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The Lost Blogs of W-OZ

June 30, 2010

Don’t be too harsh to these poems until they’re typed. I always think typescript lends some sort of certainty: at least, if the things are bad then, they appear to be bad with conviction. • Dylan Thomas, letter to Vernon Watkins, March 1938

I write. If you know me, you know that no comments you make are safe because if you say something even mildly amusing I’m likely to record it on an ever-present 3×5 card. My family knows this is true. I remind them by quoting them, providing the date and other provenance for their bon mots. (Josh, remember when you told your dad and I that you didn’t want to work in a group with someone who thought Art Deco was a big band leader?)

I write. I write to comfort myself. I write to remind myself. I write to record things that I want to remember. I write to think. I write to create. I write to discover why. I write to save moments I don’t want to forget. I write because it is the only way I will be able to recall what it was like to be me, now, in this moment. I write to capture silliness like the Real Housewife of New Jersey who said of another that “she’s like parsley; she’s everywhere.” A real-life example of a simile is hard to come by and now I have one. Bravo, Bravo!

Writing is not my problem. Word processing is.

As an artist who works with pen and ink and scissors, I am keenly aware that I need to preserve my ability to use my fine motor skills, yet as a twenty-first century worker, I am also keenly aware that the demands on my hands have never been greater. My ability to record, to respond, to generate, to immerse myself in a sea of words of my own creation has never been greater. The temptations and possibilities and expectations of electronic communication overwhelm me.

I write. I write my blog with a Pilot BP-S fine point pen. Black ink. In a dollar store journal. You know the kind. The one with the old familiar black and white cover that provides two-hundred pages of lined paper to fill. Sometimes I write directly on the keyboard that leads to the screen, but before I can, I have to generate the ideas and the blank screen seldom inspires my creativity. Blank pages do.

I have tried dictating my thoughts, but I’m not an oral/aural writer. I need to see what I am thinking. And I need to capture it quickly before another thought overtakes it. There’s something about the connection between my brain and my hand that works differently than when I try to use voice recognition software to record what I want to say. When I try to speak my thoughts without writing them down, I am quickly lost in not-remembering.

And so, I write. And someday soon they’ll appear, The Lost Blogs of W-OZ. The missing days of band names and travel thoughts and written ramblings about this and thatery that I’ve been writing, but not recording here in the certainty and seriousness of type.

What is your writing process? What are your writing challenges?

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. • Vita Sackville-West

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