Several subscribers to this webpage are genuine English professors. Yes, it is true. Often in the wee hours of the morning, I will giggle and snicker to myself when I write something, as I know it is going to raise an eyebrow somewhere for sure.
But that is the way it goes, first your money and then your clothes.
Last year I had one particular person that wrote me constantly to ensure that I realized the placement of an apostrophe was in the correct position. It never did sink in, and she kind of faded off into the sunset of life, never to be heard from again.
Others have gotten very vocal about it, which I don’t believe is fair, I don’t go over to their house and try and rearrange their furniture. I know (or hope) they are doing this in my best interests.
Our youngest boy called and checked in this weekend. He is thirty-nine years old, father of three, a man of the cloth in Houston, Texas. During the conversation he will always interject “How’s your little blog doing Dad?” which rankles me to some extent, but I never allow him the pleasure of really knowing what effect it has on me. I consider it a “body of work” something of an accomplishment, and I rate it a lot higher than a “little” anything.
Smiling my toothy smile, I work it over in my mind and I reply, “Oh, it is doing just fine son, how is the family?” and I let it go. Creative Endeavors is my baby … It isn’t much … But it is all I got. The material is good, it makes people smile from time to time, often the comments are favorable, outside criticism is no big deal, and I let him know it in short order on most days.
Before I did this, I wrote a union paper that was entitled The Flynn Flyer, ten pages a month, consistently month after month. It was read mostly by railroad men in 24 states and 3 provinces in Canada. It never won an award, public recognition, or any kind of notice in the publishing world. The best we could possibly hope for was maybe, somewhere, someone would take a magnet shaped in the image of a banana or a piece of fruit, and stick it to a refrigerator. In short … Pulitzer Prize material it was not.
But it got read, it got things done, it made the world a better place, and in the end, that was good enuff.
This was also an exciting period of my life, that I can now look back upon and reflect. At this time, the boy was in college. He came to me one day and said, “Dad, would you read my paper and give me your opinion on what it needs or doesn’t need?” So I said, “Sure, give it to me and I will let you know.”
The next day, at breakfast he inquired of me, “What did you think of my paper?” and I replied, “Seriously? You want to know?” and he said, “Yes. I have to turn it in soon.” As gently as I could I told him I thought it needed some punching up, it was kind of weak.
This of course did not sit well with the lad, and he said rather tersely “Well, why don’t YOU write it and show ME how it is done.” So I re-wrote the piece and gave it to him the next day, he looked it over and replied, “Hmmmm, I never considered some of this stuff Dad. This is good.” (Oh my gawd, an actual compliment from the younger generation that knows it all … who would’ve thunk thet?)
A few weeks later, I inquired of him, “Did you ever turn in the paper?” and he said, “Yeah, two weeks ago.”
My curiosity getting the best of me I gave him that careful stare, kind of like a one-eyed cat in a fish market and said, “Who’s paper did you submit, yours or mine?” (Tell me I don’t know my kid) and he weakly replied, “I turned in your paper Dad, it was the best of the two. I didn’t want to do it all over again.”
So I asked him, flat-out, “What did I get?” He smiled, and then replied, “You got a B+ Dad.”
Now and then, when I get an email ripping me on my site and my abilities, I just sit back in my chair, and I muse this little slice of life over in my mind. It makes me smile, and to this day I still think about it …. and of course you know the rest don’t-cha … My little blog is doing just fine.
“In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed. They must be fit for it. They must not do too much of it. And they must have a sense of success in it.”
John Ruskin, quoted in the New York Post.
Thank you so much for dropping by today and allowing me to share this with you, have a great day. One last thing in closing, if it is humanly possible try and make this little blog a letter perfect start to your week. That would really make my day.