Friday, October 05, 2007

The leaf blowers....

...are making a racket next door. Can't the gardeners just use a broom? Are leaf blowers prevalent in other areas of the country, or just here in the O.C. where autumn leaves aren't seen as beautiful but seen as a mess on the sidewalk and yard? You won't find O.C. kids jumping off swings into piles of leaves because there are none!

I'm really not in a bad mood.

It's just that Jordan (I'm gonna out you, J., and tell everyone you're "Sweetness" in the comments section) just wrote to me accusing me of laziness for not blogging lately. But I've been working on an essay this last week, J.! That doesn't matter to J.; he's just sick of checking back here and seeing the post on the Helen Schulman podcast (he doesn't listen to podcasts but wants me to transcribe. Uh-huh, right....). I understand, though. When I check blogs and it's the same old stuff, I become frustrated and if I knew the blogger, I'd do just what Jordan did, and I'd write to him or her and say, Whassup?

Just so this blog post isn't complete nonsense, I have one discovery for you. As I said, I've been working on an essay the last week and when I started the essay, I didn't know what it was about. I just knew I'd been wanting to write about this thing that happened about 15 years ago. And I had a first line. But I didn't know where it was going.

The piece started out as a five page sketch, swelled to a 12 piece essay, and shrunk to eight pages, and in the meantime, I discovered what it was about and found my ending. So my tip for you is, regarding essays, don't wait until you know exactly what it's about to begin writing your piece. The discovery is in the writing. I love essays and I love discovering along the way what I mean to say.

Okay, Jordan, happy?

13 comments:

sweetness said...

I'm quite certain your other readers are delighted that there is someone out here in readerbloggerland that speaks up for them.
I for one thank Jordan for his fearlessness and sense of fairness. Sounds like a facinating contrarian.

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Oh, he is!

sourness said...

Really liked your admission/observation about not really knowing where you're going when you start a new piece. Makes me feel less stupid. Thanks.

Boston Billy said...

I suppose your excuse for not changing the leaf blower thing is that the Angels were "outed" and you feel that you can't go on. Is that the case?

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

'Scuse me?

I wrote that on Friday. Angels were outed yesterday, Sunday.

And I admit, life does go on, even for this Angels fan....

(But I'm still not sure what you're talking about....)

boston billy said...

Perhaps it's best to change the subject of baseball and elaborate on not knowing where you're going when you start something new as you mentioned. Don't you think that's a good idea?

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Why do YOU think that's a good idea? (Is this J. again, with yet a new screen name?)

boston billy said...

Yikes!!! outed again.

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

See, J., when you have a voice as strong as yours, it's easy. Remember voice...a writer's fingerprint? You have it smeared all over you. Of course you could work to change it, but why change it? That's what all writers strive for. Now, my question for you is, why don't you start a blog????

boston billy said...

It's more fun this way. Besides, I really have nothing to say electronically.

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Oh, really? You do seem to be saying a lot here, electronically.....; }

boston billy said...

Tut, I say. Tut, tut.

Marla Noel said...

Hi Barbara,
I just had the most interesting experience, which proves that it is a small world, and that your book, Pen on Fire, is being sold and appreciated by, at least, one Long Beach State Student. I was at a store in Santa Ana and a young sales clerk told me that she just started school. I asked what she was majoring in, and she said Creative Writing and Journalism. I told her my interest in writing and my struggles with learning the art at my age. She proceeded to recommend a book which would be perfect for a busy person. The book was Pen on Fire. When I told her that I was taking classes from you, she pratically leaped over the counter to hug me. I told her that you had a radio show and a web site that she should visit. She said that she would eventually like to transfer to UCI, just to take classes from you.

Life can't be any better when you can help a person acheive a dream.

Marla