#writingcraft: Was It Too Simple?

As the post of the first week of the month, I’m ascribing the Twitter hashtag, #writingcraft from here on out.


Was It Too Simple?
image by Gordon Wrigley

Two months I wrote about the possibility of getting worse at the craft of writing. I thought my solution was to take a basic grammar class. I do believe I deluded myself. The course started out with the elementary aspects. I thought it would rush along to topics of a naive writer, like what words are more appropriate than others in certain content. Contradictory to my assumption, it stayed focused on the fundamentals. It wasn’t at all what I was looking for. Maybe I just need to open my style book more often.

After discovering the frivolousness of that course, I took another look at some of the unfinished stories I had tucked away in my cloud. My presumption about these works was I was overwhelmed about how to proceed with each of these stories. I thought I had so many ways to go I had gotten totally perturbed and rattled.

Now, my hunch is swaying me completely the other way and even onto a different path. Maybe what I was experiencing wasn’t overpowering dumbfoundedness from complexity. Maybe it was aversion for the stories themselves to the point where my reluctance to go on with them was what was overwhelming. Concededly, there were a few twists in these stories, however, they didn’t take the main character off the beaten track. It was more of a case of move that branch or throw that rock out of the way. Boring stuff.

Sometimes understanding why I have an emotion is more baffling than the emotion itself. I’ve come to know the feeling of being overwhelmed quite well. My thoughts become muddled. I start having problems deciding about unrelated issues as well as the ones pertaining to the matter at hand. I know I must just stop what I’m doing and try to make my mind a blank. I must step away from whatever it is that is causing the feeling of spoil to surge through my veins.

I can’t even peek at those stories anymore, at least for a long while. I went back to reading my classics, Jane Austin and Charles Dickens. I was hoping to get inspiration from these two authors. Believe it or not, it is helping.

A few of weeks ago, February ninth, I posted an article about changing what or where I write. It was after writing that post I went to Amazon to find some more classics to read. So many of they are completely free there if I get the eBook version. There isn’t any shipping or handling fee either.

Reading about history in a fictitious form has me brainstorming about an idea for a story where the setting is in the past someplace. The concepts I’m coming up with are arduous and elaborate for the characters. Well, so far they seem to be, anyway. They’re more mixed than anything I’ve written before.

Who would have envisioned me going for something more entangled, more involved? Certainly not me. Yet, it just seems to be the appropriate path to take right now.

Have you ever gone for the path covered with debris, sharp turns, and detours?

“Good writing is good writing. In many ways, it’s the audience and their expectations that define a genre. A reader of literary fiction expects the writing to illuminate the human condition, some aspect of our world and our role in it. A reader of genre fiction likes that, too, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the story.” ― Rosemary Clement-Moore


Process Obsessive

Process Obsessive
Image provided by Michael

The title of the post is obscure, but after digging around in the online thesaurus, it’s the best I could come up with to explain what I thought this entry’s topic is.

The age of technology has made some, if not most or even all people shift gears from big-picture managing to micro managing. In some ways, I think it has softened our brains a little so that we don’t remember what we did last or what we should do next despite how it’s been pushing us to living for the moment. We have electronic tasks lists that many refer to hourly, or maybe as often as every fifteen minutes.

This era has made us trust less too. Children have cell phones these days. Sure, they love having the device, but the parents are using it to keep tabs on their children, making sure they never step out of line even when they’re not in sight. The children are not allowed to figure out anything on their own.

I don’t have children at home anymore so, obviously, I fall into the first group exclusively, although I do have the excuse of have short-term memory loss that explains my forgetfulness. The trust issue is one I’ve always had way before this time of PCs, laptops, tablets, and cell phones so it not of any consequence. My electronic reach doesn’t even get involved with this matter.

Now that APPs have come onto the scene, supposedly more information is at out fingertips. Instead of hooking onto the internet and doing a quick search, we are told to use one of the apps to find what we want. I resisted the apps since they first came out in spite of the fact that many of them were and are free to download.

However, this last weekend I paid more attention to the daily routine I has set for myself. I open up the browser to my chosen homepage, Bing.Com. I have an account with them through Microsoft so the local new and weather are just a click away from that page. After getting my fill of the local garbage, I click on a button sitting on the “Favorite bar” to head over to one of my email inboxes. In order to get to my second inbox, I have to click on another button located on the same bar.

All this is easy. Still, this last Saturday I asked myself why am I opening the browser when I can access some of this through apps I could place on the taskbar of my desktop. I’ve always been annoyed by the browser screen, itself anyway. No matter which browser I use, the top of my screen looks junky and cluttered. To put it simply, I’m trying all the free apps I think I can benefit from.

My slim unobstructive taskbar now has email for all in one, notepad, OneNote, internet, dictionary, and thesaurus sitting in a row waiting for me to open at will. Yes, I still need the internet so the link is there, but I’m not using it as often. That is the one and only app that I use at full screen now. All of the others are set up on the smaller version.

What I have found to be so miraculous about this change is the feeling of being overwhelmed has diminished noticeably. Having the desktop more visible has made such a difference. My need for space on the desk where my PC screen sits doesn’t look as messy and cramped. I still want to move the cable equipment to a shelf that I still need to construct, but once that’s done, my little work area will suit me fine.

All this time, in my attempts to simplify in order to be more productive, I’ve shied away from any more technology trying to do the Feng Shui approach. Having all these little icons at the bottom of my desktop might be thought of as a cluttering strewn concept. But the appearance isn’t bothering me at all.

Maybe this will arrest my obsession for a better flow of process at my work corner.


Are you using apps?

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.” Buddha