Why? Because it’s one of those days.
If you know me in real life at all, you know all too well my penchant for scatterbrainedness. Most of the time, I can focus. Most of the time, I know FAR in advance what I want to do. I don’t necessarily live by a schedule — but I do know how I want my day to progress. And I get squirmy if I plan things and then don’t get them done.
On the other hand, there are days like today.
Today, my darlings, I just can’t focus. I should be writing for you a blog post of beautiful coherence and cohesion, something with a unifying theme. Something that makes sense as a whole.
Regrettably, that’s not going to happen.
Here are three random items instead:
1. Last week, my friend Patricia pointed out that I don’t talk the way I write.
It’s true. I don’t. When you’re engaged in verbal conversation with me, I don’t use phrases like “engaged in verbal conversation.” I don’t start sentences with “regrettably,” and “penchant” is not part of my everyday vocabulary. And I don’t talk so fast that you have to squint at me and tune out the rest of the world in order to keep up.
In verbal conversation, I hesitate a lot. My sentences are shorter. A lot of them don’t get finished. And I say “That’s funny” way more than any human being should.
What’s more, I’m an introvert. So, unless I know you well, or unless we’re among a small group of friends, I won’t talk a lot. I won’t go on half as long as I do on my blog.
I’m a writer, not a talker. Yes, I’m a sucker for great conversation…but with just a few people at a time. Preferably two or three. If I can get an individual to talk to me one-on-one until the late hours of the night, I’m almost in heaven.
YES! Give me that intimate meeting of the minds!
I promise I’ll keep words like “juxtaposed” to a minimum. 😉
2. Jesus reminds us of how important it is to have an actual plot in our stories.
One day, whilst meandering through Facebook, I posted a link to my friend Jessie’s blog.
Jessie had reviewed a book in which the plot was not clear. In my headline above the link, I pointed out that her post was a good reminder of how important plot is in any story. Another Facebook friend commented that at first glance, he thought I’d written “Jesus” instead of “Jessie.”
I kind of like the idea that good storytelling is a divine command. It fits my mantra: Created to create!
3. Once upon a time, Jessie’s brother John admonished me about my habit of self-deprecation.
From 2001 to 2007, the husband and I lived in Germany and worked with a small church there. I could write a whole year’s worth of posts on everything we did, but the short of it is that we helped out however we could (organizing, construction-working, wall-painting, encouraging, mentoring, counseling, etc.) and taught private, conversational English lessons.
Our financial support came mainly from individuals back in the good ol’ USA, so I wrote regular newsletters to all of those fine folks, telling them the whats and wherefores of our lives. And lemme tell ya, those newsletters were long. I had to force myself to condense each one to two pages.
Those pages usually had 0.4-inch margins.
I frequently apologized for the length of those letters.
Then my friend John wrote me an email. In his direct, no-nonsense way, he said,
Don’t apologize for anything you write. If you’ve written a long letter, it’s because you’ve written what you felt was necessary to write. You weaken the message of your letter when you apologize for it.
Well. That made me take a step back.
Long story (ha!) short, I decided that he was right.
I never apologized for a long newsletter again. People kept sending money, so I guess they didn’t miss the apologies.
My friend JT, a university student, has some fascinating ideas for a novel. When we sit and chat about it, he invariably shoots me a warning look and says, “If I wrote this, it would be controversial.”
I tell him what John told me.
Divine commands for storytelling.
What randomnesses of your own would you like to share? Lemme hear ya!