Explore the Wonder!

Mathilda Wheeler

Children's Writer

Why I Write

I write because I love words. I relish them, how they sound on my tongue, in my brain. I want to spread them over paper like jelly, the thick, goopy kind you have to suck off before it drips down your shirtfront. I like to feel a pen in my hand, see the ink mark up the paper.  I toy with the ink sometimes: what word will it form now?  Magic.  Blank paper whispers to me of adventure or whimsy, offers a challenge.

This is my challenge: to shine light on the wonder of being human. Because I stand in wonder, in awe, in confusion and humor and despair, I can bring my joy and compassion to those who read my writing. I’m out there to give a squishy soul hug.

The writer Zelda Lockhart says writers are the providers at a feast. We prepare our dish and bring it to the table. The hungry will come. They are starving. They will go to the dish that satisfies their hunger. It’s our duty to make sure the dish is there.

Come. Fill yourself up.

7 Responses to Why?

  1. Lindsay says:

    I love reading your blog. Even more I love that I have time to read your blog! I love my new job. I have time TIME time TIME — to like read the chapter of the book I’m going to teach on….

    I also love words. I love when my students don’t know them and I can explain them and help them love the words too —

    recently I explained “precipice” and “archaic” By the way I think “precipice” is as onomatopoeic as bulbous (which I agree, is)

    • WW says:

      I had a brief but heated debate with my son Travis, who declared that onomatopoeia is exclusively to be used for words that create a sound — like “splash” and “ring” and “plop.” Soooooo, I looked it up and I HATE this but it seems that he…he…he may be right. Someone out there — tell me it ain’t so! I so want to go with my more liberal definition of the word! I shall not jump from a precipice if I can’t agree that word is onomatopoetic, but I may bash my head against some cliff.

  2. jan c says:

    Like my son Michael loves to say, language should be fluid. We stretch words to hold more meaning, we make up new ones, eliminate words that seem weighed down by too many rules, and change spellings to make more sense. Kinda hard on people learning a language from the ground up, admittedly, but nuances can be learned gradually, right?

    • jan c says:

      Just realized my post sounded a little pompous without explaining that when Michael was studying linguistics in college, he used to box our ears with the fluidity club when we reminded him of the rules of our language, and why he was getting them wrong….

      • admin says:

        I don’t think you sounded pompous at all! And I’m sure it IS confusing for folks learning English — or MY English: creative, Humpty Dumpty English. At one time I almost had that chapter of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass memorized: “‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.’ “

  3. Gratia says:

    I too love words and stories. Just had an in depth conversation with Katie about the word omniscient on the way home from school. She threw it into her next conversation with John. Poor guy, he never knows what we are talking about!

    Since I was very little, I have made up lives for the people I see walking through my daily life. Little imagined biographies about the nuances of strangers’ lives. This is especially fun at airports and makes the time go by quickly 🙂

    Love the blog Tilda. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Marla says:

    Where is the “like” button. Oh, sorry, wrong platform. Brava my friend!!

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