Naïve? Me? Okay….

More important than what the writer puts into the words is what the reader takes out of those words. I’m paraphrasing something I said to one of my English teachers oh so long ago. She congratulated me on an astute observation and I must confess I’m also pretty impressed at my insight at that age although I’m not sure if I came up with it or I read it somewhere.

I suppose it doesn’t matter. The point is valid. A writer can spend months putting together a manuscript, tweaking and doctoring every word, but if the reader doesn’t ‘get it’ then it’s all for nought.

I read sci-fi, in particular the ‘Alien’ and ‘Predator’ novels. I have two bookshelves full of the stories and mostly I find them easy, enjoyable, and well-written. There are a couple of authors however that try to take them to a higher literary level and while I basically have no problem with this I find that having to consult a dictionary to understand some of the words takes away from my enjoyment of the story. Know your market folks.

When I released my first novel ‘White Wolf Moon’ I sold a copy to one of the regular customers of the bookshop where I was employed at the time. She came back a few days later and commented that the book was funny and entertaining which is really all I could ask for. Then she smiled and said that there aren’t many ‘naïve’ authors that can put a story together that flows that well. I can’t remember my response but I imagine it was a slightly sarcastic ‘gee thanks!’

I later found the same reference to Richard Brautigan and I no longer felt insulted.

Like naïve artists, naïve writers are the naturals of their craft. They understand their world and are able to translate that world into an understandable concrete form, creating their visions while appearing innocent of the rules and mechanics.

Basically they either don’t know the rules or they do know them and break them.

When it comes to writing I must confess I don’t know all the rules but I do know a lot of them. Yes I am aware I break some of them and I will also admit there are probably a few I unwittingly break. But…

Wait…let’s talk about ‘but’ for a moment. It used to be that you never started a sentence with the word ‘but’.

But it’s accepted these days…as a conjunction used to coordinate two independent clauses.

But enough about ‘but’.

Unfortunately I’ve forgotten what my second independent clause was going to be which is just as well. It’s time to refresh everything I’m doing (starting with the header pic above) so I shall end this now and get back to working on some changes for this blog and my facebook pages.

Until next time…happy trails.




I blame the school system.
When we start kindergarten we are given a blank piece of paper and a semi-complete set of battered crayons that have been in the crafts drawer for decades and bear the sweat and tears of the countless struggling five-year-old Michelangelos that have gone before you. You are encouraged to be free with your strokes and see elephants in that wildly formed green and blue blob you have created. So far so good but the very next year they give you black-line picture of an elephant and, indeed, you must stay within the lines…think inside the box. Yes you develop motor skills but along with them you learn that elephants are grey, not green. Some of us never had grey crayons and in fact became quite comfortable with having green elephants trumpeting through our expansive imagination much to the chagrin of society at large, which can only accept grey elephants. Those motor skills? Tremendous tools in the pursuit of free thought indeed, but then along comes Math, Grammar, History and other assorted clutterstuff to take up the space that green elephants once commanded. Each of them is important, no doubt, but just as important is the ability to think creatively and allow those thoughts to breathe life on canvas or the typewritten page. It is also the freethinking, green-elephant types that use their imagination to take these sciences to new levels and they do it by exercising their creativity…not by sticking to the formula.
Obviously I have carried this to the extreme and I really don’t blame the school system (that should smooth the feathers of a few distant relatives & friends). There are many young people who have continued to express themselves creatively regardless of what was thrown at them. For these artists we should all be grateful especially now that government funding for all the arts, especially in primary schools, is being cut from budgets.
I visit the followers of this blog (and the White Wolf Moon facebook page) and I see so many young authors, artists, and photographers that it gives me a certain confidence in the future of the arts. It’s in pretty good hands and I’d be willing to bet that most, if not all, of those hands once held green crayons….