There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What's Wrong is Write?

Or is it what's write is wrong? I can be a pretty judgmental sonofavich when it comes to writing. All writing, from the short story to the novel, journalism, plays, screenplays, and the often forgotten letter. Even in internet comment, this very blog, or text via phone I have grammatical standards — which results in the suffering of those who are text recipients of mine. Far worse: I don't always get grammar right myself. I do like that there are many styles of writing, but it's the levels that bother me. What is it, really, that separates good writing from bad? You pick it up and you just know, right? Except what do you know? You know what style appeals to you for reasons you can't grasp which may or may not be influenced by all of the individuals around you who you do or don't like who do or don't like the things you are trying to determine whether you do or don't like.

That's a long introduction meant as an effort for me to not seem bitter about stories like this one. Billed as a Cinderella story, I was unable to locate the evil stepmother (perhaps Hocking's drudgerous day job) and noted as well that it was devoid of pumpkin-based carriages and glass slippers. See, what I'm being is what is, in common parlance, an asshole. I know the Cinderella comparison need not be so literal. And you know what, good for Hocking. I thought, yes, here is someone who circumvented the system (publishing) which may not have evolved quite as much as it should in the digital age. I shall resist going off on my usual tangents about the loathsome nature of digital. Where there is bad there is good, and vice versa.

So, wanting to root for Hocking, I read the first page or two of her hit book and I couldn't help getting a little deflated. The draw or appeal for me to keep reading wasn't there. That exposure though, was a while back now, and I just revisited it to try to be more...fair? It still wasn't what I would call good, but nor did it seem as bad. And that, of course, is part of the problem.

Really it isn't about this woman who managed to achieve success because, really, good for her. It's just that usual bastardly not-quite-entitlement where I hope to be slotted in, so I can enter the echelon of the lucky few who earns their keep writing.

Shifting gears, I'd like to give a quick shout to the Sister Cities of Chicago. It seems like a pretty good list to me, and only corroborates why I find myself happily ensconced in this Midwestern metropolis.

At any rate, a warm wave has interrupted the cold of winter and so it's a reminder of sunny warmth on the horizon. You've got to embrace that cold depression for the enervating transition to summer. Let's see what old Punxsutawney Phil portends.

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