Recent posts have found me writing about dreams, my union experience, Anarchy, my wife, a historical fiction piece about a friend in college who was gay; the angry political hyperbole is almost nonexistent these past few weeks.
That I have been able to bring my righteous indignation down from the roar it was to a more subdued seething anger is a victory for me. I am grateful. There is so much more to living than just being publicly pissed off all the time.
For instance - The Semicolon, that much maligned and misunderstood grammatical red haired stepchild of the Grammar Kingdom. I recently began adding them into my writing. I had an idea of their connecting qualities from my days in the classrooms of my youth. Today I thought I might want to double check what I thought a semicolon was and what the Internet says it is. As it turns out, I have been mostly using them correctly. That's fine with me because "mostly" means I am adhering to the rigid rules of grammar better than I usually do.
While I am on this grammar kick, I thought I'd run through some of the other bedrock grammar celebrities to see if I still understood their purpose and how to actually incorporate them into my writing. Again, "mostly" is the high bar here but I'll settle for "sometimes" most days. When I am in a drunken stupor, or high on cannabis in one of its many manifestations, I will often settle for "barely legible". I was born a loose dog and that is one habit I won't bother trying to fix at this late date.
When I was a kid in class, I had some trouble with certain grammar definitions. One of the ones I had memorable trouble with was understanding and retaining the purpose of an "Adverb". I missed many questions about adverbs on the many pop quizzes, real tests, and stand in front of the class and embarrass myself moments in fifth grade. The teacher knew they were a weakness of mine. We definitely hated each other. Whenever she could, she would call me out about adverbs. I just could not, did not get it.
It was in sixth grade in a new school that Mrs. Savage identified my blind spot regarding adverbs. She caught me after class one day and asked me to stay late. I was suspicious. Staying after class meant I was in trouble. Not that day however. That day she opened my eyes to what an adverb was and how not to forget it. The secret she said was in its name. "Ad-Verb" - a word that is "added" before or behind a verb to beef up the image of that verb.
Think, "He got drunk"; now help it out with just how drunk he got by adding one word, "He got stupid drunk". Okay, okay ,using "stupid" as an adverb, well, there must be a rule somewhere I have broken using it in such a way. But I did make my point.
I never forgot Mrs Savage and the many lessons I learned from her. Best teacher I ever had.
Over the years I have been filling notebooks or wasting bandwidth with my writing, I have evolved as a writer. As a child, I was a loose dog stream of consciousness writer who used punctuation and capital letters only by accident or when forced into it by assigned essays. I eventually became a better loose dog writer who is still capable and willing to break the hard and fast rules of grammar if he likes.
I am under no delusions that I am a great writer. Not even close. Adequate might be an honest assessment. But that is not a worry. I picked up writing again in the 1990s with the intention of becoming a better writer. And I have done that. The bottom line here is I have never enjoyed writing more than I do now.
Keep it 'tween the ditches .................................
Musicchoice for today? Hmm. Sometimes creating new habits can be a pain the ass. But I need some order and consistency in my life and this regular new feature is one small effort at accomplishing that. So what's a theme from the post I can find music for? ..... Hmm ....
No problem. Easiest call in awhile. "White Rabbit", by Jefferson Airplane. I had this tune on a forty five when I was a young. It was not until I played an LP that had it I understood what it was all about. I was tripping on LSD that time and I was sure this song had all the answers we needed - "Feed Your Head".