This month’s writing assignment is based on an idea that came to Jane Murphy from the book: “Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I read about half the book. It did stimulate thought, but I felt disconnected reading just random writings placed under different letters in the alphabet. Jane’s idea was for us to write about a letter in the alphabet.
“Easy, I thought” as I sat in the group meeting. I actually wrote:
F is for: Fred
Four letter words.
I then went home and thought about it I probably could not write about the letter ‘F’ without putting in the word ‘Fuck” in someplace. I was not comfortable enough with the group to do that.
After reading some of Amy’s book, I thought I would write about the letter “I” and tell something about myself:
The letter I
I have an artificial aortic heart valve.
I love popcorn and sex.
I have better ideas than execution.
I built my own house.
I have three daughters, one hates me, one loves me, and one calls me ‘Dad’.
I have three sons, one thinks of me as his best friend, one blames me for all his life problems, and one calls me ‘Dad”….
But that was too personal, and I am not yet ready to write that personal with this group.
I got frustrated with spending so much time on this assignment. I wanted to write on my agenda, not some assigned one. I should just get on with it and get it done.
So, I thought about letters in the alphabet. There were so many of them. How can I write something special where there are so many letters? Then, an idea came to me. I’ll write about a letter. Not an alphabet letter, but one somebody sent me – my daughter or my dad (who only sent me one letter in his life). I was excited to be able to interpret the assignment loosely and change the meaning of it.
I looked at my notes. I had written: “A letter in the alphabet” Bummer, I thought. That would be cheating of sorts.
Rita happened to be sitting next to me at the kitchen counter with the dictionary turned to letter ‘e’. I started thinking of it. I researched how many words begin with the letter ‘e’. I got too many different answers. The Free Dictionary said there were 33, 921. Wordlist.com said there were 11,030. Wordfinder said 1,649 (that does not look correct.) And the Oxford dictionary said 172, 476. I must not have read something careful enough for these numbers vary way too much.
My research led me to the silent ‘e’. Hum, I thought, maybe I should write about the silent letter ‘e’. I might get away with it. I had such fun learning what all the silent e does. Dictionary.com said there were 80,075 words that end with the letter ‘e’.
But, I can’t just write about a letter. That is boring, as you can probably already tell from reading this far. I had to give it a different twist. So, I did. You can read about it here.