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The History of Beaux’s Writing

22 Jan

Sometimes, you take for granted what you like to do and at what you’re skilled.

Writing is something that happened to me over the course of the past twenty years, and here I am, pounding away happily at the keyboard of my Spring 2009 model MacBook.
What is writing like for me? I feel very content and productive as I type. The sheer truth is that if I don’t write during the course of the day, I become cranky and sometimes sad. Writing is a necessity to me, almost like a drug, or even almost like food. Writing nourishes me. To engage with the written word is part of the mission written into my soul.
I can’t imagine myself doing something else with this level of intuition and ease that I would really enjoy this much, though I’m always open to that option and discovery!

I began writing in first grade. My teacher, Ms. Pamela Hendrix, had each student write in a notebook every morning for a few minutes. Typically, we wrote short stories, and we were free to write whatever we wanted. I know I always wrote stories and even drew pictures to go along with them. We called this our “journal.”

While I enjoyed that, a few times we were given a picture or an object about which to write, and I enjoyed that much less. I remember once I had the misfortune of inheriting a picture of the White House- I didn’t realize it was the White House, but I did mention in my writing that it looked very much like it.

Whatever Ms. Pam did with the journaling experience then, she created a virtual monster inside of me from the age of 6.

When I was in about third grade, I obtained a diary from a local gift shop. It was a Hello Kitty diary, and I remembered the Hello Kitty cartoon from when I was really little, so it was a sign of comfort to me.

That also created a chain reaction.

Looking at my Hello Kitty diary now, it’s not nearly as girly as I imagined it when I was a child. The diary is downright ugly.

Over the course of the years, I obtained several diaries and journals and kept them. I had a bad habit for a long time of not finishing one diary before starting another. The original Hello Kitty diary remains an incomplete work today and has entries in it spanning over the course of a decade. I wouldn’t be able to remember and list every diary that I ever owned here.

When my family first got the internet, I wanted to make a website. My brother later told me that there was such a thing as a blog, which was basically an online diary. I figured I didn’t need a full-blown website- there was no practical use for it, though I had made a few in my day. Rather, I would need a blog.

For a long time, I watched a show on HBO called Sex and the City. The show was about four women living in New York City and their romantic encounters. The main character, Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, wrote a weekly column entitled “Sex and the City,” detailing the adventure of the four women. Specifically, her column was read aloud to the viewer as the narration over the course of the show.

This inspired me to finally start writing a blog, though my life wasn’t exactly something I would consider blog-worthy- but despite how boring life can sometimes be, you would be surprised to know how humorous and brilliant it can seem to others.

I found a refuge in my blog. I found an absolute refuge, a place where I could always go and would always be heard. Sometimes, the real problem was that the thoughts and feelings inside of me were simply too excessive for me to bear alone, and venting to my blog relieved the pressure.

As a side note, I just want to congratulate myself and everyone else who reads my blog on surviving adolescence. The fact that any human being makes it past age 21 is a sheer miracle of God. Being a teenager was one of the worst things that ever happened to me.

Also, if you have any pre-teens around, WARN THEM ABOUT BEING A TEENAGER!

Given, the 20s aren’t so great so far, either, but I’ve been told that 30s and beyond are a lot better and come easier. It was a relief once to know from the mouth of a woman in her 40s that once you make it to your 40s, you’re happy- you stop caring about what other people think of you, you’re mellowed out, you’re established, and things just come to you more easily.

Back on track. I journeyed over to MySpace and blogged there for years and years. My blogs were far more unfocused and varied than what I post here.

During all this time, I also wrote short stories and even eventually wrote a novel, then had to write my novel over, and am now working on the second novel in addition a third one. Novels and creative writing in general require a lot more focus than writing a blog, at least for me. Here, right now, I’m simply writing out my thoughts and feelings. In a novel, you have to a tell a story.

Also, there are many of my short stories I’ve written that I would never dare show to the general public, because they’re too graphically violent or disturbing for the average person to handle.

The novels, though- I want to get those published.

Back on track- I must also remark that I’m an avid reader. I read every single day that comes along, whether fiction or non-fiction. I can’t imagine going through life without the ability to read.

I noticed early on that I had the ability to write in the style of the author I was reading at any given time, a certain kind of unconscious flow that could be replicated. Perhaps that’s normal- read Edgar Allen Poe long enough, and your writing will immediately reflect his.

I also read emails I wrote at age 15, and they sounded oftentimes like a pompous 19th-century British elitist. The voice in my head, his voice, often sounded when I would take it upon myself to write. That level of verbosity isn’t quite present in my blogs now, but I’m learned over the years to balance my writing. There’s nothing wrong with using long words or throwing in an unfamiliar word or two, but you cannot compensate for the lack of the beauty and flow of prose by stuffing a blog full of technical terms.

These days, my blogs are obviously oriented around a theme. I cannot bring myself to fully commit to food and only food in my blogs, because I feel that limits my artistic ability and disconnects me from the readers. I’m not some plastic, corporately manufactured writer- I’m a real, flesh and blood human being that has faults, hopes, and dreams, and is reaching through the electrical ether to touch the lives of others.

I watched the film Julie & Julia at the early part of last year. The film is based on a book, which is based on a blog, which actually details the struggles of a girl named Julie cooking through every recipe in Julia Child’s book The Joy of Cooking. That awoke in me the reality that two of my great loves, writing and cooking, could be connected online in a blog.

The problem I had immediately was that I don’t eat meat- just fish and seafood. I couldn’t replicate that idea.

I once watched a documentary about Julia Child that told of how when she began cooking, she was awful. Until she went to culinary school and learned that you could break recipes down into a formulas and do cooking as a science, she just wasn’t a great cook.
Wow, I thought to myself. If Julia Child started out terrible, then maybe I can become a great cook as well!
I rely on a lot of intuition when I’m cooking as well. Sometimes when I’m trying to fall asleep at night, recipes will begin entering my head- combinations of food that I hadn’t thought to try, different dishes that just make sense to make, and more often than not, I succeed in my attempts to cook. Only a few dishes I’ve made in the past few years have actually failed or turned out poorly.

But I do know about the South, and I do know about Southern food, so I can gladly blog about these things, along with my own experiments and adventures in dining.

Well, this blog has been quite long, and I feel I should wrap it up. To do so, I’ll share with you part of my very first diary entry made in the Hello Kitty diary from when I was 8 years old.
3.21.94
Just a few days ago I bought a cute bunny and I named it C.B. standing for Cute Bunny. I bought it at Cracker Barrel on the way to my grandma’s house along with Mimi, Momma, Trey, and Susanne. Grayson was going to come, but Deb didn’t want him to go along.

That’s verbatim.

In Montgomery, there’s a Cracker Barrel. We didn’t have one in the Dothan area for years. The tradition was that we would drive to my grandmother’s house in north Alabama and stop at Cracker Barrel for breakfast on the way.

Susanne, Trey, and I all three bought stuffed rabbits there. Susanne named hers “C.T.” (Cute Thing), I followed suit and named mine “C.B.” (Cute Bunny), and Trey named his “Samuel Whiskers” after the cartoon rat that was showing frequently on Cartoon Network.

I don’t remember why Deborah didn’t want Grayson to go, but he was probably only 4 at the time.

Anyway, I thought sharing a bit of all this would be suitable to give insight into my own historic relationship with writing.

Beaux

 

 


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2 Comments

Posted by on January 22, 2011 in food, postaday2011

 

Tags: , , ,

2 responses to “The History of Beaux’s Writing

  1. gigi

    January 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly about adolescence and being during the teenage years. Anyone who says that they enjoyed those years or look back and long for them have either forgotten how bad they were or their memory has become distorted. But just think, you are not alone in that most (I will admit there may be a few, and I mean a very few) had horribleness (is that a word?) to deal with in surviving them and trying to find their niche and even the ‘popular’ in-crowd all had their problems to deal with in that that peer pressure and ‘belonging’ was very, very difficult to deal with in almost every way. And that age there so much cruelty; they don’t realize how badly one’s self-esteem can be damaged…
    And, it is also true that with age, one becomes more content And don’t give a care what people say or think of them. You are living your life that God gave to you and you are not living their life. You have not traveled the same journey they have nor have they traveled the same journey you have. Don’t ever let anyone put you down and take it to heart. When someone points a finger at you, there are 3 of their fingers pointing back at them. Also, no one can make you feel inferior or bad about yourself UNLESS you give them permission to do so. I think Eleanor Roosevelt said that, but I am paraphrasing.
    Oh, and I think it is so sad that the ‘journals’ can’t be used in school now because there is just not enough time. You know students have to be taught to ‘take the test and pass.’ Just so sad because you for one have evolved into an author because Mrs. Hendrix had the class write in their journals daily…You are the one who said that to me one time, remember?

     
    • enamouredslave

      January 23, 2011 at 2:03 pm

      Yes, creative ideas like writing in journals actually directly influenced me to continue writing. So the notion now that other students are missing this opportunity is bothersome, because that was one of the first milestones.

      But our educational system is somewhat broken, and there’s not much that can be done about it, I suppose, except home-schooling and such.

       

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