Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ideas, Words, & Themes

One of the bonuses of writing for a heck of a long time is you get to have themes. I remember as a youngster being darned impressed by reading critics who’d say something like: “Mr. Throckbottom returned to his theme of atavistic behaviour in love-struck retired railroad workers....”

I wanted a theme or three that I could return to in order to prompt sage nods from discerning critics.

Well, I’ve done it.

Someone mentioned a couple of days ago that I hadn’t posted on my blog in a week. He said, “What’s the matter, no ideas?”

Ha! As if a Seasoned Professional Writer needed ideas in order to write something! We don’t need no steenkin’ ideas! We just rain down a blizzard of words, toss in some metaphors, mix thoroughly, and let the readers sort them out.

Newbies to the writing game are often stymied by the notion that they actually have to have something to say when they write. I have to laugh. Writing is so simple. It’s just filling in the space between periods with words.

People don’t like spaces. Somebody smart once said that nature, of which people are a part, abhors a vacuum. I hated it too when I was a kid. It was loud and scary. My Mom kept ours in a closet and when I’d see her heading towards that closet I’d holler “Pocky-keener no-no!”

“Pocky-keener” was how I pronounced “vacuum cleaner.” I was cute when I was a kid. And I still pretty much hate them even though they’re not as noisy now unless they suck up a ball bearing or some nails and they clank around in there until they clog something and then the vacuum changes pitch and starts howling like a disembowelled dog - not that I’ve ever heard one of those but I imagine it would be a terrible sound.

I wrote about this before in a column and at the Absolute Write site. I used different words but I was basically talking about the same thing which, if you’ve been following along, makes it a theme. A recurring one even.

Take that Mr. Throckbottom.

And all you sages out there can just start nodding.

11 comments:

q said...

(nods and returns to vacuuming)

Anne C. Watkins said...

Thanks for the grins. :D

Frank Baron said...

Funny qbit. :)

Glad you enjoyed Anne. :)

Othmar Vohringer said...

I read the article on Absolute write and your posting here and then it dawned at me what my problem is with writing a column. :D

Lesson learned; Must be more imaginatieve or become a magician. ;D

Othmar aka huntwriter

Frank Baron said...

Glad I could help Othmar. ;)

Unique said...

Word, dude!

Nyuck, nyuck, nycuk...LOL

Frank Baron said...

C'meer Unique and take your head noogie like a man!

Dawno said...

I wonder how you would have felt about Roomba when you were little...

Frank Baron said...

Dawno, I confess I had to Google it but once I did, I realized I'd seen it before.

I'd have felt about it then, as I do now - very, very afraid.

MagnoliaGirl said...

You're right, Frank. If one keeps writing long enough, themes emerge. Readers come to expect blatherings on bosoms or duct tape to be interweaved with a life lesson of some sort.

It's getting harder and harder to sneak up on folks.

Frank Baron said...

You're absolutely right magnoliagirl, which is why I write with my soft-soled slippers on.