An Ode to the Senior Class of MacArthur High School
by Gina Welborn, sophomore
Like dirt in the wind
knowing that one day they will be sucked in the great vacuum cleaner of life.
Like dirt in the wind
striving to leave the oneness of themselves and unify with others to become one large dirtball.
I knew even as a sophomore that my destiny didn’t lie in fertile poetic valleys. But I sure had fun writing pages of stinkweeds because I wasn’t writing to please my teachers, friends, or family. I jotted down what grew from my loony and not-so-loony mind. My poem may be corny, but if you dig a bit, you can find a truth because at the core of my soul abides Truth.
Are you a dirtball?
Well, you might be.
Chances are (remember that movie, now that was corny)...chances are you need to do some soul dusting. And if you want your story—your writing—to reach breakout proportions, you will break out a rag, a facemask, and a can of lemon-scented Pledge.
How many times do you “leave the oneness” of yourself to become just like your friends or the celebrities on TV? How many times do you “leave the oneness” of yourself to become just like the other writers out there? How many times have you heard “if you want to right for Harlequin, familiarize yourself with Harlequin novels,” “to write romances, you must voraciously read romances,” or “know what the publishers want”?
Please ignore my curled lip.
If you haven’t heard saying like those, then I’ve heard them enough times for the both of us. I’m soooooo anti-cloning.
WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL
I only have a bachelor’s degree in radio/television (thin, cheap books with lots of pictures) so I needed some help understanding Mr. Maass’s impressive verbiage.
Knowconflict.com defines worldview as “the way s/he sees the world and his/her place in it. In includes the person's beliefs about how things are done and by whom, what is good and bad, why things happen as they do, and who holds the reins of power. It also includes the group or groups to which a person belongs or with which s/he identifies.”
The way you “view” the world and what’s in it affects how you write.
Your worldview may contradict the mainstream, follow the mainstream, agree with the majority, agree with the minority, may be liberal, conservative, narrow-minded, open-minded, no minded.
Everyone has a worldview.
Everyone has a voice.
Are you struggling to define your “voice”? Has ascertaining your “voice” never even crossed your mind? When someone asks about your “voice,” do you answer, “Well, I’m a soprano, but I can sing alto if needed”?
Maass says, “what drives you to write, to some extent, are your own unresolved inner conflicts.”
Great, I guess we all could stand some shrink-wrappage.
Who wants to break out the Glad first?
Give yourself freedom to say things in your own unique way. How do you do that? How do you develop your “voice”?
One way is to read poetry.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge once said, “Prose consists of words in their best order. Poetry consists of the best words in the best order.” Reading poetry will cause you to become more aware of the dynamos of the correct word choice.
Another way is to put you in your story.
Maass says, “It is from the unknowable shadows of your subconscious that your stories will find their drive and from which they will draw their meaning. No one can loan you that or teach you that.”
Don’t strive to leave the oneness of yourself only to unify with others in one blob of sameness. Don’t become a clone. The world already has a Nora Roberts, a Julie Garwood, a PC Cast, a Suzanne Brockman, a Jennifer Cruisie. The CBA world already has a Colleen Coble, a Leeanna Ellis, a Tamera Alexander, a Linda Windsor.
It’s just wanting...waiting...hoping for a you.
Write, drink Dr. Pepper, and be you.
Umm, actually, I like Cherry or Vanilla Coke better. And the Diet Coke with lime isn't too bad, for a diet drink. Of course, if I wanted a drink, I'd head over to Starbucks and...