So, a night or two after thinking we had every nook and cranny sealed, we had our wee silky package of delight fluttering from one hanging kitchen utensil to another. Until she finally settled down on our vegetable grater. Whereupon I once again escorted her outside. And, as she seemed in no hurry to leave the grater, I had to give her vehicle of choice a few taps on the porch railings before she would vacate.
I was, however, gentle with the bat, and not just because bat wings are fragile. But also because bats are dying at a frightening rate from a disease called “White Nose”. This disease causes them to end their hibernation too early in the year. So, they end up flying around looking for insects who haven’t arrived yet, because it’s not time for them to come out and offer themselves as bat protein. And don't forget, bats eat black flies and mosquitoes, so we need them to stick around--just not in our kitchen.
For example, somebody writes something that is important to them and on a topic into which they might have poured much thought and emotion and bing, bang, bash! A horde of reactions is instantly shot out into the ethos from mostly anonymous reactors, directly aimed at the initial writer. Often rudely or profanely and often with little forethought. Knee-jerk this and that.
I think this noise can discourage and enervate writers. Now social media can be a wonderful way to market books and reach readers, but it can also drive writers into a near frenzy of busy marketing and networking. Also, is there a risk of saying too much in their need to market themselves? Not all writers can afford an agent and there are so many ways to network and to get into the public’s eyes and ears. Attending workshops, doing readings, sending twitters, writing blogs, emails and facebook entries, reading books about marketing, physically selling books, thinking up new ways to market, and well, I have to take a breath by adding a period to this list of possible methods. It’s wonderful, but it can be a dilemma.
Does the muse get our attention some of the time? Does she have to make a ten-minute appointment?
So, as I said, I write this blog with some trepidation. I can feel the consumeristic-mass production-more growth-and-prosperity devil tempting me to empty my creative tank. To mass produce my thoughts and feelings. Be a good salesman. Get the commission. Sell, sell, sell. Spreading out like a bad spill into an ocean of buzz.
Oh and don’t forget those grammar or politically correct, perfectionist Nazis who are ready to pounce at the first sign of a dangling this or that, or a politically incorrect word or idea. Writers can learn from them but they can also be hindered and made timid and anal. Although language is one of the things that makes us human and we need it to be called writers, it can also be a wonderful way to keep writers and others from shifting paradigms and being creative.
Russell Lyne wrote, ”The true snob never rests; there is always a higher goal to attain, and there are, by the same token, always more and more people to look down upon.”
A few days ago, I was hiking along our lane. I heard a downy woodpecker squeak. Then an evening grosbeak chirped in reply. The woodpecker answered with a squeak. The grosbeak answered with a chirp. This went on for some time. Each bird waiting for the other bird to finish. I realized I was listening to a woodpecker/grosbeak twitter, without an account. Two different species of birds having a conversation. Each waiting until the other one had expressed her or himself. It just sounded so much more civilized than what I’ve been noticing.
Take care, and when you are writing, have fun and stay connected. To your soul.
Here is a picture of Buddy Lee parked in front of the Middle River after Tuesday night’s rainstorm.