Upside Down and Inside Out

Ideally a writer must not become stuck in a rut, thinking about things in print from only one angle. If you fall into that trap you are doomed to be Tucker Carlson on FOX News, an evil, greedy, and anal-retentive soulless propagandist. Instead you need to have many eyes and notice things from up and down and all around.

As a writer of fiction I use the magic of observation, perception, and imagination together as three very different eyes. You use the observation eye, the one that sees naked Little Mickey in the center for what he really is, a naked, sometimes stinky, immature little brat who thinks he’s funny, to ground your thoughts in reality. You use the perception eye, the eye that discerns the things under the surface, like the presence of a happiness fairy and a sadness fairy in the picture, to determine what lies underneath everything, thoughts that may not be true, but are based on evidence and represent your best thinking. And you use the imagination eye to realize that you can take old pictures and paste them together in a new way to be creative and think a thought you totally never even thought about before.

And as a writer, you have to realize that everybody has a point of view that is uniquely their own. So, if you use the first-person narrative as much as I do, you have to learn to enter the character’s head and figure out how to be that person. I have become a small-town boy obsessed with monster movies. That one was easy. I became a somewhat dyspeptic and grumpy older man who owned a failing business. That was easier. Also I became a seventh-grade girl who lost her father and has to discover what post-trauma love is all about. Dang! That one was really hard. And I became a sentient sock puppet whose actual memories, perceptions, and personality reside in the head of his autistic puppeteer. Wow! Just wow!

So, what am I saying in this silly, unfocussed blog post? That you need to practice using your many eyes, and look at things from upside down and inside out, and finally see it’s not so unfocussed after all.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, fairies, humor, insight, Paffooney

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