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Rated: E · Editorial · Family · #1810894
Testimonial to Missy

Those who read my blog know I am a “Connectional Thinker.” That is the only way I can describe it. I see connections not only in my writing but all the things an A.D.D candidate stumbles upon and becomes involved in. Recently I have been trying to connect my auto restoration hobby with my class, The One Act Play. In the midst of this came Rixy’s passing and I was struck by what Karen printed regarding Missy’s interest in Math and her love of the English Language.

At the time I was doing an analogy between my installing a Speedometer and my student’s coming up with the Comprehensive Outline, required in lesson 1.

Rixy’s comment on math said words to the effect…. “I know exactly why I love math…it’s because there is only one right or wrong answer.” Then in the next breath she talked about the litany of double meanings in English that make the language so difficult to master.

When I read this I slammed on the breaks. It was almost that in her passing Rixy left me a message regarding the struggle I was involved in. To me it dealt with the question… is writing an Art or a Science? The answer is clearly BOTH. As I experienced the pain in hooking up my Speedo and the pain of the students struggling with the outline, the answer became suddenly self evident.

Writing is in some regards like math. It requires the time tested structure of an equation and certain tried and true formulas or rules of thumb to make it work. In this sense it is like restoring a car. There is a science side as well as the more obvious art side.

On the science side is all the physics that is necessary under the hood. Like the speedo, a piece of literature either works or it doesn’t. I see that in the Comprehensive Outline. I can look at one and tell you if the drama is going to rumble to life when the first scene begins. It quickly reveals itself in a go no go sense just like a light bulb that flashes or doesn’t on my test light. Many writers don’t understand this. They think they can just start pushing the pencil and pounding the keys and the science of the story is just going to materialize out of thin air. Forget that!

However the science, by itself, is not enough. A car or pick-up, old or new needs beauty in its form. Most cars operate after a fashion, but all vehicles are not beautiful. Some are downright ugly and there are some who claim that only the function is truly important. There are car companies that fail (Often controlled by engineers) that subscribe to this thesis, just as there are others who fail when unable to deliver on the performance of their product.

This is an aspect of writing that aspiring authors need to understand. Great literature, like a classic car needs to have both. Missy understood this. She loved the math of literature but she also understood the beauty in all its nuance and contradiction. I’m glad I got to know her at a stage in life when her understanding was fully illuminated and she communicated it to me, like all those she touched.

I’ll miss her occasional comment when she popped into my blog and offered some encouraging words. I appreciated her help as I struggled to put together my course pages and how she encouraged me to explore possibilities that were both exciting and substantive. I’ll miss her, as we all will…, but for the period she shared, she bought the light of her experience and love into the cyber world of Writers.com and her absence will be felt by everyone.
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