One Line

Posted on July 22, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

My husband is great at one-liners. He can throw more wit into eight words than most people can put in an entire book. I, on the other hand, am better at saying something meaningful in a different way, in just one line.  For instance, he once said, “You used to have such long, pretty hair.”  So, my reply:  “You used to have hair.” 

All joking aside, sometimes the way we say one little thing can make it eloquent, timeless or profound. The words we weave and the way they’re woven can change the world. Songwriters know this, they have such a limited amount of words to tell an entire story, to take the listener through a feeling or through a lifetime. It’s not easy finding a hook that can impact the world.

But, the lines we use everyday are the ones that count the most.  I was reading Heather Spohr’s blog and wasn’t surprised to read that lately the line, “What if…” has become a common part of her reality. Heather lost a dear little girl and is dealing with grief beyond belief and a very cautious happiness in knowing that she’s being blessed with another baby.  I played the what if game when we lost our son…. what if I woke up earlier….what if he cried and I didn’t hear…what if we had been able to bring him back….what if this was just a bad dream…. You get the picture.

What if is a huge line. It changes everything, at least for a little while, giving the mind an opportunity to escape from a place where it doesn’t want to be to a safer place where reality doesn’t suck. I’ve been doing my share of what if’s, too.  What if, my book doesn’t sell; what if, it does? What if, I can, and what if I can’t? 

What if I, as a writer, used my experiences for the greater good? What if I wrote a book about dealing with the grief of losing a child? What if I asked other moms to join in and write essays about it, telling their experiences, fears, and most of all what helped and comforted them.  What if that book would be a way of hugging and holding every parent who needs to talk to someone who does know how bad it feels, instead of those who “understand” how it must feel.  What if I wrote a book that was touching, but also healing, and it found it’s way into the homes of those who need it most when they need it most.

What if the title was the one line from my book, Caution: Children Should Come With Warning Labels,  that subtly references the child I lost….

One line…. From a Lullabye to Goodbye

Can one line have that much impact?  What are your thoughts?


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