Tag Archives: writing

diaries

At the risk of incurring Sarah’s wrath, I’m going to confess I saw some of her diaries yesterday. Honestly, I didn’t look at them except to determine what they were. I was transferring some of her things stored at my apartment from old boxes into a nicer plastic tub.

The reason this is blog-worthy is that it struck me that all of my kids are writers and that makes me happy. On my front page I make reference to Zach’s prodigious writing being an inspiration. Now I realize that Sarah has written a lot as well. I haven’t seen anything of Jeremy’s writing but I know he’s done a lot.

Last year Mom brought out – I don’t remember why – a diary that my grandfather had written in 1915 of a train trip he took from Denver to southern California. Very little philosophizing, just the gritty details of travel. Great stuff!

It’s an arguable point as to whether pencil or pen on paper has more value than these electronic squiggles. I’m the first to agree that handling the actual paper that my grandfather held had value more than the words themselves. Paper can be free form in a way that is more difficult in e-writing.

It’s all valuable. I treasure those glimpses of my ancestors as I hope my descendants will enjoy a look into my mind, whether it’s this blog or some moldy spiral notebooks. Write on!

Stephen King on writing

Following my sister’s suggestion, I got a copy of Stephen King’s On Writing at the library. I’m only a little way into it but there’s already been a couple of worthwhile nuggets. Not enough so far to make me want to buy it, but enough to generate this post.

His first few chapters are what he calls C. V. It’s his own story about growing up with a single mother and writing stories at an early age. He seems to be focused from the very beginning on selling his work. To that end, he emphasizes the importance of rewriting.

I get that, but I’m writing a blog. Isn’t it supposed to be raw? When I start to write a blog post, I usually have the first couple of sentences in my head. I’ve mulled and rewritten, if you will, for a while before sitting down at the keyboard. Once it’s on the screen, though, it doesn’t change much. Every once in a while I read over what I’ve written and decide it’s BS and delete it. Most of the time if it’s on the screen it’s going out to the wide world.

For some reason, even though I’ve been a science fiction fan since I was in junior high school, I’ve never been interested in King’s work. Maybe because I typecast him as a horror writer due to the gory movies made from his books. Honestly, though, I’ve never seen any of his movies so I really don’t know what I’m talking about. Well, I know that his book on writing is the first work of his that I’ve read. Stay tuned.

computers

I’ve been a computer guy for a long time. I actually took a computer class in my first quarter in college in 1971. I was part of a group of stagehands who pooled money to buy a Radio Shack TRS-80 in 1982. I always had the ability to understand how to relate to the machine in such a way as to get productive work out of it. When other people had trouble, I was often the guy who was brought in to figure it out.

So, a couple of minutes ago, I was typing up a post when all the text disappeared. So many times I’ve been on the troubleshooting side and I ask, ‘What did you do?’ and the answer was. ‘I don’t know.’ I always was a little incredulous. How could you not know what you just did?

Well, I just found a key combination that erased 10 minutes of typing and I have no idea what it was. I couldn’t find any key combination that brought it back so I guess it wasn’t too important!

(If it wasn’t a key combination then my mental powers are greater than I thought. I wasn’t really happy with what I was writing. Now I’ve written this instead.)

writing this blog

I think about writing in this blog all the time. Pretty much any time I have a few minutes to think, I think in terms of what I might write here. I believe I’ve commented before about what percentage of what I’m thinking shows up here. It’s pretty small.

Today I want to write but first I have to get my laundry done. I can’t concentrate on writing while I’m back and forth to the laundry room. I’ve pretty much promised family members in Santa Clara that I’d go back down there today to visit. Most people will be leaving tomorrow.

The orchestra (and the stage crew) came back from their Far East tour Tuesday and production people are facing up to the reality of the December schedule. It’s going to be difficult. I’ve tried to set myself up in a niche that won’t be quite as crazy but the prevailing mood is one of dread. Perhaps some of that has rubbed off on me. I’ve still got four more days off so I will write more tomorrow or the next day. There’s much to tell . . .

writing

This morning I was excited to see I needed to approve a comment. (This happens when someone new makes a comment. Once your source email has been approved, you can continue to make comments without my approval. Well, I’m the admin so I can remove comments any time, but I will not do that to real people making real comments on the posts.)

Sadly, it was not really a comment but a spam post. It said, in part, ‘I see your blog needs some fresh & unique articles. Writing manually is time consuming, but there is tool for this task . . .’ hit this link.

Uh, no thanks. I don’t post as often as I’d like, but I don’t want any automated tools to wrote for me.

That said, I’ve got to go now. I’ll try to post something real later today.

legacy

I went back and looked at some of Zach’s journal entries the other day. They resonate differently from how they felt six months ago. Am I changing or is the memory of Zach the flesh and blood person dimming? Maybe it was just that particular entry that struck me differently.

More generally, it started me thinking about how we are remembered. Once there were paintings, then photographs and now videos for images but throughout it all there has been writing. And writing, unlike images, requires the person to take active steps to create those memories. (We’ll set aside self portraits for now.)

I had reached out to my nephew Steve the other day about his blog that I remembered but didn’t have saved anywhere. He got back to me with the link and said he still went back and read it to see what kind of person he was then. Well, I think it’s too bad he’s not keeping it up, but that’s not the point. We write to be remembered – by ourselves and by others. Steve hasn’t taken the blog down. I spent a few minutes looking through some of the last entries. He’s moved on to other things I suppose. (Actually he’s a brilliant videographer. See his website at http://thedigitalagent.com/)

I’ve written a lot over the years. I generally have written more when I travel than when I’m at home so I’ve got lots of good records of that. When the kids were little I kept journals of their doings. Some of my more recent musings have been on the computer. Will the paper or the electron last longer? My bet is on the electron although there are issues with that as well.

I know I’d sure like it if my grandfather had written more. My mother has a couple of things he wrote but it’s only tantalizing. I can remember him but what about when I’m gone? A few fading photos like some others that I have. They’re of families – ancestors – but I don’t know who they are.

To be continued . . .

Here’s Steve’s blog address (last entry 2010!): http://backseatmusings.blogspot.com/