If you have looked carefully at my blog and tried to make sense of it, you have probably noticed that sense is hard to make. It certainly makes no cents. Though, I am told by my writer and publisher friends that a blog is critical to marketing books, I really and truly have not figured out how. I am guessing here, but successful authors must do what they love in their blogs and hope that leads people to think seriously about buying a book with their name on it. But will people ever want the frabjous daylight that makes them say “caloo calay!” from my burbling books filled with nonsense and purple paisley prose?
Maybe I need to clarify what I write about. Hmm, how do I do that? I end up with such a plethora of scattered categories… err cattered scattergories… err, no… right the first time, that no one can make a mental framework that accurately describes my work… including me. But I have to try… even if it kills me… but if it wants to kill me, I already have six incurable diseases (maybe seven) and am a cancer survivor, so it will have to take a number and get in line.
The bird-word post I did yesterday is what I call humor. It is pun-ish if not punny, but possibly pun-ishable. I like word play and word pictures and rhymes and alliteration, all the stuff that my serious writer friends warn me against. Mark Twain, whom I actually deeply respect, says “When considering the adjective, cut it out!” But I find myself unable to do that. I have to spread the adjectives on two or three layers thick like butter, jam, and peanut butter. I never use one word for something when I can use seven. So part of the style that is mine is excessively goopy phraseology. I guess I write like I talk and, since it’s humor, I actively try to talk funny.
What else can I say is characteristic of what I do? Well I was a teacher for three hundred and ten years (possibly divisible by ten). That may have impacted the way I write and what I write about. I am pigeon-holed in the Young Adult novel genre because I write mainly about school age, particularly junior-high-aged, kids… Their problems with corresponding creative solutions, and the kind of things that make them laugh (there’s a lot of pigeons in that hole!). Education issues are important to me. That is probably the key reason that the novel I am working on today, The Magical Miss Morgan, is about a classroom teacher. I hope that doesn’t limit me to an entirely kid-audience, because adults have the book-buying money, and not every adult gives in to a kid whining about wanting to buy a book (because most kids don’t and there are adults who don’t have kids). (Besides, says another aside, kids is really little goats who eat books before they read them).
Finally, I am a student of art. I search for it, chew on it, digest it, rearrange it in my heart and guts, and spit it back out with colored pencils (Dang! I must be a kid too, at least at heart). In my blog I have written about and shared with you Norman Rockwell, Paul Detlafsen, Thomas Kinkade, Maxfield Parrish, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, and Frederick Remington. I know of a few more like George Herriman, Cliff Sterrit, and E.C, Segar that I am compelled to write about too. Oh, and N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, and Milt Caniff. Uh-oh, better stop before another list comes on. So, in conclusion, this whole mess will never really be concluded and since it’s convoluted, it will get all mangled up and end up back where it began. I have tried to make sense out of everything, but instead I’ve just made soup… or if I take out the broth… stew!