April 21, 2018

Peeling back the layers of the onion

I write pretty much like I talk. Slowly. Hah! No seriously, my writing and speaking styles are similar. I think that is why I have always written posts and letters and even term papers fairly quickly.

Back in the day I would research term papers, read the sources, make notes of pertinent facts and quotes I wanted to use. Then I sat down and generally wrote the entire effort in one sitting. I could compose a ten or even twenty page paper in this fashion. I could often outpace my typist (my girlfriend / now wife would type for me).

I think this is one reason my pathetic attempts at fiction have been so lame. I can get a good start, but the mental challenge of writing an entire short story or novel in my head is too much. I'm just not that smart.

I'm always fascinated by the creative process. In honesty, most of my blog posts take anywhere from ten minutes to thirty to compose (I know, you can tell). A good chunk of that time  is deciding what to write about. I have discussed this with my musician son. What comes first for him, the melody or he lyrics? For him it is either, or, and both. Sometimes he will get a cord progression, or musical phrase. Other times it may be a lyric. Sometimes a bit of melody is the foundation.

Often my posts work a little better if I read them out loud. Yesterday's musings are a good example. I hear the Animal House cast chanting "Toga, Toga" when I read that. Take a slightly sarcastic tone coupled with a "south of 70" Hoosier accent* and slightly slow and even cadence and you could be me talking in my definitely not radio-ready voice. I guess you could call my style self-deprecating sarcasm covering an under-layer of indignant righteousness.  Long-time critic EOB labeled it as "smug". Yep.

I like to think of my musings as a conversation between us.  I started blogging because I worked alone in an office. There was no one to talk to. My boss and support was in Italy. I needed an outlet for my jokes, anecdotes, and political rants. I still work alone, now from a spare bedroom. I still need an outlet for my stories, jokes, and outraged rants.

I'm glad we have a chance to talk.



*that same accent can be found south of 70 in Ohio and Illinois too. It is strange I have it since I grew up in north central Indiana far from I-70. My brother and parents don't have it. Go figure. Linguists are right, we learn speech from our peers, not our home environment.

1 comment:

Ed Bonderenka said...

Did you say something?

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