The Important Thing - writercize #120

The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown, author of the omnipresent Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny books, is an interesting book in that it gives the reader a glimpse into Brown's mind and how she deemed what is important about various objects and concepts.  It is a book without a story or a plot, but there is certainly a theme.

In the book, Brown evaluates such various things as a spoon, a cricket, the rain, the wind and a daisy, identifying each with their unique (or in some cases not so unique) characteristics as well as what she determines to be the "most important thing" about each.  In some cases, she hits the nail right on the head.  In others, I think that she misses the mark a bit.  Nonetheless, it is what is most important to her, and understanding that and who she is interests me.

One of her stronger observations:
"The important thing about the rain is that it is wet.
It falls out of the sky, and it sounds like rain, and makes things shiny,
and it does not taste like anything, and it is the color of air.
But the important thing about rain is that it is wet."

I don't necessarily like that she uses "sounds like rain" as a way to describe the rain ... I'm apprehensive about using a word in its own definition, but I do appreciate what she has determined to be the important thing about rain.

Her weaker observations seem to do with boiling items' importance down to their color.  She claims the most important thing about a cricket is that it is black.  I may have argued that it chirps, or it tells the temperature (seriously!  true story!  count the chirps in 15 seconds and add 37 to get the degrees fahrenheit).  She also argues that the most important thing about a daisy is that it is white.  Eh, not convinced.  I may have argued that it is a flower or signifies purity or that it is only open during the day under the rays of the sun, but the fact that it is white (and it's not even always white!) doesn't make the best argument to me.

Each segment begins with "the important thing about x is y" and ends with "but the important thing about x is y."  In the middle, she shares around 5-7 other observations about what an object or concept is and is not.  Today, I want you to reflect on a concept, what it means to you, and which of those "definitions" is the most important aspect.

writercize:  Pick a holiday and reflect on its meaning.  Write an imaginary page in "The Important Book" about that holiday.

A few options:  New Year's Eve / Day, Valentine's Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, Hannukah, Eid, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Teacher Appreciation Day, Grandparents' Day, Chinese New Year, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, birthday, anniversary ... wow there are a lot of reasons to celebrate!

Click "read more" for writercizer sample response on a couple of fall holidays.  Leave your "Important Thing" as a comment or link to your blog!
writercizer sample response:

The important thing about Halloween is that you dress up.
You get to pretend you are someone else, and threaten to trick if you don't get a treat, 
and collect candy for free from the neighbors.
You get to face your fears in a haunted house and roast pumpkin seeds.
But the important thing about Halloween is that you dress up.

The important thing about Thanksgiving is that you eat with your family.
You gobble turkey and devour pumpkin pie and you talk about pilgrims.
You give thanks for the wonders of the year and watch the Detroit Lions on TV.
You might get into a debate with Aunt Sue or hear a mouthful from Uncle Ed,
and wonder how they are related.
But the important thing about Thanksgiving is that you eat with your family.


  1. The important thing about Thanksgiving is that you give thanks.
    You spend the morning getting ready and maybe travelling.
    You get together with parts of your family that you may not see very often.
    You gather around a table to share a great meal and fill yourself with fattening deserts!
    But the important thing about Thanksgiving is that you tell God all of the things for which you are thankful!

  2. Very nice Mike!

    I really like this format ... Margaret Wise Brown was onto something. :)


I love reading your feedback and your writercize results! Please feel free to leave your website address at the end of your comment. I will delete spam, but welcome writers and bloggers to share their sites with the writercize community.