Well, folks. You’re getting a treat today.
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!