Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Creative Life: Very Bad Writing

My dwindling stock of beloved sci-fi, Alamogordo, New Mexico. February 2013.

This past year I've tried to up my writing game by participating in some writing groups. The seed for this was planted in South Louisiana by an interconnected group of people and events, specifically: 

Each of the above wowed me in some way with their creativity in the spoken or written word, or in their advocacy for local artistry.

Dennis, Agnes, John R., and I engaged in a brief writers' group before I left South Louisiana. What a warm hum of energy that was. PoeticSoul's Lyrically Inclined presented a writer's workshop one night.

At the writer's group, the Lyrically Inclined workshop, the monthly Music & Mic, and Festival of Words, I heard works that sparked whatever neurons govern illumination of what can be done to express ideas with words, body language, and tone of voice.

In Colorado, I sought writers' groups despite only being there for a month, and was pleased to attend two or three sessions of a group in Longmont.

Apparently, rubbing shoulders with writers can be a good thing for one's own practice. I will do more shoulder rubbing.

But this post is about bad writing.

Many years ago, I entered the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Very Bad Writing contest (a la Bulwer-Lytton; said contest now defunct, I believe) with this:

But before his soaring mind fully registered what his myopic eyes saw, which, when the spectacle did register, would change both his life and that of the world's in one crashing, careening, chaotic moment, he, Ned Richardson, thought back to the previous moon-gilt night when he shared an exotic Tibetan repast with his exotically beautiful and ravishing accountant, Monica Greenwell, she of the astonishingly glossy raven tresses and red rocky mountain high-heeled shoes with that loamy-Ieathery-powdery scent that Ned loved to pull into his quivering nostrils as he ran his noble probiscus caressingly along the length of them, causing those silken caverns to flare like the wings of a majestic skate from the ocean's azure depths in complete, remorseless ecstasy. 

"Oh, what a feeling!" Ned thought dreamily, as he jumped out of sheer joie de vivre, which was fortuitous, since by doing so he scarcely missed placing one of his well-formed and stylishly clad feet into the warmish effluvia of a be-ribboned, snorting shi-tsu that now was maliciously occupied in pulling at the neon shoestrings of its hennaed mistress, all the while yip-yapping in bored agitation, finally causing that hapless matron to fall heavily to her Cabbage Patch-dimpled knees with a "whumpf!" on the winter-pocked sidewalk. A ululating wail emerged slowly, opulently from the woman's throat and through her lipsticked mouth and out into the startled air and up and up, scraping across the inscrutable faces of the hulking urban edifices.

This siren's call, rather than jolting Ned from his delicious reverie, merely insinuated itself into his mind's meanderings; the almost melodic cry gently pulled him out of Monica's wondrous stilettos and into the sweet beckoning of an ambulance's song, offering the promise of lucrative lawsuits on behalf of the metropolis' modern-day gladiators within those strobe-lighted chariots of mercy. "Ah, but life is good," thought Ned - just one more glorious courtroom victory, his law firm's senior partner, Richard "Bob" Aldeburgh, had vowed, and Ned would get to do the firm's next TV commercial. 

Ned pictured himself leaning casually yet powerfully against a massive desk (mahogany? teak?), surrounded by dark paneled walls and shelves lined with heavy tomes. A green-shaded banker's lamp would add the final touch of elegant, Old Guard ambiance. Should he fold his arms across his chest as he spoke sonorously and with quiet authority? Or hold a heavy law book in one hand and his glasses in another, perhaps using the latter hand to emphasize his mellifluous words? 

And then, finally, Ned really saw what was before him. And his brain screeched to a halt, as a train does when suddenly presented with an obstacle on the track: a steel-melting, spark-flying, screaming stop.

"Will they never learn from their mistakes?!" cried Ned in an anguished sob. And he crumpled into a broken heap as the red-swirled billboard proclaimed its message: "Coca Cola --- New Formula!"

Goddammit - so many years and it is still such gloriously good bad shit. I shoulda won. But I didn't even get an honorable mention. Was it the shoes?

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