Once upon a time, I heard infamous word master, Maya Angelou, speak on how words were things. Hearing this fact from Maya resonated with my entire body and being. I knew at that moment words were my truth. If you have ever attended one of my workshops you know we explore the thingyness of words.
I began to use positive words in my classroom of one hundred percent at risk students. Playing with words didn’t radically or immediately change their current life circumstances. Or did it? I knew that wordplay was changing mine.
Everyone needed to know and be exposed to the power of words. I created my first positive word alphabet book manuscript, A is for Angel, with a ridiculously massive book proposal. To create this proposal, I spent countless hours researching word power — collecting word quotes and sampling word theory. In an age prior to social media or blogs, I stacked and filled shelves and floor space throughout my tiny purple house with word stuffings. Ah, my purple house became a positive words fortress.
With a completed book proposal, I spent the last of my growing (as my belly brimmed with a baby girl) family’s cash to pay to attend and pitch at a writer’s conference three hours away from the purple house. No extra money for a hotel, I stayed the night at my baby cousin’s apartment. Thank you, John- John.
That next day at WRC, I pitched to some of the publishing industry’s illustrious: A. – Donald Maass, B. – Dianne Hess and C. – James Hornfischer to name a few. I presented positive words with passion along side of some bleak statistics from the then current situation of Columbine. Each writer had X amount of minutes to sell their book idea. I’ve pitched many projects since then, and I LOL chuckle at that very first elevator read of 2000. They didn’t immediately dismiss me, but each face stared back at me like I possessed two heads and possibly antennae instead of dreadlocks.
Panelist A pulled me into the circle. He brainstormed about what exactly to do with this information that I had shared. The power of words became tangible to me. I knew that there was no box big enough to contain this wordy magic.
Panelist B asked me, “Where do positive words come from?”
Panelist C questioned if I could teach his child.
Alas, no one offered me a gagillion dollar book deal.
I continued to research words and share them with my children and in my diverse educational communities. Words delighted me. I proceeded with my publishing pursuits, and ultimately completed two writerly programs, Institute of Children’s Literature, and the phenomenal Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program.
It was in the latter of these programs that I completed a picture book manuscript, Bug Talk, which was adapted into a fantastical ballet, by the late Renee Gillenwater for the Newcomb School of Ballet. In the mythical world of Teffanie, positive words originated from the noises of bugs. Panelist B – your question answered.
Months prior to the onstage performance of Bug Talk the writing world changed for me, I discovered blogging. I could share words without the help of an organized institution for free! I wanted to share word love to the masses. Could we create an energy shift with words? On that first blog spot people responded lovingly from around the world. Their joy amazed me.
During my graduation week from Seton, I pitched again. How much I had learned about publishing in eight years. How much I realized that I knew nothing when I pitched those many years ago. Imagine serendipitously I would be pitching my novel, Dirt, forthcoming Spring 2016, to one of the same people on the previous panel, panelist A. Le monde est petit.
This second meeting brought me full circle to my purpose – what would I do with this new found publishing knowledge?
Of course, I would start my own publishing company. After a vision while driving (VWD), and a late night rambling conversation with gorgeous Adrea L. Peters, pictureless books began. Could a single word change your day?
pictureless played with the theory a single word, any word — good or bad could, in fact, change your day. Why not make it a good one?
To date we at pictureless have published several alphabet ebooks all featuring best words. Pages can be screenshot and used as screensavers or sent to lovers.
Tens of thousands of worldwide wordies have viewed the pictureless blog. It shares simple word focus tips that have been found effective in scientific research or from my own life. Something as simple as using a word that you want to manifest in your life experience as your passwords for your online accounts is a wonderful game changer. The blog also chronicles my fabulous fun life.
What has this girl learned from a few words over the last twenty years?
We should post positive words on as many places as there are flat surfaces. We posted them in my mother’s hospital room minutes before her mastectomy. I’ve seen through my own at home research that just staring at the word love, one’s blood pressure can be lowered. If you repeat an affirmation or word enough times when sweeping floors or any other mundane chore you can become that particular word. We should always use word magic for good and not evil. The inverse is true as well. The not so positive words have the power to manifest and probably at a quicker rate than their good brothers.
Some of word adages are true, except the sticks and stones one. Chickens come home to roost is my current favorite, or my other fav — if you don’t have anything nice to say, shut the hell up. Yes, I use the hell, word and often curse like a sailor, because I looooove words all of them. I believe we get to attach energy to their existence.
A word list with definitive attributes and characteristics of a potential desired soul mate might just make him or her appear. It did for me, my Farmer Guy.
But wait, what about the big reveal? I’ve saved the biggest, fastest, never shared before this point in time way to capture a positive word into your world just for the team at Positive Words Research #pwr, and global word friend, Elena Calin. Drum roll, please!
If words are things — and things have color — and things have texture and things evoke senses… then it is so delicious to assign particular characteristics to particular words and don them.
Okay, I will slow down. On most days, the color of ‘love’ is usually purple for me. ‘Love’ is shiny. ‘Love’ is circular because it envelops. I can give any word any characteristics on any day. Then I can wear something reminiscent of my touchable creation of the word.
Right now, my designer ‘love’ wear appeared in the most perfect shade of purple lipstick. Putting it on, is always a production. When I put on the lipstick, I think love, when I see myself in the mirror, I see love. It’s just a regular drugstore tube of lipstick, but when I wear it, my Farmer Guy, swears I’m dressing up for him. In fact, I am. I’m feeling and wearing love. Next month it may be a violet bracelet?? Oh, the possibilities!
It always works. I’ve also attached a smell to the word ‘love’. Earthy and sweet – it turns out that my ‘love’ smells like patchouli. I know a local vendor, blessed indulgence, who keeps my love scent in stock just for me. Every time I inhale I am reminded throughout my days to breathe in love, to exhale love, to give love and to receive love. It is a phenomenal life!
People in passing now recognize patchouli as my love scent. I even sent a jar with my manchild when he first moved away from home.
Recently when I returned to work from travels, one of my students said, “I knew you were back, I could smell you.” That’s love in a bottle.
This thingyness of words works with any word at anytime. Find your words make them wearable and become them. Like Maya said to me so many years ago… Words are things. With words, I am living happily ever after.
Happy Endings Slash Big Reveal is written by Teffanie Thompson
teffanie [at] gmail.com
Positive words blossomed into tangible gifts in the Houston classroom Teffanie Thompson shared with her students. She is equipped with a master’s in fiction writing from Seton Hill University and decades of playing word games with children as a teacher and a parent. Teffanie paints the world with fabulous words through her writings and pictureless books, one letter at a time.
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