Mishaps

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Mishaps

We must admire such talent as possessed by those whom misfortune visits, whose astute wits enable them to take up their shattered dream, see the good still in it, then carve away the splinters and make it into something valuable and new. It must take, first, to banish tears and disappointment, so the eyes and mind remain clear to see what remains and imagine the possibilities within.

I find it amazing for some to have such acumen, such self-control and tolerance for pain, so that one can recognize the good within the bad, and know it is always there awaiting the craftsman’s blade to bring it forth. Such a person must know they live with good fortune at the ready by their side so they can feel in control and unstoppable. It may only be words, but I have seen their effect at work, and now I need to learn them in my own life.

I know. A man swiftly approaching his ninth decade of existence should not be concerning himself with such matters. I should, instead, be stitching wallets, visiting exotic places on permanent vacation, or napping away the rest of my days. Marketing my books should never cross my mind. “Let amazon.com worry about how to sell them. You wrote them. That should be enough!” yeah, right.

It doesn’t work that way. It makes things worse when I know how I feel when people have stuff to sell and act like they want to tell me all about it. I don’t want to hear it, and I imagine most people will react the same way. If I’m wrong, don’t tell me. I can imagine all the mishaps that could result.

Many writers choose writing as a topic for their blogs. I figure I write as good as I’m going to, and taking lessons in grammar and structure at this late stage will only make things worse. Instead of figuring out what to say, I’d get hung up on how to say it.

Now, I know that writing is a two-step process. First, you write and get all your words set down in a logical order. Then, later—much later—as much as you can make it later—you edit, rearrange, make corrections, eliminate useless adverbs and passive verbs—all the is, was, are, were, be, been and suchlike that you can drop or rearrange sentences to get rid of. If you save the original version for a later comparison with the finished product, you will see firsthand how getting rid of mishaps made everything a whole lot better.

It works the same when you correct the mishaps of life, too. The difference is, in life, you don’t get to edit. You must learn to do it right the first time through.

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