Word Colored Glasses or: We’re All Crazy And That’s Okay

I am turning into a crazy person.

The reason I know this is because of what happened recently when my friend from work was telling me about the story about how he raked the leaves in his yard, bagged them up, and took them to the dump.

A sane person would have nodded politely and waited for the mundane narrative to be over. I on the other hand reacted like this:

“How could you send those precious leaves to the dump?” I asked horror. “How could you let nature’s bounty go to waste like that!?”

Perhaps this is a good time to mention that I have a garden. Having a garden means that I’m constantly on the lookout for vegetable materials to use for mulch. I save kitchen scraps. I rake up my mown grass and keep it in a pile. And of course, I keep my eyes peeled for bags of leaves sitting on the side of the road.

Owning a garden has given me something of a different perspective on things than non-gardeners have. Where they see trash, I see mulch. Sweet, beautiful mulch.

Writing is a bit like that too. It puts you on a different level from non-writers. It’s not necessarily a better level. Just different.

When I try to talk to non-writers about writing I often feel like I’m not really getting through to them. They’re often interested in what I’m saying, but they have no way to connect with it on a comparable level.

Often they’ll bring up their cousin who self-published a book and sold like a hundred copies. Everyone I talk to about writing has a cousin who self published a book. I’m beginning to suspect it’s actually always the same guy, and that somehow he’s manipulating some weird loophole in the space-time cousintinuum. [Error. Error. Error. Pun Failure. Complete Prose Breakdown. Error. Error. Error.]

When normal people get sick, they think, “I sure I hope I can stop puking soon.”

When writers get sick they’re sitting there with their head over the toilet bowl thinking, “It would be totally radical to write a story about a guy who gets sick and pukes up a human finger, and he doesn’t remember how it got there.”

We see the world through a different lens: the lens of story. It gives life some pretty radical hues. Sometimes it can even fool us into seeing narratives where none exist.  But we love it anyway.

So here’s to you, fellow writers. I’m honored and extremely thankful to have this small connection with all of you. Chances are I’d still do my writing even if I completely alone in this endeavor, but having all of you here to cheer and encourage me makes every day just a little better.

And, for what it’s worth, I’m thankful for all of you non-writers out there too. Yep, I can see you lurking in the shadows back there. You may not always be on the same wavelength as us writin’ weirdos but that doesn’t mean you’re not every bit as awesome. Oh, and the next time you see your cousin, tell him to keep on  truckin’ with his writing; he’ll make it to the big-time someday.

21 responses to “Word Colored Glasses or: We’re All Crazy And That’s Okay

  1. Hahaha. Loved this crazy post! Kept me chuckling right till the end. And the ‘failed pun’ is better than most puns I read everyday. 🙂

  2. What!? You mean not everybody mentally writes out their thoughts in their own heads? How on earth do they understand what they’re thinking?

    • I have this. Random thoughts, spoken sentences, visuals and sometimes music. I get pretty weirded out when this happens, its often spoken in different kind of accents, and the content of whats being said has nothing to do with what I’m doing, seeing or thinking about, it just pops in there and afterwards I think “…where the hell did that come from?” lol

      Today, I was going to open the fridge, and when I bent down to grab the milk a voice with a very strong liverpool accent said “Are you alright? aw yea alright” lol random stuff like that. I just shake it off and laugh about it

  3. I don’t garden any more (it’s hard to do in a third-floor apartment), but I’m completely with you about the leaves. So, that’s not crazy. The finger bit is sort of sick, but maybe we need to be sick as well as crazy in order to write some of the stuff we do. I whipped one of my favorite characters, then subjected him to sensory deprivation for a week or so, to brainwash him. Oh yeah, then I let him get raped. But it’s all good.

  4. what is my pseudonym anyhow?

    I’m with you all the way about the dead leaves. Not there on the puking into the toilet front – yet.

  5. and then you have those such as myself, the wannabes. Neither here nor there, sitting on the fence, looking out into space completely confused.

    We’ll be the ones that puke into the toilet bowl, look at the it frowning and thinking “I just *know* I could write something about this….but what???” . We then proceed to think really , really hard ending up with a headache… 😉

  6. Excellent post. Applauds to you on your reaction about the leaves (my family owns a natural produce business[it’s very small] and we do things as organically as possible. Around here we have lots of people that burn leaves… and we have issues)

    Yep, making a story out of anything… That is the point of a writer. we are ‘weird’ that we can take any scenario and probably come up with something on it.

    I’ve yet to meet that cousin myself, but I have people around me that self publish. There are a lot in this little town of 780 that have self published. Go figure.

  7. When writers get sick they’re sitting there with their head over the toilet bowl thinking, “It would be totally radical to write a story about a guy who gets sick and pukes up a human finger, and he doesn’t remember how it got there.”

    lol. I hope you write this story. I want to read it now.

  8. That’s why someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure. 🙂

  9. Hahahahahahaha! 🙂 This is great!

    Now you really have to write the story about the guy who pukes up the finger!

    My husband’s aunt and a friend of mine have self-published, so it’s not just that one same guy. Funny!

    I have a garden, too, but never thought about the fallen maple leaves as mulch. I don’t know why. They always seemed a nuisance because not only do maple trees drop leaves, they drop their flower bits and their seeds. They’re quite messy. If you want shade trees, don’t plant maples unless you like using a rake all the time.

  10. Okay, so Albert, the obvious consensus is, You NEED to write about the guy that pukes up a finger. Because, see, I’m intrigued as well about that….

    So. Come on…. 🙂

  11. How great you have a garden, and you tend to it seriously.
    You also keep writing. I may not always comment, but I try to read all I subscribe to…like yours.

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  13. When I was little, mom made us fertilize the garden the way God intended . . . the walk from the horse pasture to the garden was very worn in. I still have a scar from one of the blisters I got from the pitchfork. And I stil . .. ah, what are we talking about? OH yeah…crazy people. I totally get you. I told my midwife that I was writing a book and she instantly piped up, “I wrote a story about a sheep when I was in 6th grade.” Hmmmm. What could I say to that? lol. she’s totally crazy.

  14. Yesss..you wrote what I’ve been struggling to express in words! I’m always thinking of things in terms of story writing, and sometimes I think I’m a nut job or that I’m full of myself for thinking that whatever I’m thinking could be written into a story.

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