We had our doubts. So much so, that we were lazing around on Monday morning drinking coffee and catching up with Andrew’s parents on FaceTime when suddenly we hear voices beneath Sonrisa’s hull and the sound of a loader firing up. As the yard growled to life, it could only mean one thing:
Early Sunday morning, the skyline of Vava’u fills with a light haze and we can smell the sweetness of tropical wood smoke. We are the recipients of an invitation to join Freddie and his family in preparing the Easter Sunday Umu, and it smells like it is almost time to join them. Sure enough,
It is now going on 11:00 on a Wednesday morning and I am writing. This isn’t the first thing I’ve written today, either. But I haven’t actually put any more words down on an existing project. How’s that? Well, sometimes, I have to write, but I never have to write anything in particular. If you get my drift.
I don’t get writer’s block. I have no idea what that is. What I am writing at the moment is just a sort of quasi-stream-of-consciousness travelogue through the town where I grew up, mostly while I’m growing up in it. I have no idea if anything will ever come out of it, but it is writing, and it keeps me in the groove. The book that’s awaiting my next brilliant plot move will wait, I’m sure.
And that is the point, simple as it is, of this week’s post. Just write something. Frankly, if your project is getting too tough for you to deal with at the moment, then for the sake of creativity and clarity, it’s probably time to back off from it for a while. Nobody will steal your idea and make a blockbuster movie out of it if you take some time away from it. I promise. I do have a discipline. I write every week day that I’m not on vacation. I prefer writing in the morning, but I’ll do it whenever I can, sometimes near bedtime when, frankly, I’m not sure the result is exactly coherent, but I by gosh write it anyway.
*** When Andrew read Sonrisa’s post from Monday, he griped that there were no pictures. If you are among the contingent demanding pictures, well then, I say to you. Sonrisa and I are sorry. We don’t blame you, a picture is worth a thousand words. The thing is, boat work pictures are ugly
Hey, hey, hey! Boy, does it feel good to say “hi” to you guys! I’m pretty patient, but I can’t help getting a little antsy as the cyclone season draws to a close. Whew! It’s been a hot and rainy one, but more importantly, we did not have a single cyclone here in Tonga. I have been safe a
We bounce along the loosely paved road from the airport. “Man, Leslie, she has gotten fat! I didn’t even recognize her!” Fredie says to Andrew, pointing backward at me with his thumb. Andrew squeezes out a nervous laugh. “Andrew must really keep you well!” “He sure does. He keeps me w
Well, I saved this post for last, because I held out hope the entire time we were in Kiwiland that I would see a real live, actual kiwi in the wild. I gave it my best shot, but I will have to leave this in the list of things I will do the next time I visit New Zealand. So, what is a Kiwi
Readers are probably aware that I am a fan of the book 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. I’ve reviewed the book on Amazon if you’re interested, although there are so many reviews, you may never be able to find it. Now the book has been adapted into a series and released by Netflix. And, of course, there are reviews of that popping up every day. I probably won’t review the series, because I don’t produce movies, but I can state, with just one episode left to watch, that I have enjoyed it greatly. I do want to talk about this one review of the series, however.
I’m honestly not sure who wrote that review. It says “revised by” or something like that at the top. But, it’s the review, which is a criticism, itself, that I am writing about. The reviewer liked the series, but not the book. And that’s fine. You can read the review to find out why, but for my purposes, I’m fine with anyone having an opinion, and offering said opinion for public consumption. No problem there. But, at one point the review states, and this is a quote, “It is not a good book.” Interesting. On the New York Times Bestseller list for years (literally,) bought by millions of people, recipient of eight (8) awards for excellence at last count, well, check out the Wikipedia page on the book to learn more. And thus is illustrated my problem with critics. Whoever wrote that review calls it a bad book, because I suppose they know better than all of those others who have loved it enough to garner for it all those awards and praise? Take a lesson, friends: remember that your opinions are your opinions, and everybody has one of those, right?
This is not the first time I’ve been offended by a critic, far from it. In college I read (as an assignment) a critique of Stopping by a Woods on a Snowy Day by Robert Frost. That critique was by John Ciardi, who, I have to admit, has cred. And he didn’t badmouth Frost at all, but he did go into painful detail as to the meaning of every line, comma, nuance, and stanza of the poem. And I thought as I read, “How dim must one be to not see what Frost is getting at, here?” Really, he means that he’s got things to do before he dies? Wowzers! How profound! I imagine that the instructor was hoping to convert some people to a love of poetry, but I don’t think that boring them with a detailed analysis of a beautiful poem is going to do the job. A poem, it seems to me, speaks for itself. If you don’t see those chickens next to the wheelbarrow, that’s okay too. Do something else.
The moral of this post is that you should, as with anything else, take what you can from your critics, and leave the rest lie. That review of the series makes some decent points. Too bad they had to spoil it, huh?
I started my life as the transportation van for the Saint Felicity Monestary in Japan. My job was to help the nuns keep their grocery stocked and minister to the sick and downtrodden in the nearby areas. The day I arrived, they ceremoniously hung the Ribacious Jesus Christ on my rear view