Thursday, October 28, 2010

Writer's Litmus Test

This is one of the most “amazing” things, to me, and I have never seen it. Well, I see this picture just as you do and it is still amazing, but to see it “live” could only be a guess at its magnificence. I wonder sometimes that what we think we see is not what we are looking at.

Nope, this is not a travel post. It is a writing post. OK, I will try to unravel my direction here. I was sitting in Barnes and Noble (one of my favorite places) and while I was sitting in one of the three available reading chairs, thumbing through a “writing” book. I looked up and thought: “Look at all these books”. What must have been going through the minds of all these people? Somebody had to write each and every one of those books. I wonder how many authors had “hands on” experience with each topic written about in thousands, perhaps millions, of words on all the pages in that building.

One of my worries about writing is having the correct information and background. That you have to be an expert about everything you write. That it is the truth. Maybe not completely but at least be authentic and true to the history of the article. I don’t think I am alone in this thought or there wouldn’t be so many “how to“ reference books on the market. My true nature, I think, is to not just make shit up but sometimes I get enjoyment out of doing just that. I am a great fan of the old TV series Twilight Zone so I know how important it is that a person be careful to keep the distinction between fact and fantasy clear in their mind.

But would anyone want to hear all that? I don’t know. I do. Maybe. There are a lot of other rules. Another post yesterday alluded to maybe rules are just guidelines anyway. I like that and maybe fact from fiction is just a guideline too. I suppose the reader will eventually let you know, I guess everyday is a survey for response within its self. Everyone has their own aspirations whether it is writing or reading or ‘rithmetic and how they apply to society and an audience is varied as there are number of personalities.

I bought that book. During one of the segments, the author was listing a few guidelines or hints that would indicate the readers’ interest or aptitude for being a writer. One of the things he mentioned that a writer, as a youngster, as having the characteristics of a storyteller. I am not sure I am a storyteller so I changed the interpretation of what he was saying to someone, as a youngster, enjoyed to “play-like”. Did you ever use the phrase; I am going to “play-like” I am a pirate, or let’s play school and I will be the teacher. Some of you may have read a past post of mine, Oh Me,,No Wii , where Davy Crockett and I were great partners in adventure. Suddenly I remembered, I had been to the Grand Canyon, but it was in Nacogdoches county, close to a small community called Traywick. Which incidentally, is where Hank and Billy Ray (Pork Chops and Collard Greens) used to play ( refered to as Satersville ) when they were little boys at the pulp wood yard. Back to the Grand Canyon story. This was the REAL Grand Canyon. It had to be. It was a deep gully and had a small stream running down the middle of it, and I had a miner’s pan, which was actually the top of an old fashion coffee can, and I sifted through tons of ore panning out the golden nuggets that were going to make me rich and I would buy a horse, no,, a whole western town, and I would trade it all for a new Roy Rogers guitar with an authentic rope strap and real plastic guitar pick with a picture of Roy and Dale on it.

While at the bookstore, I looked and looked for a book on “Writer’s Litmus Test”. I didn’t find one so I made up one of my own. I took it twice to see what it would tell me. I passed so from that I decided: I am gonna be a writer…

Not really just “play-like”.


  1. I "play-like" anything that still fits :)

    And you are....a storyteller!

  2. I like it :)! PS Thanks for the kindness at my blog!

  3. I was originally drawn to your blog because of your amazing gift of story-telling. And I have to agree that "Let's play-like..." is the doorway to imagination.

    Oh, and you got me so gol-dang confused posting this on more than one of your blog sites. (It's not that hard to confuse me anymore.) At first I thought somebody flat out stole your post! LOL.

  4. never for a minute did I think you weren't a writer, Glenn, and your claim to storytelling is indisputable! Nice to see you're finally owning up to it :),,,,,,,,,,,,

  5. WOW what an imagination you have and yes you are a story teller....:-) Hugs

  6. I've seen you around, leaving lovely comments here and there. I came to find you, to read you as you are in your own place. A writer you will be if you so choose, I say. We are not born anything but moldable brain and tittering legs. To get our bearing, we must go and do and then we write about all of that.

  7. You're a SUPER STORYTELLER Glenn :) Writing is part of what makes you tick. I just know it.

  8. You write just that, you as a boy, you and your friends up to your bits. First story I read of yours was about mason jars of tomatos, the boy and his father and the mother that was gone. Life and death. Time. And ordinary things. Well, it wasn't really about tomatoes, glenn, was it? But you knew those people. You knew that pantry and that curtain and that sacred jar of tomatoes. Write those things, and I will always read.

    Screw the mother tucken manuals! Screw 'em. I get hives thinking on manuals. Let's start fresh and new. Let's start from the bottom up, like tomato plants.:)


  9. I used to buy and borrow the books on writing and tried to figure it all out and just got paranoid and confused. If I tried to write I just knew I was breaking rules right and left, so I tried to be stricter with my writing and lost the enjoyment with the whole thing. I have now chunked the books.