Well, last week finished off my little experiment in creative writing. I hope you enjoyed a different flavor of column for the past two months. I know fantasy is not everyone’s cup of tea, but as I always tell my students, if you never try it, you can’t say you don’t like it. I also know that when I write fiction, it tends to appeal more to young adults and kids. I’ve made attempts at more “grown-up” writing but have found I don’t have as much capacity to write deep narratives at length.
I found that writing the story week to week instead of consistently every day was a real challenge. I’d have a hard time getting started each week and once I hit my stride, it was time to find a concluding point. About week five, I figured out how I wanted to end the story, and then it was a matter of getting from where I was to the end. I have a feeling that when I sit down and read it start to finish, I’ll find plenty of things I’d change. But that was part of the excitement and intrigue in doing a weekly serial; the amount of editing that I’d normally put into a story was opposed by deadlines.
Usually when I write a longer piece like that, I don’t go back and re-read it until I’m done. The exception would be if I have to scan a part to remind myself of a name or some small piece so I don’t get completely off track. But with this, I would read the previous week’s entry in the paper and then set to work writing the next chapter. Anyway, thank you for your patience in this endeavor. I would welcome any feedback to the story in general; you can let me know if you liked it or hated it or if I should ever try that again or never tread that path in this spot anymore! Feel free to drop me a line here at the paper or via my school email account.
So what’s been going on the past couple of months? Surely the world has been a boring place, right? Summer has gone smoothly for everyone, and your kids are eager to return to school! Or not. Trust me, more than once I’ve been tempted to interrupt my story to sound off about something, but I thought that I should barrel on. After all, how many times have you started a big task and taken a break for a week and then never returned to it? That’s what I was afraid would happen.
What was I tempted to write about? Certainly all the protests and police shootings seemed to be a worthy topic. I had some interesting experiences (as I always seem to) while umpiring. It was an enjoyable summer on ball diamonds watching my daughter play softball and helping coach my son’s baseball team. If you followed our baseball stories in this paper, I hope you could tell how much fun that coaching experience was and how much fun I think our boys had playing America’s pastime. I know that my co-coach, Mark Lee, and I had an absolute blast.
I could have written an entire column on the weather. After all, when in doubt here in Minnesota, the weather is a sure conversation starter. I can’t remember a summer when my lawn has looked so green and needed so much mowing! Usually by this time of year, things have dried up, but as I typed my first draft, another big storm rolled through, causing damage down in the Hollandale area.
How about the Olympics? Every time they’re on, I find myself enthralled by sports I’d never watch otherwise such as swimming, gymnastics, and even table tennis and fencing! It’s not just the athletic accomplishments that are so engrossing but the stories behind the people, especially the refugee athletes this year.
The Steele County Fair will be finished by the time you read this. Exhibits were looked at, rides were ridden, and new food was tried. Of course, the end of the fair spells the end of summer for many. Sports teams are practicing and preparing for their first games. Volleyball, cross country, and football all have events prior to school starting, so make sure to start checking the school calendars. Volleyball plays at home August 30 and football at home September 2, so come on out and cheer on the kids!
I have a feeling a couple of those above topics might work their way into a full-fledged column; we’ll just see how the world goes. I’ve got my topic for next week already rolling around my head; after that, who knows! I do know that the two month hiatus from coming up with new topics has gotten me to the end of my fourth year in this space with a refreshed attitude and a clear head. Hopefully you’ll continue to find a reason to spend a few minutes with me each week!
Word of the Week: This week’s word is acnestis, which is the point on a mammal’s back where it cannot reach to scratch itself, as in, “He called his wife over to help with his acnestis, breathing a sigh of satisfaction after she scratched his back.” Impress your friends and confuse your enemies!