Friday, September 30, 2016

More Thoughts on Writing


The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and lightning bug.  - Mark Twain

I have been reading the draft of a friend's novel. I find it most interesting that his writing issues are so very different than mine. He struggles to find a voice his audience will hear or maybe it's a voice that will adhere. I, on the other hand, know my audience and write directly to them.

He sometimes overthinks his prose and uses the BIG word when the little one works better. Which is not to say I am an advocate of the Keep It Simple theory of writing. No, I'm a big word guy myself but there are times when it feels like showing off, which can really annoy the reader.

Another major difference we have is that my friend writes the story as it pours out of him. He doesn't know where it's going. I have dabbled with this ultra free form adventure writing but find I am more comfortable knowing the end of the story before I begin. 

Did you know J.K. Rowling wrote the final scene of the seventh and last Harry Potter book before she wrote word one of book one?

As I write this, a little voice reminded me that the end of my novel (Grey Angel) did not have a satisfactory resolution until I was a third of the way into it. So maybe my friend and I are not all that different after all.

Oh, and my apologies to regular readers. I know you have become accustomed to one post a week on Friday, but I just couldn't help myself last Monday. Sometimes you just have to say it outloud.

Monday, September 26, 2016

A Personal Reaction to The Debate


I promised a few weeks back to not write about American politics again until after the November election. To be clear, this is not a post about any of the candidates. This is my personal experience of tonight's debate. First, I should say that I got up and left the television room at 9:42 PM EDT. I literally could take no more.

This realization came to me when I noticed I had not looked at the screen for over ten minutes. Just the voices of the candidates was an assault on my person. My psyche just was unable to continue with the sheer vanity and mendacity of the works being spew at us all. I could not longer face them or let them face me.

Assault is the only word I can find that fits my feelings. That a great or formerly great or going to be great again country finds itself glued to all forms of media to listen to those two shining examples of our best and brightest is sickening, depressing, bordering on existentially unforgivable.

I can vaguely hear the sounds of the debate from the other end of the house. Never thought I would be thankful for an ear infection. I'm not going back to hear another word, my soul won't take the abuse.

I'm going to do now, what my great friend Gary would recommended, I'm going to watch reruns of The Andy Griffith Show and try to figure out what Aunt Bea would do in this deplorable situation.