Always Write Redux

So, it’s 2013.  Happy New Year!Seattle New Year's Fireworks

For the last month or so I’ve had my eyes and mind and trigger finger targeted on January 1 as the launch date of the renewed me.  Well, at least the renewed “writer” me.  When I created this blog I titled it Always Write, which I thought clever and innuendo-ish at the time, but nowadays seems disingenuous in its veracity.  Sometimes Write has been the reality of late.  Or even Write. Uh, Not So Much.  Hell, let’s admit it, I’ve been elsewhere for a while.

But don’t get me wrong — life’s been good.  Better than good most of the time.  The money job’s been incredibly satisfying, my grandkids have become the greatest gk’s on the planet, Nancy and I spent 11 days on Maui and 9 days in Prague and Vienna, I’ve read some fantastic books and articles, viewed a dozen emotion-romping movies, made new friends, enjoyed a half thousand different craft beers, and even carved a few notches in my Bucket List.

#47  Eat a Vienna sausage in Vienna – Check.

Bucket list 47

All in all, the last half year has been one of the best of my life.

But my soul has ached a bit and my days have ended all too frequently with a note of unfulfillment and dissatisfaction because I haven’t been writing.

Alas.  Those who write know of what I speak.  This writing thing — it’s a tough row to hoe sometimes.  There’s nothing quite as satisfying as pouring one’s mind and creativity and sense of humor and message into words on a page, then massaging it into exactly what you want it to be, then risking your soul by putting it out there for others to ingest and love it or hate it.  It’s scary, being a writer.  Hence, it’s all too easy to set aside for a moment, which becomes a day – week – month – season.  And for some, it never comes back.  Permanent distraction.

A while ago I wrote a piece about climbing back into the writing saddle.  What I didn’t realize at the time was some paparazzo apparently filmed me in the process, as you can see in this video.

What the foul dog didn’t stick around for, however, was this here cowpoke picking myself back up, brushing off the dirt and the cobwebs, and re-hoisting.  The pen and pad and keyboard are ready and my fingers are chomping at the bit.

2013 is gonna be a rodeo.

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Hooptedoodle

So, I figure you either know that word or you don’t.

If you do, then you probably won’t need to read any further because I’ll bet you’re already familiar with the fellow sitting over there to the left.  That’s author Elmore Leonard, he of the four dozen mega-popular crime and suspense novels, many of which have been adapted into equally mega-popular movies.  Books like Get Shorty and Mr. Majestyk and Out of Sight.  And he’s screenwritten and collaborated on and executive produced a ton of screenplays for the big and small screens.  Such as the awesome series Justified on FX right now.

Well, the reason I bring him up is that I was cleaning out some files over the weekend and came across an article he wrote detailing his 10 Rules of Writing.  It’s actually titled, WRITERS ON WRITING; Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle.

Ah, see, now you get it.  The whole hooptedoodle thing.  Well, if you don’t yet, you will.  Just click on Mr. Leonard’s photo there and you’ll be whisked away to the New York Times and the original article.  Writers: you’ll find sage wisdom there, from a pro among pros.  Non-writers: it’s still a great article.  And you never know . . .

Just a thought.

 

What are you?

So, I’m standing in my driveway the other day when the 7-year old neighbor girl four houses around the cul-de-sac comes scurrying down her driveway, tennis shoes a-fly, and banks right on to the sidewalk heading my direction.  Her little hand clutched a bright yellow personal walkie-talkie, the kind that all the moms and dads are using these days to stay in touch with their neighborhood-roving kids.  I knew she had a couple of BFFs (can 7-year olds have BFF’s?) on the street right behind ours and figured she was heading over there for a visit.  As she got closer to me the pattering of her feet abruptly slowed and she screeched to a halt.  Seriously.  I could swear I heard this little screech sound.

And then this sweet little girl and I had an exchange of words which simply and profoundly altered the next couple of hours of my life.

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