Write on Wednesday – April 18, 2018

It was a trip to Key West that made me begin to wonder about what is considered writing. I was taking my daily early morning walk from one end of Duval to the other, skirting the guys out power washing the sidewalks from the drunken excesses of the night before.

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At least that’s what I thought they must be doing. My husband and I don’t do Duval after 8pm so maybe Key West shop owners just like really clean sidewalks in front of their stores.

It was the t-shirt shops that caught my attention. There are words on most of those t-shirts and somebody has to write them.  I tried to imagine when I would wear a shirt that proclaimed “Don’t Be a Pussy, Eat One.”

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Okay, maybe that’s a gender specific t-shirt (or maybe not), but you get the picture. And that was tame compared to some. You’d have to be pretty drunk to buy these shirts and even drunker to wear them in public. My question is “are t-shirt slogans writing?”

That made me think of greeting cards. Okay. Maybe not literary, but it is writing, right? Romance novels? You betcha! My first novel was paranormal suspense. Definitely not literary, but I’ll stick up for Romance Writers. Writing doesn’t have to be literary. Blogs. Sure, blogs are writing. But, what about texts with abbreviated words? Twitter?

I rarely read literary ficiton any more – still getting over being an English major in college, although I am recently dipping into poetry. I read almost solely for pleasure and relaxation so thinking too hard when reading doesn’t work for me any more. That said, being reduced to reading  t-shirt slogans on my Kindle would be a special kind of Hell. However, reading autocorrect fails is hilarious.

I suppose it all comes down to words and intention. One word, written with intention is writing. Even if it’s on a t-shirt.

Note: This post was originally published on April 30, 2012.

 

Temporary Snow Birds

Both Laura and I were able to spend some time in warmer climes recently. My husband and I were in Key West for two warm weeks, and Laura and her husband happened to be there as well for one of the weekends before they headed off for a week in Cancun.

I always try to go to the Butterfly Conservatory while I’m in Key West and this time Laura joined me. Best time to go is early in the morning when the butterflies are most active, and before the tourists arrive in droves. Laura kept walking away when I tried to take her picture, so she’ll have to cope with a rear view.

Laura at butterfly conservatory

I had a couple of goals for Key West (in addition to having warm feet). One was to walk as much as I could and see if I could do some 10K step days. I actually managed that 7 times in the two week period and most days got at least 8K steps in. I usually start out about 7 a.m. before the sun gets too high and there aren’t lots of people on the streets. I love walking in Key West because there is so much to look at. I vary my walk every day and don’t run out of new routes in the two weeks we are there. Below is an amazing mural on the side of a building. My husband is the one with his feet on the sidewalk.

Roger with Key West mural

My other goal was to work on book three of my Caribbean novel series. I wrote the second ten years ago and never got back to the third book. The first thing I had to do was reread the first two books: A Dream Across Time and A Circle of Dreams. I suppose it’s not really surprising that I had lost some of the threads of those stories that follow several Caribbean families.

Then I had to figure out what the story arc for book three is. I’m still working on that, but am closer than I was. The love interest for one of the characters showed up in Key West and that was a breakthrough. It is incredibly frustrating how the creative process marinates in my brain and shows up when it is ready, not when I demand. But I love how it is there, all the time, just at the edge of my consciousness. In the meantime I keep writing dialogue or description or a scene even if I don’t know where (or if) it will go. This morning in the shower I realized how I think I want to start this book, so I dried off, got dressed, and sat down to write for ten minutes before I headed off through the frigid air to yoga class.

Update on Key West weather: It was in the 70’s and 80’s when we were there the last week in January and the first week in February. Today when I looked on Wunderground the projections were for highs in the 50’s and 60’s. That is cold for Key West!