Sensational sentences are the threads of great writing. And like thread – cotton or nylon, wool or silk – they are full of color, shine and texture. Sure, they pack more wow when followed by another great sentence and then, another. But the great sentence stands on its own, telling its own story.
I look for them and collect them. Because in their simplicity, they embody the craft of writing beautiful sentences.
You can find them in the most interesting places.
The specimens below were all posted on Facebook (yes, Facebook!), sprung from a sharp wit and keen, urban observing eye. I was delighted when the writer gave me permission to reprint them, as she doesn’t always say yes to her mother.
This time, she did. Note the well-selected details, use of senses (especially smell), dollop of imagination, mix of quote, observation and advice and, of course, humor.
On family reunions
Grandpa, referring to the Google map direction voice to the restaurant: “Hush, everybody! This woman is trying to take us someplace!”
Every morning I don’t succumb to the siren song of bacon emanating from Longman & Eagle [a popular Logan Square restaurant] on my way to the train is both a victory and a loss.
Sometimes, after it rains in the loop it smells like a giant fart cloud.
More on farting. Advice from a city girl on her lunch hour
If you’re wandering around Macy’s trying to kill time and you find you have to fart, just waltz into the perfume section.
On the winter of 2014
I’m moving to Hell for the weather.
Airport sushi is a sure fire way to miss your flight in more ways than one.
On St. Patrick’s Day
If I were really smart, I would have targeted the drunkest of drunk people, pretended to be a leprechaun, then stolen their wallets amidst their awe and confusion.
Photograph by Ellen Blum Barish. 2014.