Monday, 7 April 2014

Don't ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, encourage a Rambler

Today marks a New Day. A Lemon-Squeezed Candy Crown Day. The sort of day that makes one think of the following street-side attraction located somewhere in San Francisco (I think)...bit of a blurry trip that one.

Be Aware. Silly Hats Don't Care.

Lack of caution in this instance might initiate an explosion of silly hats. On the other foot however, too much caution might initiate an explosion of the following; a mosaic which is really just an artist's way of saying "organized insanity." (This is especially evident in those which take the trouble to point out different directions you might feel like trying as seen in the image of a Greek side-street below):

Which path will you take? A Conveniently Labelled Spot of Five Choices for your Patronage.

Perhaps if you can just take caution somewhere between the flavour of a potato and a peppercorn we can move on and I can explain to you just what the monumental moment of Awesome was which occured today.

As an Introvert (who also suffers from an acute fear of meeting new people). I don't get out very often. When I do, I do with people I know. Sort of like my own personal army of minions who do all the heavy lifting of introductions and mindless "how-do-you do's." (A social construct I still cannot bother to figure out the reasons behind).

Today I went out. I went out times a double chocolate cake. I went out to a writing workshop wherein I was one of two who sat with our local library's writer-in-residence and spent two hours working through the nebulous bits I had brought which I had no clue as to what I should constructively do with them. (That's the problem with spontaneous inspiration, you end up with writing which has no pre-concieved audience or forum).

At first I was flat terrified. I got better. Especially once I very carefully relinquished the pieces I had brought; a short story of which I had just completed an hour earlier and three poems that had been scribbled off on my tablet over a few days of bath tub soaks. (I have a case. It is quite safe. Well, as safe as I want it to be. Therefore, it is safe).

A nebulus vista? Maybe? The resident writer kept using the term after I dropped it.

The girl who was there with me read the poem while our resident writer read the story. She sounded enormously intelligent and had obviously been dropping in for every workshop the resident writer has been offering, plus emailing him for extra help. Yet, she loved the descriptions I used and had next to nothing to say, except a title suggestion. I asked her if it made sense because I have a tendancy to ramble. She said it did. (Later when we went over a memoir outline she was working on, I realized I know a lake's load more about writing techniques/methods/styles than she which made my usual lack of self-confidence have a moment of "oh. I do actually know things"). I felt like I had found kindred spirits at this point. Which I had. Writers. We are right together. Naturally.

The writer in residence asked to see the poem as well. After reading it he proceeded to antidote lecture me about how rambling was actually in vogue and if I had heard of a poetic style called ghazal. I had not. Nor had I heard of the journalist he recommended I read as reference toward my story's topic, a man by the name of Ryzard Kapuscinski and the book, "Another Day of Life" which apparently deals with the same concept I wrote my story on, except in Africa while mine was loosely sci-fi by being set on a nearly dead Mars. Also, he adored the ending. I just want to take a moment here to remark on the irony of spending so much brain juice and time on certain things which then usually end up okay or excellent, and then, those times you rush something off and they always get declared as superb. Irony.

I had mostly let him talk through the whole period, first when he went off on anecdotes to assure me that so long as I was respectful (how can anyone not be?!), my stories that mash Raven and Coyote next to Anansi, Eris or Monkey was perfectly alright. Then, when he went on about rambling, he definitely did so himself.

Sometimes I wonder if Maui painted that (on some Athenians house).

The case, in the point of all this exposition, is that I have finally had someone tell me it is okay to ramble so long as you know when to stop. (This realization equates to a moment of Awesome by the way). I grew up on Lemony Snicket and devoured Terry Pratchett. I still do. Douglas Adam's is one hero of many and I strive to follow Lewis Carroll's fictionally placed maxim "imagine six things before breakfast."

I have always made it my purpose to befuddle. A pasttime which derives partly from pure amusement (because I do love a good confounded face) and partly to determine whether an individual is intelligent enough to be worthy of association. Or, at the very least, whether or not they can put up with me waxing on ridiculous rambles and reconstructions of facts to fit my experimental purposes. I sawed a rubber duck in half with a butter knife once, just for the sake of a poem I was writing. I had a lot of plastic residue. It was the modern day version of sawing a human in half with barbed wire.

Oops. Apologies for anyone reading who has one of those tender stomachs. Moving on...

As much as I like to befuddle people, the world is honestly asking for it. Like the silly day-to-day interactions I mentioned earlier when meeting new people. Then again, many people have admitted to the ridiculousness of asking how a person is without actually stopping to listen, let alone here the truth. One most people don't think of (well I have yet to hear it), are fractions.

Fractions are xonstructs of the human brain which allow said brains to create what should be, according to humanity, the exact same product. A bit like a car engine assembly line. The problem however is that fractions involved, in the instance where they are most often used, substances and the word substances harkens more to chemistry than mechanical acuity. Thing is, because cooking is chemistry (yes that is what I was implying, in case I was being too obtuse), nothing comes out exactly the same. Everyone, even if they follow the recipe down to the same strength/speed/length of mixing, the same number of seeds, grains, fruits...whatever, the results might be similar but they will never ever be as exact as the mass produced constructs of factories.

Hence why I dislike fractions. Why follow something exactly that will not turn out precisely as some other person made it. Especially when you can take the general idea, mesh it with someone else's idea and perhaps a pinch of your own knowledge/preferences/experiences and make something that fits you. Not to mention the second way is more fun and certainly more freeing when you live like a student. Same goes for buying retail clothing. I do. Yes. But I have a goal to one day be able to sew my own clothes. (Though that day needs to somehow fit around my stuffing of reading, writing, reading, exercise, writing, piano, reading and writing into the hours, out of 24, not spent sleeping). 

Only a museum can make octopus's look mathmatically straight.

Anyway, so I like experimenting with things that are nonsensical. Like hanging upside down on red monkey bars at the tender age of ten and telling every kid that passes that "mayonnaise is 5% milk." I hate mayonnaise. Always have. But at the time it sounded like a true fact because I included milk, which every kid knows makes you grow big and strong. What followed was a lot of kids seriously thinking about the health benefits of mayonnaise. I still think it sounds rather pithy but who's going to take me literally nowadays?

That was grade five. Now, ten and some years later I am still a rambler of things most normal individuals consider nonsense. Today howevever, today, my rambling was recognized, not as silly humour, or utter rubbish, but a valid writing style that can be used to great effect, so long as the writer knows when to stop. So in honour of the individual who opened my eyes to the fact there are plenty more opinions than those of my peers in Writing Departments, English professors, or any one who has been inflicted with my work at some point. I'll actually name the indidual who has made me realize, in more than just my head, that as a writer, so long as I can create a compelling conflict, torture some characters and begin and end in a manner satisfying to tale tongues, then however I do so is up to me.

The great inspirer and imparter of the moment of Awesome goes by the name of Harold Rhenisch. You may find his contemplative, insightful and rather humourous blog, full of lovely photos, on the following address:

I must ramble my way off to the millions of writing projects that might amount to more than taking up harddrive space upon this realization they might actually be acceptable to esteemed venues like the CBC along with my favour Analog.

Always rambling. Nebulously.

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