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Writing: The Holy Chore

I was reading a book about writing a couple of months ago. A writer called it the Holy Chore. I would give him credit but I don’t remember his name.

It’s driving me crazy, but like a fuctional alcoholic, I’m a functional nut. I wish! oh I wish I wish I wish time was something I could manage. God gave me slightly more than half a brain. And you, reader, can vouch for how stupid this world is. Even highly educated people these days are often full of flapdoodle. I’m only slightly smarter than average stupid, which often makes me look like a genius but it bugs me more than blesses me. Do you think it’s more painful to wander through the world stupid or smart? I’m just a little itsy bit better than average in most things…a Jack of all mediocrities and a master of reaching the wilted flower beyond the world’s craphill. I can kinda play guitar. I can fool around on a piano. I can carry a tune. I can throw a tight spiral. Flag football quarterback. I can kinda sorta sketch. I’m funny, sometimes on purpose. I’m refreshingly weird (in a pleasant way…I think). I can be witty. A good conversationalist. I know plaids don’t go with prints. I can say cool stuff once in a while at dinner with friends. I’m housebroke…I won’t go on the floor. I can do accents. Kids like me. Old people like me. I can get a bit unhinged sometimes doing personas I make up off the top of my head when a little group of old ladies is watching me perform. I’m thinking in my mind, no one will ever take me serious now! They say I’m crazy. But I have not one ounce of discipline to sustain writing. Zero! I’m either a blob of complacency or a burst of last minute touchdowns. The only thing I can do consistently is show up on time to work. During the short breaks I read one or two of the 29 books I’ve started. This scatterbrained life pisses me off! That’s why I have to get away from blogs (of which I have many as I’m trying to build a writer’s platform for promotoing my book next year) and the internet sometimes. I don’t have the discipline to achieve the holy chore of writing an epic book if I spend significant time here. I’m feeding the narcissism we are all cursed with. 

I have always wrote…something. When I was kid, I wrote stupid lyrics and poems of teenage angst. I wanted to be in a rock and roll band and write lyrics like Neil Peartspeare (That’s RUSH for those poor ignorant young-uns)…something profound like “The Trees”. (A friend wants me to write some song lyrics for his daughter’s singing career. <gasp>) Then I wrote letters. Then I became a gut-spiller in my journals. And, then more poems…some pretty good ones. I wrote and write philosophical and theological entries in my journals and on my other Xanga. Why me? Well, where did Socrates go to college? Sometimes there’s a diamond but mostly drivel. I jostle between formal and slang on the blogs. It shows my moodiness. I’m black and white and multicolored and trans-dimensional. EMAIL came along in the ’90s. Every one I sent. War and Peace. I could type something here and someone else could see it there? Amazing! He’s longwinded they’d say. 

But guess what. Due to lack of paying attention in HS, my grammar was/is horrific. One merely has to read my earliest years of blogging to find mountains of evidence. It gives me fits. Discipline! Discipline! However, to the shock and awe of many, I did learn to type with all my fingers. I fold my arms and give a highly sophisticated chortle when I see the neanderthal hunter-pecker desperate with his two fingers concentrating heavily ..shift, bink, bonk, curplunk, oopsy. So beneath me! I, who types with ten twitching at 35wpm about the universe!

Writing an epic fantasy fiction is something that requires discipline. Why did the muse strike me dumbfounded and say, “Here. It’ll take more brains than you have, more talent than you have and more discipline …oh wait a second…you don’t have any discipline. <evil laugh> Do you have any songs to be sung in my great halls? 35wpm? <lol>  Get busy! Oh, by the way, have you met Goliath?”

Um…I have a sling shot…<echo>

With that echoing…

During my hiatus from blogword, I lit the candles at night. I didn’t shave much. I drank coffee and green tea. I got up early. I read huge chunks of the Bible, epic fantasies, and ancient history novels. I watched an epic Russian made movie based in 1610. I walked. I jotted down notes. I pounded the keys. I tinkered and tinkered and then tweaked and tweaked what I’ve written Part II (I’ve left Part I alone but have some wrinkles to put in and others to smooth out) I had lots of problems with Part II of the book, good problems, a traffic jam of ideas. Now, I’ve got them in a semblance of order like a buffet line. I have a track/outline to follow into Part III. But, it’s like following a road on a foggy night. The head lights are dim, Hans Zimmer is on the MP3 player and I’m checking the map. That’s one thing that describes writing my book. There’s a myriad of wisdom I’ve read about writing. I used to think it was like trudging up a hill or mountain and I’d be finished at the top. Nope. Not really. What I’m doing is more like crossing the Serengeti and Himalayas…on foot…with a flint rock, dried meat, and a spear. Checking now and then for sabre tooth wolf-lions and lurkadons. My characters are with me in this darkness, searching for the light just like you are: The oracle, the temple whore, the weapons master, the old sage (master of the Creed), the lion killer etc. and so is every lily pad of the influence in my mind like the lily pads floating on the Mississippi. I cannot for the life of me tell which influence has the most control but that mystery is what writes the story. My job is to sell it. Not to make you adore it, but believe it. It’s all there floating on the dip and swell of the flow in my undisciplined bewildered mind. It’s the reason you roam the bookstore. It’s the reason you go to the movies. Escape and find truth.

Tis why I must get this Ring to Mount Doom. 

Tis my holy chore to make that escape and that truth worth your time.

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