Monday, May 3, 2010

Word of the Day

Whimsy (hwimzee)--1. flight of the imagination, fancy;
2. endearing quaintness or oddity; the quality of being slightly odd
or playfully humorous, especially in an endearing way.

If you took a look around my house, you would find a number of what might be described as "whimsical" objects--including these two drawings. Both were created by my kids--before they got all grown up on me. Keith was only three when he made the first, which I titled, "Keith, a Self-Portrait." Melissa drew "My Family" when she was four (notice the pet cat in the lower left hand corner). I love these prints which now hang in an upstairs hall. They are a humorous--and endearing-- reminder of the joy children bring, and still elicit a smile when I glance their way.

I have my friend Margie to thank for inspiring the idea of "whimsy" as my word-of-the day. She recently wore a darling silver pin handcrafted by a silversmith into a fun representation of A.A.. Milne's Eeyore, from the Winnie-the Pooh stories. She received the pin as a gift at a time in her life when most girls get an engagement ring. Though she didn't get the ring, she got a fanciful Eeyore pin, an enduring marriage to the guy who gave it to her, and a story to go with it.

There's a place in life for whimsy--a special something capable of generating a smile, rendering a pleasant memory, or stirring the imagination in a quirky kind of way. Whimsy has a place sometimes in writing, too. A classic example of this is in Cynthia Ryland's book (and Newbery Medal winner)--Missing May. This beautiful children's story about love and loss in an orphan's life features a slightly odd collection of whimsical whirligigs. Missing May has been around a few years, but still captures the emotions and heart of the reader and, once you've read it, you won't think of a whirligig the same again.

Whimsy. What touch of whimsy has captured your heart recently--or entered into one of your stories?

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