Wednesday, January 4, 2023

One Little Word for 2023

Hello Friends,

Here we are again.. a start of a year, at the head of a new trail, another rotation around the sun. Isn't it exciting?

Thank you, Margaret, at Reflections on the Teche, for getting the year of posts started with our OLW thoughts.  My participation in SJT wasn't great in 2022. I aim to be better this year.

My one little word for 2023 came to me several months ago. I kicked the tires of it, so to speak, and thought about it as a possibility in a short list of possibilities I'd been keeping in my journal. 

About that time, I learned of Freadom an organization that directs 100% of its net profits to literacy initiatives throughout America. They were selling a shirt with my 2023 OLW possibility on it. It felt like a nudge.

I bought the shirt.

My OLW for 2023 is word.

As 2023 approached I was busy!  After school started there were Fall conferences, holiday traditions, gifts, and foods to prepare. There were visiting college children and covid tests, a flight to London to meet our daughter who studied there, and then a return flight home with her on New Year's Day. 

When we walked around London (leaving no corner or cobblestone un-touristed), I'll admit to a case of cold feet about my OLW idea. It's kinda weird, I thought. There are so many directions the word, word can go. 

Should I focus on the etymology of the word, w-o-r-d?
Could I find 52 pieces of art that contain words?
What about words in other languages? 
'Words of the Day' and, 'Word of the Week' isn't original. right? 
Am I out-arting myself here?

I don't know, I don't know, I don't know!

On my last day in London, our daughter pointed to a street market stall. " See the tables of stamps, Mom? I almost bought you one. But, I didn't know which stamp you might want."

Oh yes...there were stamps. But they were NOT the rubber crafting stamps that I'm used to.

These were vintage printer blocks made for book illustrators. Printers make lots and lots and lots of words!





It was better than being in a candy store, picking up the letters, words, art-deco designs, and numbers, chatting with the seller, who addressed me as madam.  Jordan told me that his Grandfather made these blocks and now that he's retired he helps his grandpa by selling them at market.

Jordan demonstrated pressing a block 

How to choose? I wanted A-L-L of the blocks... they were old and smudgy and bonus -- smelled wonderfully of printer's ink! Since Jordan accepted cash only, my family dug out all the pounds they could find from all their pockets to help me purchase several blocks--a fun and funny memory.

It occurred to me that word was in the piles of printer blocks that had delicious histories of making words or illustrating words. I could almost hear the blocks calling out...pick me! pick me!

So, for better or for worse, W-O-R-D is my OLW this year.

My spirit is delightfully intrigued to see where we will go together in 2023. I hope you'll join us on the way. I have started a padlet for word that I'll add poems to once a week. 

my O-L-W for 2023. Mixed media collage by Linda M.


  1. I love this post, Linda! So much t-shirty, stamp-y goodness! I hope you enjoy your WORD this year. xo

  2. LOVE! I can't wait to read what you write this year!

  3. I can imagine you there with all those letters with a rush to your heart. I love how you choose a word each year to use in a poem project. There is so much potential here. My cousin uses the exclamation Word! when he agrees with something. That expression was new to me. So here I am saying to you, "Word!"

  4. One word by itself can be powerful. Words strung together can stir emotions. Words can hurt but they can also heal. So many possibilities, Linda.

  5. May the right WORDs continue to find you right when you need them this year, Linda!

  6. I'm back to the computer and I just love the photos and the backstory of your one word, WORD. I love old stamps and used them in my classroom when I was an elementary reading specialist. I even have an old stamp with the letter V hanging on my tree. It was probably from an office in the early 40s. I was also going to open a padlet to start my OLW journey. May WORD bring 52 ideas for the year as you build another collection, Linda.

  7. Such a delight when a word finds us. I love the backstory and your mixed media collage! What a journey lies ahead for you and word!

  8. I think I gasped when I saw the trays of printer blocks. I could just imagine your delight. I am SO excited to see where this journey takes you. Word! Yes!

  9. Quite jealous of your letters!!! What FUN! Word is wonderful, it will lead you!!! Thanks, and best wishes for a word-filled year.


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!