Readers come to a story from within their own world, asking only that the author hold the door open to a new one. ~TH~
Simply by living the lifestyle of some adulated rock star recently, I successfully aggravated my physical condition. In short, my gout flared. This time in my right ankle.
Gout is a form of arthritis usually brought on by poor diet and being overweight (yep, yep). I won’t bore you with the details, there are reams and reams of articles on the subject. Suffice it to say it can be excruciating, as was this bout.
I landed in the guest room of the house, completely bed ridden. Let me just say that Laurie keeps a magnificent guest room. I now type (day three, almost healed) sitting up and watching the snow gently fall on this pristine scene.
You know, for being stuck in bed with a painful foot a guy could do a lot worse. ~TH~
If you’re a reader who pays close attention to blog titles you can probably guess what this post is about. If not, this should give it away — Yes! It’s the exciting subject of exclamatory statements! Now with more exclamation points!! Aren’t you excited??!!!
While not as annoying as the ALL CAP monstrosity of the internet world, the overuse of exclamation points has been on my mind recently because I am a former EP addict.
One of the many banes of writers and language scholars, The EP has now given me a firm understanding of the old saying “Ignorance is bliss”. Yes, I used to blissfully read posts and advertisements chock full of EPs fully understanding the meaning of the messages. Now I can hardly glean any useful information from them. Infant writer that I am, the sight of any misused EP is as distasteful as garlicky mother’s milk. “Seriously” I ask my brain, “That’s the way you want me to perceive your language skills?”? [NOTE: As you can see, I still have a long way to go in the proper use of punctuation, please bear with me.]
A number of my close friends are teachers and writers. They post cute little messages on facebook about incorrect syntax, poor grammar and ill-used punctuation. That used to drive me mad. “Get off your high horse!” my brain used to say, “It’s just a quick comment on a trivial social network!”. Then I began to take my own writing a little more seriously. Like the cake you cannot unbake, so too is the recognition of poorly used punctuation. You can’t unsee it. Then suddenly the message is lost. “Gaaaaah!” I say, “stop it!”.
As you can tell I have not yet succeeded in eliminating the unnecessary EP from my thoughts, but I am on medication for it. I just wanted you to know that when you see this type of thing and these same thoughts occur to you- you’re not alone. I feel your pain. Hallelujah!! ~TH~
I have good news and bad news. The good news is no one is looking at you. The bad news is the same. Yep, we spend a lot of our waking hours vying for attention of some sort, but we sure don’t want it when we slip on a sidewalk. It’s yet another balance point for writers- and I have encouraging news for you. Right now no one is looking at you.
No one was looking at Arnold Schwarzenegger either. Have you heard of him? Yeah, I thought so. Well believe it or not, there was a time when you had absolutely no idea who he is. Can you remember that time? Of course not! He’s always been in your field of vision, right? That’s the way it is with our heroes and villains. They pop up on our radar and it feels like they’ve been there forever.
As a lowly writer (or lowly whatever you currently are right now) you’re constantly repositioning yourself to be “seen” or “not seen” just like in real life. Picking up your girlfriend at the end of the road because her father hates your guts? Unseen please. Strumming your guitar and singing your fresh new song at the local coffee shop? Make mine seen, leave room for cream. The tricky part is getting what you want when you want it; and as always the word balance comes into play.
Do you know who I’m looking at, thinking about right now as I type this? Me. The same guy that, as a baby was absolutely convinced when mommy left the room- *poof* – she was gone forever… until she peeked around the corner again. Then that little tyke started to put it together. “Hey, there’s another part of this world out there I haven’t even seen yet!”. Time to explore…
Folks, that baby is still inside you, trying to make sense of this nutty world. Reexamining your place in it. Attempting to make your own piece fit. If you’ve been here on terra firma long enough you know that the puzzle keeps changing, so your piece has to keep changing too. It’s not growth I’m talking about. I’m talking about self assessment. I’m talking about you, looking at your place in the world realistically. This kind of thinking helps shield you from those rejections (or perceived rejections). This kind of thinking keeps your overall perspective in order. This kind of thinking gives you confidence so that when the time is right and people really are looking at you, you’ll be ready.
How are you going to build your own Arnold Schwarzenegger in the mirror? Well, don’t worry about that quite yet. Just get into position and be ready, content in the knowledge that right now – no one is looking at you. ~TH~
I’m not a huge fan of the “10 best” lists, or the “five ways” to blah, blah, blah… but if you really are planning to get serious about your writing- here’s a list you’ll want to read. BONUS: It was provided by a wonderful blog on writing- WRITER UNBOXED. I really like this blog because the entries are culled from a lot of writers, so you get a lot of different perspectives. Have a healthy happy new year! ~TH~
Young athlete, one machine
Parts are purring, humming together
An effortless fluidity from foot to hand
No thought, it’s instinctive.
Then age will slowly place itself between
the lung and hip and fingertip
You feel the pangs and think;
“Is this muscle or nerve? Arthritis or stress?”
And now the old athlete,
measuring success through a tolerance of pain says
“It’s probably nothing”.