I’ve always been a reader. Since I’ve been writing more, though, I take notice of words, phrases, and sentences in a different way. Sometimes the words resonate so clearly with an idea I’ve tried to write about, I marvel at the way an author has crafted a perfect phrase or sentence or chosen the perfect word.
Here are a couple of phrases from a recent read- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green that stirred that feeling of wow: “… the spring air just on the cold side of perfect, the late-afternoon light heavenly in its hurtfulness.” I have had this feeling before about air that feels deliciously cold (or warm) or sunshine, fall colors, waves of the ocean- things that are so beautiful that it almost hurts your eyes to look at them. “Just on the cold side of perfect” made me feel like I was there in that moment when you walk outside and the air feels so good- even though it is just a tiny bit too cold. The phrase “heavenly in its hurtfulness” made me gasp at how perfectly it describes the feeling of walking out into bright sunshine, and how well it put into words the kind of thought I have often wanted to express that sometimes there are things that are so lovely it makes you close your eyes to savor the sight.
At another point in the story was this sentence: “I worked hard to meet his eyes, even though they were the kind of pretty that’s hard to look at.” A different expression of my feeling about looking at beauty.
Isn’t it great being a reader/writer?