Reader Friday: Enthusiastic Foolishness Posted on July 17, 2015 by James Scott Bell “You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.” – Colette What’s something foolish you did with enthusiasm? What did you take away from the experience? Have you ever used it in your writing?
I don’t think I’d call it foolish but it certainly was risky and insanely odd: my move to Alaska where my husband and I lived for 10 years.
The seed to live in Alaska had been planted in me in elementary school when I first saw pictures in my geography class. I distinctly remember saying, ” I’m going to live there one day.” But as an adult when faced with a big career decision, I chose that dream over the more logical decision to live in Texas where we were building our first home, a place we never moved into.
Absolutely no regrets. Alaska was an adventure of a lifetime for both of us. The land and my experiences there rooted under your skin and have never left me. I’ve written about Alaska many times and still visit. It was a once in a lifetime gift we couldn’t pass up, all because of a childhood wish.
Why did you leave?
The economy there and my career. Plus it was really hard to see family. 8 hr flight, sans layovers.
Ugh, the dreaded typo.
One of my favorite sayings reminds me of this post.
“If you’re going to walk on thin ice, you may as well dance.”
The foolish thing I do is smoke, and I’m finally writing about it, a short story, to say what I want to say about smoking, and about loving someone who doesn’t smoke and wants you to quit.
I doubt there’s a market for the story, although a friend of mine had a short story published in a respected literary journal about a mosquito, so it’s always possible that this story will find a home eventually.
My original intention was to write a piece of flash fiction as an exercise in showing rather than telling, but I found that it ended up being unclear, so now I’m making it longer, and I think it’s working.
It’s a sad story, but I hope it will be very poignant.
Seems that all my stories are sad. Hmmm. I wonder what that says about me.
Sheryl, Stephen King shared the same foible. Have you ever read his short story “Quitters, Inc.”?
No, I haven’t read that story…will check it out.
Loved King’s collection, “Different Seasons”…I think that was the title. Virtually every story in that collection was made into a movie, e.g., Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” “The Nazi and the Boy”, “The Body,” etc.
Just read about the story on Wikipedia. I had a little chuckle… typical King, right? Gotta love that guy.
Mine isn’t gruesome or genre, which probably makes it less marketable, but I guess we have to write what we have to write.
Oh my…I don’t think I can tell you because the statute of limitations hasn’t expired on it. No regrets, however.
Shucks! But come to think about it, I might have a couple of those, too.
Seriously, however, I wonder if everyone has secrets they never tell a soul. I have two of those suckers.
I chose to be fired from a high-paying newspaper job — I didn’t like what they wanted me to do. I moped for awhile, then started mystery writing. It was foolish to free myself of the “golden handcuffs.” I was lost for a bit, but then I started writing mysteries and 29 books later, I’m glad I was fired. The risk was worth it.
And this worked out badly how? 🙂
Took down heavy-gauge aluminum hurricane shutters from the second story of our old house post-Andrew. Climbed up the ladder, walked across the tiles, hauled the shutters down one by one. NO ONE WAS HOME! HUSBAND WAS OUT OF TOWN. THIS WAS BEFORE CELL PHONES! I coulda fallen off the roof and broke my neck and like some character in a bad mystery, laid there for days until the raccoons living in our yard feasted off my flesh. Talk about stupid. Now, I think twice before climbing atop a footstool to get my purse off the closet shelf.
I was so much older then I’m younger than that now.
Almost any time I open my tool box for anything other than hanging a picture ~ and sometimes even then~ the truck, plumbing, electrical (within reason), carpentry ~ I know enough ~ to know better ~ but, well, maybe THIS time that 20 minute job won’t take 2 (+) hours…
I will say that this “autobiographical”tidbit shows up in more than one character…
I just quit my job to write full time. I have a little savings that will keep me afloat for a while. I’m finally going to get the chance to live the writer’s life, even if it’s only temporary.
I’m thinking about gaming the system when it’s time to earn again. My thought is to get a part time job, preferably at a bookstore, file for government assistance and healthcare, and write until I can support myself from my creative effort. It’s a sort of backdoor endowment for the arts; a much better prospect than returning to the rat race for 8 plus hours a day. It’s either that or get accepted to a writing program, preferably a screenwriting program as they are more honest about the craft.
In any event both options beat performing semi robotic tasks all day long 5-6 days a week. It really is tedious particularly when you know you’re wasting your time and talent performing repetitive irrelevancies.
Does anyone feel my pain in this regard?
I don’t care if all I can earn is 25k a year from my writing, I just want to write fiction and traffic in my imagination.
Oh, common guys… Give me a courtesy response at least!
I have done many foolish things, some of which I do have regrets for. Not so much regret for the thing itself as for the fact that it is so hard to get some kinds of stains out out of the carpet and sheet rock.
Most of my tomfoolery has perfectly reasonable excuses, as is illustrated in this note to a magazine editor to whom I owed an article recently.
I am sad to report that even with the extension of time I am behind on my assignment for the magazine. Between Thrillerfest in NYC, 40+ hours on airplanes, and multiple back to back trips to the Alaskan Outback I lost a cog in my time/space management combobulator and the inevitable happened. I ended up in a pan-galactic war against a violent and rather foul smelling race of giant hairy pig-men bent on stealing every last serving of SPAM in the universe, expired or not, to take back home to feed their invader force pig-man larvae.
Okay…I guess that is a bit of an exaggeration.
They didn’t like the Indonesian Monkey Testicle flavored Spam, found it quite offensive actually, and demanded we surrender immediately and give up ten thousand cases of TAB diet cola, their High Porkerness’s favourite beverage, for him to wash out the taste of the monkey testicle Spam (of which he’d eaten 27 cans before learning what it was). During negotiations the cooks spiked their brownies with some high grade cat-nip and one of the IT guys starting playing Pink Floyd Lullabies, once the invaders were sufficiently mellowed out the IT guy kept playing the songs over his Bluetooth speaker and led them back through the Stargate which he promptly locked once they were through and disaster was averted…for now.
In other words…if it’ll work can I get the article to you by the end of the week, providing the lock on the Stargate holds?