John Gardner was a well-known novelist who paid particular attention to the craft of writing. He was a very technical writer, and in the books he wrote on writing gave many interesting and unusual writing assignments. One of those assignments was to write a well-formed 250-word sentence. I came across a reference to Gardner and that assignment. Here’s my effort. This is weaker than I would like, but since I pretty much wrote it free-form start to finish without planning or preparation, I’m happy with it.
On my desk, to the left of my dual-monitors-sitting-on-orange-paint-cans monstrosity, but to the right of the main display of puzzles with which I torment my fellow employees, and behind the stack of papers that generally takes a week or two to grow out of control before I sweep them all into the trash, is the diptych-without-a-hinge painting my daughter created for me for my birthday, consisting of me side by side with Einstein, both of us with full face to the camera and our tongues sticking out, Einstein patterned after the famous shot of him mugging for the camera, me in a significantly less famous shot (she gave me no indication of what she was doing, but simply called me at work the day before and instructed me to take a picture of myself sticking out my tongue and send it to her), on the back of which she wrote, “Happy 2^2 x 11 (I have a tendency to factor numbers, and give greater appreciation to those that seem in some way special) birthday, Dad! I love you because you are a RELATIVELY (I also have a well-known weakness for puns) good dad. Love, Aja,” a simple thing on a scavenged piece of posterboard, without a frame or other adornment, and simply sitting loose on my desk, but which always brings a smile to my face and warmth to my heart, and no small sense of pride in her accomplishments as an artist.