Every once in a while, I get some odd ideas. Well, “new odd ideas” would be a better term, because I have a lot of ongoing odd ideas. Like the idea I’ve had, ever since “women’s lib” came into being, that part of women wanting to get equal treatment involved those strange but wonderful creatures only wearing blouses and pants, or pantsuits, or maybe shorts, but never wanting to wear dresses any more. What the hell was up with that idea? I guess I just took it at face value that part of the equal rights movement was trying to look more like men, or something. Thankfully, that wasn’t entirely true, though it does happen, but women still do wear dresses, and look great whatever they’re wearing.
An example of a “newer odd idea”, or should I say a “thankfully fleeting, newer odd idea” happened a couple years ago, when I suddenly had a near-panic attack concerning the thought that I had never really “invented” anything, and couldn’t think of anything I would invent, and would be living in a cave eating bugs if other people hadn’t invented things, because I certainly never would have invented the wheel, a drill press, a microchip, a television, or even a gravel road (I mentioned the idea to my buddy while we were searching for pheasants along a gravel road). He, my hypercritical old friend who is an engineer, said, “No, you would’ve noticed that water soaks through gravel and you can walk on it without sinking in, even during a heavy rain, and could have invented a gravel road.” So I felt better about it and quit worrying, though I am jealous of people who can invent something from nothing.
The reason for all this talk about odd ideas is that, from time to time, a new odd idea of mine is the thought that, if my heart were to explode tomorrow for no reason that I knew of before then, or a truck were to run me over, I would want to post some particular earth-shattering blogpost here, for people to remember me by.
What would that blogpost be? Would it be “My Daughter is the Only Reason I Get Out of Bed in the Morning”? I think anyone who’s ever read my stuff knows that, so, yeah, it’s very true, but that one is, well, just so obvious. Would it be “‘I Can’t Have Anything Nice’ vs. Jackie O”? Would it be “I Seen Him Do It, Maw! (Pure Unadulterated Meanness)”?
No, I think tonight’s answer (to the question of what if I only had one blogpost to write) would be the discussion of writing: “Write Like People Talk”. More accurately, it would be “Write in a Plain, Prosaic Manner In the Style of Everyday Human Interactive Speech”, but that would be missing the point, wouldn’t it? If I were an English teacher, or Creative Writing teacher, I would walk into the first day of class, write those 4 words on the blackboard, then walk out and let a grad student take over the details of the class. I’d go have a cup at the nearest coffee house and invite some housewife to come over, smoke her dope, drink my wine, listen to Johnny Cash and Pink Floyd and talk about great books.
I don’t really like to call myself a “writer” as such. Even though there are some people that I would definitely call “writers”, because they are gifted despite not yet making money at it, I just feel that I would like to make, not just a living, but a decent living, at it before I called myself a writer. Meantime, in the words of a fictional spammer: “Is big fun this hobby.”
I do like to write, though, a lot, but I’ve never really liked to describe emotions, sunsets, colors, feelings, or memories in any way that’s, well, “overly wordy”, as if I were writing to a book reader, probably mainly because I don’t feel that I’m all that good at it. What I like to do is write as if I were sitting down over a cup or a drink with a friend, telling them the story firsthand. I do feel that I’m reasonably good at that.
Whether I’m good at it in terms of big success, or just good enough to be, say, the writing equivalent of an okay rock band, like a good local bar band rather than the Rolling Stones, a local band who all mystifyingly seem to go home alone at the end of a gig, never able to “pick up” their partner of choice for the night, remains to be seen. I do wish that I had started spewing out words at a younger age when I had more energy and probably more ideas, though some of my subjects are “bluesy” and you have to live the blues to play them well. Of course, when I was just out of college there were no blogs, not even much of an internet, if any, and no real personal computers. So, I could have written story after story to send to agents, only to get rejection after rejection, or I could party and work and have lousy, far-between romances with icky women, then start writing 20-30 years after college. It sure is nice to write stuff and have people read it now and comment on it now rather than hope for an agent to sign you, put it out there, then wait forever for the public’s input.
One thing for me about writing, though, is that, regardless of my talent level, just spewing out words “on paper” is easy for me. EASY. It just flows. It’s like breathing, or sitting, it’s so easy, and for that reason, plus some kind words I get from some folks (they don’t all have to be kind, you know; I’m not made of paper, I’m made out of a little stronger stuff, and if I cry you won’t hear me, after all), I feel that it’s something I was meant to do, not do this-or-that-crap in a factory or even a store for my entire life.
Writing is so easy that it’s like falling into a pile of leaves. Life, that’s a little more complicated; it’s like falling into a pile of leaves with a pitchfork in it, and sometimes the pitchfork is “tines-down” and there’s a lot of leaves in between you and it, and you barely feel the pitchfork, and sometimes there’s very few leaves in between and you notice the pitchfork when you hit it, and sometimes the damn thing is “tines-up” and it really hurts, and leaves a mark.
Now, romance? Well that’s when there’s a gleaming, handle-less pitchfork mounted straight out at you on a barn wall, and it’s just so beautiful, gleaming in the summer sunlight streaming through the barn windows, that you just rush headlong at it without even thinking. Then you wonder afterwards why it hurts so DAMN much.
I have no idea whatsoever why the opening paragraph is in a different size font, if it truly comes out that way. I did nothing to tell it to change fonts. As always, thanks for listening!
“I need a job and I want to be a frequently downloaded e-book writer, frequently downloaded e-book writer! E-e book writer, writer, writer…”:
(Had “Paperback Writer” by the Beatles here, but every Beatles song is copyright=protected now; I guess Paul doesn’t have enough cash.)