Friday, July 9, 2010

How to move a stone--or anything else heavily weighing

1. Find your stones: Seems pretty simple, you have something to move, a couch, an armoire, a futon, a cat, your in-laws, or maybe just some words--these are usually dug in pretty tight, but get them out; you'll feel better. What does one do with a field full of words?

2. Find a boat, they're everywhere--paper or plastic? would you like a drink carrier? Does this thing come with oars? Do I need some kind of license? Maybe you could throw some of those stones in the big round filing cabinet at the top of your shoulders. It is getting a bit dusty, isn't it? But you ask, "What am I going to do with all of these collected thoughts and words?" I'm glad you asked. Many people use them to build sentences. Benjamin Franklin had some great ones, so did Thoreau, Muir, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Lennon and McCartney--Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream,It is not dying, It is not dying. Lay down all thought Surrender to the void. It is shining. It is shining.

That you may see the meaning of within; It is being...It is being.

3. Load that boat! Nothing gets done when nothing's getting done. Don't worry about the how's, the why's or the Where's. At any given time, they probably don't matter. Remember, the boat needs to be filled first. Just be sure all of the holes are plugged; wouldn't want anything to get out.

4. Find a good spot and unload. This is the hard part. If you don't stack these puppies just right they'll go all wonky on you and end up catawampus all over the floor. Here's a simple tip: Don't unload into run-on sentences, sentence fragments, or comma splices, but do feel free to use the Oxford comma at your discretion. If you're not sure what any of this means, check out the little book that Strunk and White wrote. It may help with some elements of your own style.

5. Make sure you own or can buy borrow or steal some tools of the trade--it might be an iMac or a PC or a Blackberry or a Kindle or a nook or a 1943 Underwood Standard, or a couple of Black Magic pencils and a roll of newsprint you bought at a garage sale for 75 cents(Kerouac would be proud, the putz).

6. Listen to yourself! Academics have all of these theories and academical ideals that they try to strive for. That leaves them sounding like a lot of the hacks who have come before them. Load your stones the way you want to. Ask your friends what they think. Ask your parents what they think, although they'll probably just tell you that they're proud of you and you should get a haircut. When you write something that elicits an emotion from somebody, you're there, dude.

7. Show me your stones!! You made it this far, show people what you got. Start a blog, Twitter until you can tweet no more, make photocopies of your work and paste them in bathroom stalls.

A great man once told me, "Don't get it right, get it written." So I give to you, my micro-audience, my stones.

Now go and write something.


Sig. said...

Rob? Lisa? Jim? It's funny how indistinct we can become when we're stripped of our byline. New suggestion: posts should include bylines. :)

That's how we roll at Stoneboat. We're learning as we go.

Stoneboat said...

That was me. Sorry. I'm kinda technologically challenged. I'll catch up!


Sig. said...

No need to apologize -- you're doing great. Jumping into new technology head first is scary.