Author: Luisa Perkins
•8:01 AM
I'm taking a break from the Scavenger Hunt today; there's something else I'd like to write about instead. I got home very late last night from our wonderful Book Group meeting to find a treat waiting for me in my email inbox.

Kimberly of Temporary?Insanity has awarded me A Roar for Powerful Words, which I will set up in my sidebar trophy case just as soon as I am able. Here's the quote from her blog:

Those people given this award are encouraged to post it on their own blogs; list three things they believe are necessary for good, powerful writing; and then pass the award on to the five blogs they want to honour, who in turn pass it on to five others, etc etc. Let's send a roar through the blogosphere!

I'm very touched; I adore Kimberly and her funny, wise, and insightful posts. Her writing fits perfectly into my definition of powerful writing, which I'll spell out for you as required by the award:

1) Honesty: I believe even idle words have power, but the truth exponentially amplifies the power intrinsic in words.

2) Coherence: Whether in physics or in linguistics, unity + flow = increased potency, either constructive or destructive. (We'll leave quantum mechanics out of the metaphor for now.) In writing, the logical progression of cohesive ideas or scenes makes for power, no matter the genre.

Even (especially) plot twists need to cohere to the whole for the story to make sense. To my mind, the most powerful writing has a sense of surprise yet inevitability to it. As you begin reading, you may not necessarily see how the story or essay will unfold, but looking back you see that if the writer hadn't presented it in precisely that way, the piece would have been diminished. The best music is this way, too. Coherence is key to great art.

3) Rule #6*: This is old Perkins family lore, passed on to me by Patrick's mother just before I left on my church mission to Montreal.

Rule #6 is "Don't take yourself too seriously." Better counsel could not be given to a would-be writer or missionary. Keep a sense of humor, humility, and perspective about you and your work, and your writing (or preaching) will be the better for it.

Now, to pass on the award. Though I am fortunate to be acquainted with many fine and powerful writers, I knew immediately the five bloggers to whom I would pass on the honor of this award.

Five young people in my church congregation have recently begun their own blogs, and I have been thrilled and amazed at what they have accomplished thus far. They are:

1) The Lilac Closet: The stereotype of teenage humor is one of obvious jokes and pratfalls; not so with Mary, a.k.a. "MQC." (I'll let her tell you the whys and wherefores on that moniker.) She is sly, dry, and wry; her post about a certain dumpling fiasco is particularly good. If I were her guidance counselor, I would strongly encourage her towards a career in humor writing.

2) Wakeboard Star: Alice jumped right into Soap Opera Sundays almost immediately, coming up with fresh, funny, and perceptive installments of her semi-autobiographical series with ease and charm. She's also taken to memery/memetics like a skier to water, handily adapting a popular meme to her own circumstances. She is a delight.

3) Familiar Stranger: Maite is just getting started, but I expect great things from her. Post that story, Maite!

4) Torie of the War Hammer, a.k.a. (to my chagrin) Richard Cory: Holy. Cow. Read what this bright one wrote to analyze two of my very favorite short stories, Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" and Joyce Carol Oates's "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" I have one word for you: Prodigy.

5) James Loves the Mets: Jamesie is a Deep Thinker. I prize his sporadic entries; it is a joy to read (and help punctuate) the meanderings of his 11-year-old mind. His blog has been yet another fun bond for us, and I look forward to many more posts from my Bean.

You five may not be able to pass on the award; I know you don't know that many bloggers yet. No worries; just keep doing what you are doing. You are a testament to the grace and power of the rising generation, and I feel very privileged to know you.

*Whenever this number is mentioned, my poor, beleaguered brain shouts things like "Who is #1?" and "I am not a number; I am a free man!" What can you do?
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On 17/11/07 , Kimberly said...

This post is a perfect example of why you deserve the award. Powerful words indeed.

I'd write a longer comment, but I have some new blogs to read.

On 17/11/07 , Sirdar said...

Congrats on the new award. There is no doubt from reading for a while that you have a way with words...big powerful words...words that I sometimes have to look up in a dictionary. :-)

On 17/11/07 , dawn said...

Wonderful post, and great choices. There are so many who start out, and don't have the encouragement they need to keep going. Congratulations to the award recipients.

On 18/11/07 , Fourier Analyst said...

Congrats on the Roarin' Award and a special congratulations also for making it over halfway thru the NaBlowPornoShow (or whatever). I know this cannot have been easy and applaud the discipline all of you fellow-bloggers have shown in meeting your commitment! Hang in there and I hope you have lots of fun things to blog about the rest of the month. (BTW, an early Happy Thanksgiving!)

On 18/11/07 , Annette Lyon said...

Excellent choices--those pretty much sum it up!

(I'm baaa-aack.)

On 18/11/07 , painted maypole said...


On 18/11/07 , Alice said...

I am honored. But I probably won't be able to explain the essence of a good writer in quite those words. I just like a blog that is funny. That's about it.

On 18/11/07 , Jen of A2eatwrite said...

What a fun meme and how lovely to seen some young blogging talent! I'm about to fall on my face tonight, but I hope to explore them tomorrow...

On 19/11/07 , Radioactive Jam said...

That is one seriously pink beast, and I ain't lion.

On 19/11/07 , meleah rebeccah said...

Oh Congratulations. So very well deserved!