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    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
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    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

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Back to our Roots Writing

Greetings and Salutations loyal readers of the blog, (you know which one you are)

First a quick update on the most reclusive resident of The Swamp.  I received this note yesterday.

Dear Eerie,

Thanks for asking me over last week, your readers are such dears to want to get to know me.  Sorry I left so unexpectedly, but my hunger was stirring and I’m not big on self-control.  Also I had to ask the Swamp Thing to look after my place this week.  I’m on location filming for National Geographic.  The asked me to squeeze some money out of the donors for the local PBS affiliate’s fund-raising drive.  You know how I like to squeeze.  I’ll call you when I get back and we can do lunch.  By the way the G stands for green and while I love the color green I don’t prefer it as a name.  Although Shakespeare said “A Rose by any other name would smell just a sweet,”  Will didn’t always know what he was talking about.

See you soon,

Love Anna

She is very sweet isn’t she.  So moving on.  This week we are going to get back to our roots and talk a little about writing.  The crowd gasps.  Yes, I know it’s more fun to hang with my neighbors at The Swamp, but this is a writing blog.  Although the rest of the Evil 7 cover the topic most of the time I feel a need to contribute once in a while too.

First I’d like to talk a little about talent versus taught.  I am the first to admit that I have not been taught to write.  I often joke about being on the smoking team in school.  The truth is I was a bad student.  I never thought what was being taught was practical for a kid from the slums whose first aspiration was to go to work.  It didn’t matter doing what.  The point is I didn’t go to school willingly and I didn’t apply myself when I was forced to show up.

However my ability to tell a story is not hampered by my lack of education.  My lack of ability to spell and use punctuation is a hinderance, at least if you want someone to take you seriously.  I’ve written many things, no one has ever seen because I don’t deem them ready for the world yet.  But if you take them at face value they weave a tale, somewhat bazar in many cases.  They are on the whole hand written (no spell check in the legal pad or copy book program I’m afraid).  These shorts may be called many things, but ordinary, mundane or of forced  is not one of them.

This is what I consider talent.  I could always tell a story, ask any of my teachers.  They weren’t believable, but they were entertaining.  In those bygone days before standardized testing and data collection on everything a student regurgitates, an entertaining story won you points.  It was probably the difference between summer school or failing for me on occasion.  It is my God-given talent.  Like many things in my life it took me years to apply myself and use it.  I don’t believe you can teach someone to tell a good story.  You can teach them how to do it right.  They can write useful and necessary things with that knowledge.  The mechanics of writing and language usage have to be mastered if you want to write for others.

I kick myself often for not soaking up everything I could when I was in school.  My teachers pleaded with me to learn and couldn’t be bothered.  Now I pay for the knowledge that was freely thrown at my feet.  Of course that is another subject altogether.  I could tell stories about that, but then we’ve already established that.

So, if we can’t teach imagination.  What can we do.  We can encourage people with an imaginative flare.  We can tell them they will need to learn sentence construct and grammar rules if they’re going to write about the fictional worlds in their daydreams.  We can tell them that not everything is about money.  We can fuel their passion, nurture their whimsy, support their curiosity.  Because these are the ingredients of great fiction.  If we do this the stories will come.  I fear we stifle those who don’t see things as black and white.  I pray I’m wrong about that.

Next week we’ll talk about where ideas come from.  Also I would like to know who your favorite all time fictional monster is.  Leave a response.  Until then as is the custom on Friday, I’ll leave you with this quotation from Albert Einstein.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

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