Monday, March 26, 2012

The Unexpected Goose; Why I've Got No Balls

Unexpected goose
in the backyard
shouts at the garage


Perhaps its goose positioning system went awry. That would explain why it was standing in the middle of a residential area with no water in sight. Why it found my garage so offensive, I've no idea. It is an ugly garage.


The Rumpus' Sugar (identity now revealed; I long for the days of anonymous masked superhero writer advice columnists again) had a saying: Write Like A Motherfucker. They emblazoned it on coffee mugs. At first, I was all, "YEAH! I'M GONNA WRITE LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER!" And then I petered off directly after that.

For some people, having big balls is the way to go when it comes to putting words on paper (or the screen, more accurately). Personally, I've always wondered about the whole testicle thing. I mean, how do men walk around with those things hanging there? It's this extra bulk that I don't understand. Don't get me wrong; I love balls. I find them extremely sexy. I just don't think they'd be comfortable.

I'm not sure how this turned into something about genitalia. Let's go back a bit. In both a literal and metaphorical sense, I don't want big balls. I don't want to run at the screen with a jackhammer and carve something bold. I don't want to blaze the truth of my existence anywhere. I don't, personally, want to be my own superhero.

This is how I like to write:

I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountaintop, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten -- happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.
                                                                          -- Brenda Ueland

For years, I've felt like this. I enjoy writing when I'm quiet and happily putting the beads on the string.

So, here's the deal. There's a lot to learn about writing. I say "learn" not "know," because unless you're Mark Twain or Flannery O'Connor or Shakespeare, you will never know anything. And there's a good chance that even Misters Twain and Shakespeare didn't know as much as they'd like us to think. That Ms. O'Connor, however, was a helluva writer.

I haven't been keeping up on everything on the interwebz for months now. Too much "information." A real overload. Self-pub, e-pub, traditional pub, marketing, this one's got a new book, that one's got a new collection, this editor says this, that agent had this advice. I think I'll just keep on stringing beads, and maybe when I'm done, I'll have a necklace about on par with the construction paper garland I made for our Christmas tree in first grade. I'd be pretty happy with that.

PS What you should really take away from this is that I like balls. I REALLY REALLY LIKE BALLS.

PPS ;)


  1. This might be one of those philosophical-lessons-from-the-Universe: you see a garage, the goose sees...? Contemplate!

    Balls, huh? That I will contemplate =)

    Hm, just remembered we´re angry with the Universe. As you were then.

  2. "I haven't been keeping up on everything on the interwebz for months now. Too much "information." A real overload... I think I'll just keep on stringing beads..."

    I feel a bit like that. And not just in other people's information, but my own. I mean, I like writing weekly flash and drabbles (I love writing them), but I wonder if I didn't step back and concentrate a little more on writing things for elsewhere, or longer things, that I might not actually get some of those things done... But I think I have a fear, that if I go too quiet all of my lovely writery internet friends will go away... =/

    Loved your story on Nontrue, btw. I keep meaning to go back and re-read Foundation... ;)

  3. I was wondering WHY you don't have more chaps out, you fabulous writer. Hurry up and string those beads.

    *Ok. Pushy, I know.*

    And I have the reverse of John's problem - I write mainly for one specific place - Short, Fast, and Deadly - and have little to go anywhere else. Probably because when I DO write prompts, I get somewhere. Instead I'm usually staring at the S,F,&D website trying desperately to bang something out, wading through my own small eddies of bad, bad poesy and trying not to drown in a puddle.

    Lovely blogging, Bohn. Inspiration to read, truly.

  4. Again, my apologies -- I've just realized (yes, just now) that I wasn't getting comment notifications. And here I thought that no one was reading.

    Thank you, everyone.

    John, that fear is one I've had before, as well. I won't give advice, just say that I know what you mean. :)

    Jenny, I didn't know you were that addicted to SFaD! I'm actually intrigued by this phenomenon, this phase, this phuzzywhumpet (hehe). Why this one place? Why?

    Sandra, thanks for stopping by!

    A-- BALLS.