Saturday, January 4, 2014

Why are they always called random thoughts?



Whew, it’s been awhile since I posted. The bad thing about not posting on a regular schedule is that I’m never sure where I’ve left off, but the good thing is that it lets me see how much I’ve changed over the course of…many years? Many moons at least, lol.

I’ve always been a blogger. Guess it just fulfills some need in me to throw the posts out there. When I’m not blogging, I try to keep up with the blogs I follow, and for some strange reason, they tend to be foodie blogs. I like the ones with lots of voice and a unique take on things. Over the years blogs have come and gone, mostly because they reach a point where the writer decides to monetize and throws up tons of advertising or sells out, allowing other people to write posts, or they start to promote some particular kind of product. Maybe it’s the curse of followers, I dunno.

I always promised myself I’d stay away from ads and promo—well, except for the occasional, “Hey! I wrote this. Get a free copy.” And I always thought I’d never change, because (not too strangely) I can’t feel myself changing. Thank God for friends. And thank you to Ben in particular. He told me I had a stick up my butt and, lol—guess I had. I’d bought into that whole, “Well, her sentence structure was weak,” review (grateful as I was for the rest of the review) and broke out the Chicago manual of style for Shorts. I must have sat there stressing colons and semi-colons for days. Explanations with internal punctuation, plain lists, connected complete sentences. Whatever. By the time that thing was done and I’d stripped out everything that might have weakened each individual piece it had all the voice of a grammar CD and the pomposity of a textbook. I’m so grateful I stopped myself from adding footnotes. *sigh*

So anyway—here I am rambling again, and yeah—well, I ramble. That’s the way I am—it’s the way I talk in real life and I’d sort of gotten away from that. I took another look at ES, and…yes, the structure is weak, but it’s pure “me,” a literal translation of the way I talk when I’m waving my hands around and pounding the soapbox. I’m working on the arc book—all four hundred pages of it and it’s going much faster now that I’ve shut down the CMOS and am just editing for spelling and messed up duplicates. It’s not a textbook. It’s just my thoughts on the way the arc works and how people can use it to make their work stronger.

I’m not saying “hey, don’t like me, bug off” I’m saying, I didn’t get into this to be a pseudo-professor. I started studying craft because I was lost and needed something I didn’t find until I found the arc, and in finding the arc, I found just how interconnected craft really was, on multiple levels, across multiple disciplines. And in the process, I found a lot of people just like me, looking for something they couldn’t find in regular workshops and books. Synchronicity is the fact that a lot of stuff can happen at the same time, but isn’t really caused by each other. I like to think maybe it’s time for ES and the arc to come into its own and I hope when things finally shake out that I’ve had a little to do with it—probably not, lol. The stick isn’t that far up that I can’t pull it out and shake my head, but…whatever I do from now on is in my voice and without the Oxford serial comma.

2 comments:

Lisa said...

Jodi, I just wanted to wish you a very happy, exciting and abundant New Year.

You're a great teacher and I've learned so much about structure and how to approach character arcs from you. And I know I'm not the only one!

All the best,
Lisa :)

Jodi Henley said...

Hi Lisa! Happy New Year! May you have a productive, happy and exciting New year, too!

I'm glad you don't fall asleep and keep talking to me! Thanks for swinging by :)