Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Improper Poll: New Year’s Resolutions!
Besides, if this old dog is going to learn any new tricks, the reward had better be pretty big and juicy.
So I prefer either to think of resolutions for OTHER people…or else pick one easy thing for myself to do. I am happy to report that a few years ago, thanks to help from my daughter, I accomplished my resolution to overcome a Fear of Oatmeal. Want to know the secret? Here it is. First clear your mind of all thoughts relating to snot and boogers and paste and curdled throw-up. All clear, then? All righty! The secret is that you must pretend it’s a seriously undercooked oatmeal cookie.
Hoo boy, that was a lot of work! Frankly, I’m still working on it and have been too pooped to think of a new one till now. But here’s the new one I just thought of. I am going to scale back on my exclamation point use in personal correspondence.
Surprising, right?! I know!
I’m generally okay in public writing, but I am a closet over-exclaimer. And guess what one of my pet peeves is? You got it. I am a hypocritical, closet over-exclaimer. If I were editor of my own emails, they wound be bleed red ink.
Years ago, there was a book series that every high school girl carried. I won’t say the name of the series, but I once tried to read the first book and it was torture. The unnecessary exclamation points alone set my teeth on edge. It read like this:
I went down the stairs! I went into the kitchen! I sat down!
And that was it. Notice I am not exclaiming here, but I want to. Because what any idjut knows is that you just kept waiting for a creature to jump out and eat the narrator or anything at all that warranted those stinkin’ exclamation points, but there was nothing. Why we were supposed to be excited over the walking down the stairs and the sitting is still the biggest mystery of the book to me. I don’t think I ever finished it, either. Eventually all I could do was count those vile exclamation points.
So my fear is that people do that with my personal correspondence. Yet I once knew a woman—another writer and enthusiastic exclaimer—who used to hint that I must be depressed if I wasn’t exclaiming like a school girl. And I guess that’s what it comes down to. Like or not, in real life I have an exclaiming personality.
And after all, isn’t that part of what makes me who I am? Other than the anal retentive need to spell and punctuate text messages correctly? So on second thought, maybe a better resolution would be to ask my writing friends to forgive my over-exclaiming and be done with it.
By the way, happy New Year!!! Do you have a resolution for yourself or others?