances toward the podium where he so eloquently voiced his concerns for his fellow workers. Of course, I didn’t understand much of what he said, but I was so proud.
In preparation for his speeches, Daddy literally read the dictionary, jotting down words he was not familiar with so that he could go over them again and again. To include me in the process, he marked those unfamiliar words with a little black dot and then had me list them in a little spiral notebook he carried around in his shirt pocket.
In school, English was always one of my favorite subjects from spelling bees in the elementary grades to term papers in later years. When I was a child, I enjoyed reading everything from my grandmother’s worn Bible to my mother’s recipe books. I loved comic books and Nancy Drew mysteries. Today I work with words, writing, editing, and coaching writers throughout the manuscript process.
Daddy’s not around any longer; cancer took him at an early age. But I think he’d be proud of his daughter. I know he’d enjoy seeing some of the fruits of his labor. When he didn’t even know what he was doing, he was training up his child in the way she would go, and I have not departed from it since.
I am thankful for my father who loved words and for passing along that love to me. I am grateful, too, that he allowed me to work closely with him when neither of us had any idea of the plans my heavenly Father had for me as a woman.
Dear Reader, do you love words too? Do you need help getting your words into print? If so, contact me at email@example.com. I would love to explore possibilities with you, especially if it's "Your Time to Write!"