In my 20’s, when I was still working on a life plan, I wished I could get paid to sit at the feet of all the people I most admired to soak up their brilliance. Call it “Excellence by Proximity.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Leonard Bernstein, Bishop Fulton Sheen: the idea of spending a week with each one, having long walks and exhilarating conversations on the meaning of life was a thrilling thought.
This fantasy did not make it into real life, although I was once in the same room as Bishop Sheen. But when I became a writer, a version of this “Excellence by Proximity” dream came true. Writers need inspiration. Whenever I run low I can swivel around in my chair and find hundreds of brilliant men and women on my book shelf, all waiting to talk to me, share their insights. I am in the same room with all of them, all the time, which gave me an idea.
Like many writers, I keep a journal. Whenever I hear or read something worth remembering, I write it down so it won’t get lost. Good words are like powerful flashlights that dispel the darkness. Last year decided to go through forty years of journals and pick out the best words to share.
This is how “Word Candy” was born. Then I had to turn the idea into a real object. Jars were ordered, cards were printed. Labels designed. We brought them all together – in an upstairs bedroom which we turned into a little factory. Here ar a few photos to show you our progress.
Words are good seeds. You could think of Word Candy as a big packet of seeds waiting to germinate in your mind. Words give light. Think of a jar full of high-voltage fire flies. But I like to think of “Word Candy” as a party in a jar: Virginia Woolfe bumping into Pablo Neruda, standing next to Lily Tomlin, trying not to spill her drink on Ralph Waldo Emerson. All of them have changed, comforted and enlarged my life. Now they are waiting quietly in this little glass jar to have a word with you.