Fire Sunsets, Wallabies, and Mick the Whip, The Outback: Part Three

“Make sure you dry your patties well, you don’t want them to get chapped.”  I hear Grandpa say to the ghost of my childhood as he offers a pink towel to place my little girl fists into to be dried.  After a couple days of Indonesian Visa administrative work and some blog writing, w

Source: Fire Sunsets, Wallabies, and Mick the Whip, The Outback: Part Three

Driving a Point

Some Old Ruin Somewhere. Probably Not Significant or Anything . . .

Okay, that was taken inside the Flavian Amphitheatre. Happy now?

I’ve been driving with Lyft since last July. Today I took my first drive with Uber. Long story, another time. Point being that the result of driving for each is the same as the result of driving for the other, even though they are different. Lyft has a reputation for paying better. From what I saw today, that’s true. Uber has a reputation for providing more rides. So far, that is also true. In the end, though, I made about the same amount of money driving for Uber as I generally do driving for Lyft.

Here comes the metaphor, so beware. Some people write a whole lot at one time. Some people write in short bursts. The finished product, however, doesn’t give any hint as to what technique went into writing it. That’s why people can say stuff like, “I think I’ll write a book when I retire, because it will be easy.” Riiiiight. But, they can’t see the process that goes into creating a work of art, they can only judge the finished product.

For my driving, I plan to start my days with Lyft, because, hey, they pay more. In case of a slack morning (which does happen with Lyft) I’ll switch to Uber, because, hey, they provide a chance to make some money.

Am I saying that you should combine writing long bits with writing bunches of short bits? No, I’m saying that you should write however you’re able to write, and get that first draft done, because the real fun (it is, trust me) comes in polishing that puppy into something wonderful.

Okay? Good!

A Dire Need For Interval Training, A Cautionary Tale by Calamity Jane

Her lungs creak like an old rocking chair, in, out, in, out.  She promised me she’d do more interval training and work on leg strength between now and the last time we’d met, but I’m getting a little suspicious she did not do so.  I’m not going to ask, though, because I don’t want

Source: A Dire Need For Interval Training, A Cautionary Tale by Calamity Jane

One Sentence?

The yellow shrubs are gorse. This is in the Southeast Highlands of Ireland.

The picture is from Ireland because so is the fellow I just read about (and I can’t find the article to use his name here) who has won a prize after publishing a one-sentence novel. It isn’t a short novel, as you might think. It’s just that there is only one sentence in it. For sure he’s Irish, and not German? Anyway, this is an illustration of my point for this week, which follows directly.

One of my favorite quotes, and my favorite from Picasso, is “You must learn the rules like a professional in order to break them like an artist.” He said that in Spanish, but the meaning carries over nicely. And he’s right: there is a good reason that The Elements of Style by Skrunk and White is the #1 recommended book on any “Books About How to Write” list. You gotta know them rules, bub! But, once you know them well, you don’t have to follow them! A one-sentence novel sure as heck doesn’t. Remember that format from school, the one where you write an introduction, a body, and a conclusion? Yeah, well, that ain’t gonna happen in one sentence, is it? But, he sold the thing, and he won an award for it. Those Irish, huh?

Another famous Irish author who ignored every rule he could think of (seemingly) is James Joyce. Oddly, I don’t find his Ulysses difficult to understand. There are long passages that are basically the thoughts of the principle, but that’s easy enough to follow. Heck, his thoughts are tame, compared to some of mine. But, I digress. Joyce actually, of course, broke those rules like an artist, which is to say, deliberately, and to excellent effect. Without a complete grounding in the Strunk and White stuff, a long run-on sentence is just a mess. Ask anyone who has tried to read one. Or, tried to write one before they knew the rules as well as did James Joyce. Joyce is deservedly praised for being a great writer. I’ll bet he didn’t thumb his nose at the rules when he was in whatever passed for middle school in those days. He knew them well, and he ignored them properly.

And that, readers, is my pedantic rantlet for this week. Stay in touch — you never know what somebody with Irish ancestry will come up with next!