Writing is an escape, a brief respite from the real world that exists outside of a writer’s carefully crafted inner dialogue. At least it is for me. The wordsmith that I aspire to become is always elusive, existing on the peripheral of my hopes and dreams found in the output of my powder puff diatribes. The content of my imagination finds refuge on the lines of the yellow legal pad that endures my countless misspellings and disheveled cross-outs of words or entire sentences, interspersed with ever-so-tiny penned replacements that I struggle to read when a second draft is called for. I envy the writer who can produce a near-flawless treatise upon demand, though I’ve yet to meet one. In my experience, some writers believe this of themselves but the old adage that says if a writer edits his or her own work then they have a fool for an editor, comes to mind.
hREALITY Land provided me with the artistic freedom to script whatever aspect of my life inspires me at the moment. Hence my column’s title: “The Life Around Me”. Any and all parts of my living experience are game for discussion. I have shared the pain Patti and I experienced losing a beloved pet, experiencing the “empty nest” syndrome, the hurt I endured in paying tribute to a long deceased friend, and so on. This web magazine has also empowered me, as chief editor, to review and prepare for publication the columns of three very talented writers in Gina (Tearing Down Walls), Jerry (Rhythm, Chant & Amble) and Bob (Sharing Sentimental Journeys). Their submitted work each month is inspiring and motivational because they constantly raise the bar.
hRL encouraged me to test the waters of the publishing world and a bucket wish list was fulfilled in producing not one, but two self-penned books that are sold on Amazon.com to most of the free world. I am humbled by the possibility that a reader in Los Angeles, California, or London, England, or Sydney, Australia might be enjoying one of my books, or bashing it as trash! Either way, it is an honor I never, ever dreamed I would have accomplished in this life.
The power of words are beyond measure and all serious writers are aware of this. By their very definition they delineate description, they modify intent, emphasize morality, advocate barbarity, produce the trappings of restless minds, propagate the silent muses of genius and near-genius alike. The list goes on and on but my limited mental resources prevent me from embellishing the colorful language that words deserve. Writing is both anathema and a blessing to the author who loves his or her work. We are never satisfied. If we are then we’re doing it wrong. Good writers admire what they’ve produced, great ones hate their output and live determined to scale beyond the quality of their latest prose.
In this dissertation I have taken the long route to express my gratitude of the inner joy and contentment that writing has provided me. Pen to paper allows me to bypass the distress that reality brings to the table. With words, I endure the frustration of not being able to express my emotions as fully as I desire but, nonetheless, they administer the outlet that is far superior to any oration I might put forth. So it is with thanks to hRL and to her other founding members, Bing and Magoom, who have moved on, that I will forever be indebted for allowing this old man one last hurrah.
Peace, my friends, until next month. Word!
RjCook’s is the author of The Road Behind Me and Dream Lover and Other Tales. Click HERE for info.