Bonnie over at Words From a Wordsmith tagged me for a meme on writing. The idea is for me to describe my strengths as a writer. Okay, ugh! While it is so easy to point out all the areas in which I am deficient, it has been very difficult for me to think about what I do well. This is one of the reasons it has taken me so long to respond. I'm now done stalling and ready to write. I hope I can come up with five.
- I am an avid reader. I do believe that this makes be a better writer. Not only do I read a lot, I read a great variety of genres. I take recommendations and always try to take some lesson away from every book I read. I read for language, for character, for time and place, for example, and most of all, for the sheer pleasure of the work.
- I am determined/persistent/relentless. Even when I don't want to write, I write. I never go anywhere without a writer's notebook. I have a collection of journals in many sizes and have one close at hand. I even write in the middle of the night. I keep my book light, paper and a pen near the bed. When I wake up in the wee hours of the morning and words are keeping me awake, I scribble them down as fast as I can. Sometimes it's an interesting turn of a phrase or an idea for a story or project, but more often than not, it is a poem.
- I love words. I love how they sound, how they're spelled, and the magic they make when strung together in interesting and surprising ways. I love word play. Here are two examples of the types of word play I enjoy.
I love the work of Douglas Florian, in large part because of the way he plays with words. Here is an example from mammabilia.Aardvarks aare odd.This second example is a quote from the series M*A*S*H where Hawkeye is set to take over as OOD.
Aardvarks aare staark.
Aardvarks look better
By faar in the daark.
"I'll carry your books, I'll carry a torch, I'll carry a tune, I'll carry on, carry over, carry forward, Cary Grant, cash and carry, carry me back to Old Virginie, I'll even 'hari-kari' if you show me how, but I will not carry a gun!"
- I am a lifelong learner. I know this phrase is tossed around a lot these days, but the truth is, I teach because it keeps me learning. I know that I am not a great writer, but I truly believe that my work will improve with practice, and that I can learn new skills. This is one of the reasons I continue to write. It's also why I started the weekly poetry stretch. I am enjoying learning about these new forms and the challenge of trying to make them work with my words and ideas.