Writer’s Log: 2017 Jack

Writing is like:

Riding a unicycle,

on a guywire,

juggling apples and alligators,

while simultaneously,

planning your next act,

with seven other players,

in a circus you’re designing for the next town,

as you remain cycling to and froe,

twisting a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue,

which you spit into a glass thirty feet below you,

never taking your flirting eyes off the trapeze artist,

teetering just out of reach of your toothsome gator,

at the same time dictating your nefarious plans for world domination and the demise of the human race,

to the parrot you have riding in your birdcage hat.

A writer is a jack-of-every-trade, never satisfied, always learning, constantly exploring what’s around the bend.


15 thoughts on “Writer’s Log: 2017 Jack

  1. Went to a little traveling circus one time in some Pennsylvania excuse for a town. One of those wide spots on a two lane with houses off in the woods. Not unlike Northern California only the weather was shit. Anyway – the circus “band” is a drummer with a Mac SE 30 and a synthesizer made by the company I worked for. There are perhaps 4 or 5 people in the circus. All of them at one time or another the Great Fartknocker or the Lovely Countess Barium. Tight rope walking, dancing dog training, daredevil motorcyclists, pole balancers, trapeze and gymnastic acts. Five people making you believe there were thirty. A drummer and a Mac doing all that circus music. Why a live drummer? Somebody had to do the snare buzz rolls and nail the trapeze grabs or clown stupidity in real time, kick the footswitch and let the Mac drive some calliope music.
    Sometimes I feel like that guy, keeping the dogs dancing, the plates spinning, the Lovely Giselle in her scanty tights and on a trapeze and kicking in the calliope music with the foot I should be using to close the high hat. However a high hat closing is so subtle in a tent as to be invisible. And therein lies the editor. What can go and still keep them on the high wire?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful excursion — the story that is. I grew up in NoVA; trips to PA were a rare but normal thing. Hershey, Gettysburg, never got to Philly though. There were a number of rifle ranges we’d frequent up there – I was on the HS smallbore team. Mostly, PA was just an obstacle during our trips to Camp Perry, OH.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh dear. Lived in PA in Phoenixville, backed up on Valley Forge. Philly was cool and crap. If you went before 1 on Sunday you got in to the Museum of Art where Rocky ran up and down the steps for free. Parts of Virginia are beautiful. And weird. PA as well. But the PA weather? Fuck dat. Cool circus though.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh, more! Consider all the ramifications of bore. And boring. Add small. Everything from manhood to oh, was that where you learned to write? Knowing on the front end it was .22 or thereabouts. My dad was a bombardier. Could shoot. In gunnery school they made him a teacher. My grampa bet him one time he couldn’t hit a clay pigeon with a .22 pump. Grampa lost. Grampa said do it again. Dad said only have to do it once to prove you can. Me? Adequate, at best. Tell me shooting stories sometime.

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    1. I’d seen a version of that. Thanks. Along those lines (literally), I’d discovered syuzhet – an R package for analyzing story sentiment arcs:
      http://www.matthewjockers.net/2015/02/02/syuzhet/ (A book was written about this.)
      I’ve run it against a few stories (gutenberg) and my own and discovered that it does indeed work to describe the emotional component of a story.
      Such a treatment only work well for chronological tales. Time shifted stories, constant flashbacks, (Memento comes to mind) don’t measure the characters timeline — but they do measure the reader’s emotional analysis of the story start to finish.
      The impetus for this Writer’s Log post was my continued astonishment at how little I actually know about writing; how every notch I carve lengthens the belt until I’m certain I’ll never see its end.


    1. Yeah? But one doesn’t know that upon beginning down the path of learning this crazy endeavor. Every skill I think I master, two new popup and beg for attention.


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