Listening to advice from friends, I am going to start other blogs to carry topics unrelated to writing, instead of clogging the space here. Since my favorite off-topic interest is off-the-wall stories in our modern or pop culture, the first new blog is called “I’m Off My Meds Again” and can be found at http://www.offmymedsagain.wordpress.com. It’s MY platform for MY craziness. If you love the world of abnormal, bizarre, whacko things, then you’ll love this space. If crazy talk isn’t your cup of tea, stay away!
Philosopher and software developer Clif High says:
In all experimentation, as with life, which is THE Grand Experiment after all, two rules apply: first, that all things are difficult in the beginning, thus most of your mistakes are made early in any process; and second, Stupidity Can Hurt.
So watch out in the early stages of any new activity, when we mostly operate at the stupid level.
A special thanks to author Richard Daybell of “Tis Pity He’s a Writer” (http://richarddaybell.wordpress.com/) for inspiring this musing with his September 24 post. Daybell points out that, as we age, we cast a wary eye on all things unfamiliar. He made me giggle as I recalled my first encounter with my husband’s new work phone.
In the middle of the night, I peel myself from a warm bed to take two dogs to the back door to let them outside for a potty break. I am staggering in the dark, uncoordinated because I am half-asleep and blinded by the darkness. There is little ambient light to help me navigate furniture, walls, and door jambs. Finally, the dogs flee the autumn night cold for the warmth of the house. I wobble toward the bedroom.
My husband’s new iPhone-type device is plugged into a wall socket to recharge when I pass by. Suddenly I am bathed in light from a lighted screen. Like a skunk caught in the beam of a flashlight, I freeze in the darkness, snagged by an all-seeing eye. The Luddite in me abhors the damnable nightlight.
As I climb into bed, my groggy brain wonders, did that phone really light up when I passed it, or was I sleep walking when I walked by it earlier?
This morning I was perusing my collection of recipes clipped in the past for use someday. Someday is tonight.
I spotted a recipe card for Banana Curried Cauliflower that I have had in my possession for more than ten years, yet never used. For the average American, this dish sounds exotic. It certainly isn’t meat and potatoes. Mention to a friend in casual conversation that dinner includes Banana Curried Cauliflower and watch for the dumbfounded look on the friend’s face.
The point is an author needs to serve up the literary equivalent of Banana Curried Cauliflower once in a while. It shakes up writing rituals and creative habits one has acquired. Further, it pushes an author’s limits outside the comfort zone.
This is what I have been doing with my sudden fiction stories (using the song prompts) on this blog. I am trying out new characters, topics, voices, and writing styles. I want to see if any of it fits me as an author.
Tonight, after eating my interpretation of the cauliflower recipe, I may chuck the recipe card in the trash, or I will write personal remarks on the card before placing it into the permanent recipe file. An author will act similarly with a newly concocted exotic-for-him work.
By venturing beyond the commonplace, both diner and author expand personal experience upon which to call in the future.
Life is an adventure, and every fork in the road is new potential.
— Amanda Zahn, blogger and American soldier