Saturday, May 4, 2013

Secret Sauce

"What is that secret something in your blog that makes it so special?" people don't ask me, because my readers are very special people who like quietness and reflection. But I'll tell you the answer. The key to whatever success of clarity and articulation my blog achieves comes down to rehearsal. No, I do not have a practice blog somewhere else. I rehearse before a live audience, like the Marx Brothers. Did you know that during the heart of the Marx Brothers' movie career, before filming, they would take their prospective movie on the road and perform it live, test it, tweak it, change it, try things out. Then they'd come back and make the movie? They did, and their movies are very funny. And so I start thinking of something I might blog about and I take it on the road too. However my scope is a bit smaller, and instead of touring, say, the Rocky Mountain States, I tour the library. In the break room: "Have you ever read The Long Walk, I know it's kind of terrible, but this retirement makes me think of it." At the phones: "I have a theory about twitter." Over by the filled bins: "So this guy comes up to E. and wants part of his fines waived..." (oops, no link because I don't think I've written this yet, but I have told the story five times in preparation!). I try out my phrasing. I see what parts might be engaging. I add more parts or maybe my co-worker says something that leads to a different take on it all and I tell it again. Then, when I can, I write it all up.

Do my co-workers ask me "Hey, what's with all these odd little stories, absurdist humor, clerk philosophy discussions all of a sudden?" No, they don't. Is it because they are special people who like quietness and reflection? No, it is because even though my blog is actually less than a month and a half old, I have been rehearsing blog posts for my entire career at the library. I just never knew til now that I was supposed to write it up and put it on the web.

It's like finding home.

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If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.