Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Love of Words Is No Excuse

By the mere chance of you deciding on another cup of coffee before leaving Cafe Luna, the venue of your Saturday workshop, you were ambushed .

Cafe Luna not only keeps a display of your books for sale, it provides a reserved space for your Saturday group.  Your ambushers were quick to note the comparison between the photo of you on the back of The Fiction Writers' Handbook and the you in quest of more coffee.

Words were exchanged.  "Aren't you--"  the ambushers asked.  You of course confessed.  There were four of the ambushers, in all probability two couples, each of whom, after more formal introductions, told you they'd heard about your Saturday group, which prompted them to wonder if you had any room for additional students because, this from each of them and again in concert, they loved words.

The Saturday workshop had been bracing in its discussions and reading,  The coffee you sought was provided in a fresh cup.  Thus you were of a jovial frame of mind, wondering if the ambush were another prank orchestrated by the serving staff or the kitchen staff, or perhaps even the group of regular customers with whom you on occasion hang out.

The profession of your ambushers' love of words was the key, which is an important thing to be aware of in consideration of pranks.  Pranks are integral ceremonies of humor, meant to poke fun, perhaps to the point of causing embarrassment.  

A significant joy of humor is its frequent venture into ambiguity.  This phenomenon is demonstrated by the stunning effect Stephen Colbert has on the public, and the lesser known yet effective results obtained by the actor Sacha Baron Cohen.  Both provide exquisite satire, clothed in the Armani Suit equivalent of well-tailored ambiguity.  

The waitstaff and the kitchen staff of Cafe Luna have heard frequent protestations of individuals who love words.  Some of the regular customers have also heard.  How quickly such things build.  To the right audience, someone claiming to love words is a target of opportunity.

On the other hand, some writers--not by any means limited to poets--love words.  The occasion for satire arises with the knowledge that individuals who profess their love for words think of writing as a means of description, where story or theme come second--in all fairness, sometimes a close second--to words.

Such love for words has the potential for long flights of description, which may or may not enhance the story and which, on the other hand, may send the reader off to the fridge for a beer or any chilled white that happens to be lurking in the vege crisper.

In many cases, you see a connecting link between individuals who love words and individuals who believe their research should all be used, whether or not it contributes to the dramatic intensity of the story.

In this case, you also recognize the link between you and the cynic,  You did in fact start with a love for words, at times in your life taking in dictionaries the way you now take in novels.

The way it works out is this:  Loving words is not enough.  You've seen cases of domestic abuse exhibited by individuals who claim to love words.  Adverb management camps are a help,  but in the long run, writing has to begin with respect.

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