Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Rick Reilly pines for a "Delete" key

now that he's on TV:
"When I write, I like to polish, tighten, polish, tighten, maybe 25 times, before I finish anything. In TV you can't do that."

I suspect I'm nearing a blog vacation. Time to let the tank gradually refill.

Plus, I've had 15,000 page views over 6 months! Hooray! Still, must tamp that down, and drive some people away, or will be forced to explore advertising. Then it will just be all about the $7.50/month the advertising brings in.
Phoebe Buffay: No. This whole like playing-for-money thing is so not good for me. You know, I don't know, when I sang "Su-Su-Suicide", I got a dollar seventy-five. But then, "Smelly Cat", I got 25 cents and a condom. So you know, now I just feel really bad for Smelly Cat.

Rachel Green: Well, you know, honey, I don't think everybody gets Smelly Cat. You know, I mean, if all you've ever actually had are healthy pets, then, whoosh!

Phoebe Buffay: It's not even that. I used to do my songs because it made me happy, but now it's like, it's just all about the money.

In early blogging days, I would joyfully surge out hundreds of words at supersonic speed. Then, would mentally take a breath, and read, to see what the heck I had just written. Very often, the logic would be wack. I would have to begin again, in a less breathless and more deliberate fashion. The "Delete" key was and is my friend. You can't write, maybe, until you're willing to delete every single word you've written on a subject - maybe 500 or 1000 words in all - and either walk away or begin anew.

Even so, the writing was so bad that I was embarrassed by it. In April 2007, except for 100 posts, I erased everything I had published since I began in Oct 2003.

A big writing sin was (still is) failure to put the point at the top and then justify the point in the body. I'm constantly tempted to try and justify the point before asserting it.

Also, the descriptive words I initially grab are often misleading. For instance, I first wrote "blatantly misleading". Yet, if said descriptors were blatantly misleading, I would not have initially grabbed them.

Grammar is tricky. It's easy, inside sentences, to misplace words and defeat your intended point. Also, sometimes, I intentionally discard proper grammar: improper can be more fun and more descriptive. Camille Paglia says language evolves. I'm with her.

Brevity! Twitter helps. Never realized how much could be cut until I was forced to cut.

That Twitter paragraph has 87 characters, including spaces.  Just tweeted it.   Webutante found a Twitter spoof:  Flutter, the new Twitter.

Show. Don't tell. This is surely good advice, and I'll be danged if I understand what it means! I'd kinda like to understand it before I die.

When I began writing: I would reread and rewrite, reread and rewrite, maybe 15 times, maybe 30 times, until the logic looked good, and until I could read all the way through without wanting to rewrite something!

Lately, I don't seem to do that much. Blogging is just blogging, and it doesn't have to be perfect. I wrote "Barack's bow" as a comment at another blog. I don't like to proofread blog comments, and did not proofread it. I did, perversely, read it after it was published. It was interesting. I copied it, edited three words, published it, and it's now a fun blogpost, imo.

And, that's fine and good and fun. Still, I kind of want to once again surge out a fire hose of 400 words, then reread just to see what the heck just came out, and then reread and rewrite, about 20 times, until things seem readable and enjoyable for someone else, and until I'm so excited I think: my best blogpost ever!  Lately, I don't have much of that in me. The last time I thought that was probably Earl Scruggs and Joan Baez, or maybe Explaining Limbaugh, or Volleyball and Joyous Ecstasy, or maybe the Fort Worth 1 video - which I LOVE - and at which I laugh and laugh (because it perfectly describes my parents - shush), but which no one else except @Gurv3 seems to like.  You guys don't know funny.  @Gurv3 knows funny.

So, I'm starting to feel blog vacation approaching. Let the rains gently wash. Let the pond slowly rise.

Let David Hayes and his grandaughter
fish with a Barbie rod while she wears a Kung Fu Panda T-Shirt.


In his radio interview, Rick Reilly mentions two magical Masters Golf Tournament moments:

1. Nicklaus in 1986, winning on Father's Day, at age 46. Reilly says there is a strict "No Running" policy at the Masters, yet middle aged women were removing their shoes and running with the crowds to the next hole. Vending booths were abandoned, their merchandise left open to any enterprising thief, as vendors rushed onto the course to find vantage points from which to watch Nicklaus. Reilly loved Verne Lundquist's call of Nicklaus' putt on 17: "Yes SIRRR!"

2. Tiger, on the Sunday night of his first Masters Championship, making his way to his seat for the champion's traditional Sunday night dinner with members. The members welcomed him warmly. The staff at the club, every one with black skin, came out of the kitchen, out of the locker room, out of wherever they were working, and into the dining room. They removed their white gloves and applauded Tiger. To watch Tiger's arrival at dinner, Reilly sneaked through a back entrance of the club, then peeked into the dining room.

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