44 words on a rainy Sunday

by Jack Rooney

It rained in New Hampshire today. Pretty much all of New England, too. The rain, combined with it being Sunday, had me in a rather bookish mood. So I grabbed my copy of The Elements of Style and laid on the couch on the screened in porch and read. I studied, really. I suppose you don’t read a book like The Elements of Style. You highlight, annotate, absorb. So that’s what I did. After a while of reading, though, I wanted to write. So I did. I’m starting a project today based on an exercise I did in my Magazine Writing class last year. In an effort to get us to write concisely, our professor assigned us to write 44 words on credibility β€” to somehow capture the essence of credibility in a brief paragraph. Now I have before me a summer where my only job is to report and write, and I want to take full advantage of the opportunity before I return to school and face two hundred more tasks everyday. So I’m going to focus on writing concisely, both on the job and in my spare time. I’ll challenge myself to write as often as I can, attempting to take big, complex concepts and capture them in 44 words. I hope I’m able to find some truth in the exercise and to improve my writing along the way. There will be plenty of failures, too. There always are. But I think I’ll enjoy the challenge, and for the summer, that’s good enough for me. For anyone actually reading, I always appreciate feedback. So, here’s my first try on a subject that has been on my mind a lot lately. Here are 44 words on heaven.

To live is to choose β€” to be happy, kind, cranky, sad. Life is to awake and to choose. Life eternal, though, is to never have to choose again β€” to just be happy and be kind. To live effortlessly and love constantly: that is heaven.

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