What’s on my mind today? Whimsy.

My idea of Whimsy. Thanks to my lovely friend Jackie for putting these pictures on her Facebook page for admiring pleasure

It’s kind of a word that insinuates (at least in my mind) rainbows, strange little bunny-like animals, maybe a few hippie spirals, and cotton candy blue. It means sparkles, maybe even a caffeine high. And giggling. Lots of giggling. But as I sat down with my senior writing project, I began to wonder, why is so much fiction today so depressing? And why should I write that way?

A couple weeks ago, I sat in the lovely chapel at Northwestern College listening to Leif Enger (best-selling author of Peace like a River, which regrettably, I have not yet read) speak about his writing process and his thoughts on what writing should be. I think what stood out to me the most was his references to whimsy in the life of the writer. I actually had the chance to go up and speak to him the next day and discuss writing with him and my frustration with depressing literature, especially for young adults. While I can’t repeat here exactly what he said, since I don’t accurately remember his quote (and he could say it better than I could even think to write), he said that while life is gritty and sometimes harsh, there are glimmers, moments of true delight and whimsy, and that I shouldn’t forget to write about those times too.

He used the word whimsy to describe delight. Those two concepts had never truly connected in my head before. So what is whimsy? It’s the moments that glimmer, the ones that make tuck your knees to your chest and curl your toes, grinning like a child on her birthday. It’s a moment of innocence, watching a girl twirl in a white sundress with a bouquet of dandelions in her hand.

Then realizing that the girl is you.