Just an exercise to shake the webs and get the fingers going.
| I shook the keyboard and watched as the hot coffee sprinkled over the top of my desk. My thoughts were drifting with annoying frustration. The words weren't spilling out.... just hot coffee. As I was blow-drying the keyboard, I remembered something I once read; writers should never succumb to writers block. It came from a book titled "The Art and Craft of the Short Story", by Rick DeMarinis. He was quoting the poet William Stafford who simply said, "Just lower your expectations." Now, I'll admit there are occasions when I have done this very thing, just not as often while writing.
But Demarinis was right about writing, just write. and don't fret too much. After all, perfection is a concept best left up to editors. Once I finally grasped this idea, writing seemed a lot easier because "perfection" was a concept lurking somewhere in the cosmos ... maybe hanging out with Neptune. At any rate, I was feeling a bit sedentary and needed a boost.
Ironically, the boost came with a sudden "duh." If I was feeling a bit sedentary, why didn't I just write about the word sedentary? It's an interesting word. And taking the advice from DeMarinis, I began to put one word in front of the other.
Immediately, I realized the irony. If I just sat there and thought about the word "sedentary", I became the word! How cool is that? OK, maybe not so cool, even a few hours of being sedentary could cement your creativity. Indeed, at first my right hand felt like it had been cast in setting concrete, fingers so thick they would send a nail shop employee running for her life. But, somehow I managed to lift my hands and strike the keyboard and words started forming. But,what good were they?
Words, of course, are interesting to a writer. However, putting them in a certain order helps immensely. Take, for instance, my good friend "sedentary." When by itself, it just sits there doing nothing. However, when it joins other words, such as; The sedentary earth under my feet suddenly gave way and I began tumbling uncontrollably toward the jagged earth below, "sedentary" becomes active. In fact, it can actively force a thought right into your head! Just the same, the whole idea was to escape this beast! So I started writing.
But, I didn't want to write about "nothing." It's true, Jerry Seinfeld, along with the great Larry David, created a whole show about "nothing." And, "nothing" has been done... many times. All of us have done it, it's nothing new. So, I decided to write about the opposite... something. And immediately, something led to another thing. It was one of my very favorite words, "plethora."
The word plethora is not only "something," it's many things. Just the sound of "plethora "makes me think of dozens of things - numerous things. Other than its actual meaning, it sounds like it could be almost anything. For example, it would be a great word to describe a kind of microscopic organism. Suddenly......., my thoughts take me to a lab in an undisclosed secret location where the following conversation may be heard.
"Come over here and look at this plethora. We have a problem on our hands."
Second scientist, "Yes, someone better notify the SPCA".
"No, you mean the CDC".
"Yes, that's it, just get em on the phone, hurry; I've never seen anything like this before. I think they're from Neptune.'
I should apologize but I just can't help it. I think this word could be used in a multitude of ways. For example, "Plethora" also sounds like a food, maybe a sea food. I can almost taste the baked plethora covered in sweet orange sauce with asparagus and a mandarin chicken salad on the side.
"Would you please pass the plethora?"
I think of all sorts of things when I hear the word "plethora." One could say an overabundance of things. There are so many things that come to mind it's almost embarrassing. For instance, body parts... maybe even naughty body parts. After all, a person wouldn't know what you were commenting on if you said they had a nice "plethora." You might be talking about their nose! Unfortunately, you would probably still get slapped. It would totally depend on "nuance."
Nuance is another one of my favourite words, artfully discussed in the movie "Diner." Notice I used the British form of the word "favour." It's just a bit of a nuance. In fact, If you read the rest of this with a British accent in mind it will have a distinct and different flavour. However, (said with a pompous British accent) if you are raising your eyebrows at this instant, I understand completely.
A "nuance" can be so subtle, yet so clear. For instance, my writing and Hemingway's, there's just a tinge of a difference, a " nuance " so to say.
Actually, I just like words. They put thoughts into your head, and what could be better than that? But watch out. Someone might want to ban your words they don't agree with, throw them into a huge pile, and burn them. Why? For putting thoughts in peoples heads. Oh well, if this happens roast a wienie. This just means you are important.
But I digress, which is another one of my favourite words. This is the kind of word that gives you an advantage. When you can artfully "digress" you can literally save your ass, even if your ass is a donkey. Just last week, I learned how to roller blade and saved my ass from a mad bicyclist. The bicyclist had escaped from somewhere, I have no doubt, and was breaking land speed records. Fortunately, I had just recently watched the movie "Rollerball." And. much to the bicyclists chagrin, I used a great roller move to save my ass... not his. It's so invigorating to artfully change the subject. But watch out when your significant other is practicing this art, unless they are a politician. Then this is normal.
Some readers might wish I had just sat here, been "sedentary", and written " nothing." Others will might slightly raise an eyebrow in subtle indifference. And, a few might just go rollerblading.
However, If they put me in writers jail for this, I hope they put me in the writers block. I know how to get out.
er valle, jr