Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I am sorry for my prolonged absence. Life happened. It is still happening, but the pages are turning more slowly these days.

From time to time my brother, sister and I engage in glorious battle using extravagant language and synTACTICAL finesse. We each have a different voice when writing. Going along with this analogy my brother's voice is like a smart bomb with a few hand grenades thrown in. My sister's is like an eight inch naval ship gun and smatterings of torpedoes (Those will catch you by surprise). Mine is more like a sling shot. From which I shoot acorns, flowers and the occasional rock. Oh yeah, and booby traps (according to my dad). That being said, we have our own bases and books that we retire to in order to refresh and reload but then it is off once more to the battleground. We have battled it out from Santa Barbara to Virginia to Utah, England and Thailand. We have crossed through Neverland and been held captive in the notorious Chateau D'If. We have dined at the round table and fought dragons deep in mountains riddled with clever creatures. We've lounged on flying carpets and had a few run-ins with an odd and occasionally rude detective. However, while the battle zone may be rank with logistical derision, and fragmented sentences and the occasional straw man can be seen pickpocketing the decaying "thous" and "thees,"  we three still manage to banter back and forth about the humdrum, sparklers and collywobbles of life. It really is quite entertaining I assure you. If you are wondering about the title of this post rest assured that this post is devoted to my entirely self-indulgent love affair with the english language. 

I unashamedly admit that I used to cry every time I finished a Harry Potter book because every time I finished a book I would have to wait an entire year for the next one to come out. Some of you might understand the extent of my impatience. I was in shambles after the last Harry Potter book. Completely and utterly diminished. I was incapacitated for about a week or more after my childhood basically ended. The epilogue really sealed the deal.... That being said, good writing is like good wine, (or so I am assuming), pardon the cliche'. I've read, on wikipedia (how absolutely scholarly of me) how wine ages, and here is what it says:  "The aging of wine, and its ability to potentially improve wine quality, distinguishes wine from most other consumable goods. While wine is perishable and capable of deteriorating, complex chemical reactions involving a wine's sugarsacids and phenolic compounds (such as tannins) can alter the aromacolormouthfeel and taste of the wine in a way that may be more pleasing to the taster. The ability of a wine to age is influenced by many factors including grape varietyvintageviticultural practices, wine region and winemaking style. The condition that the wine is kept in after bottling can also influence how well a wine ages and may require significant time and financial investment.
So I think it is with good or bad writing. Bad writing is like boxed wine. It didn't take very long to make, wasn't made with the master's hand and will not last for too long before it turns to vinegar. Good wine, like Penfold's 168,000 dollar bottle of wine, not only ages exquisitely, it gets it's own "opening ceremony" (uncannily similar to an author's first book signing. ) when the buyer decides to, if you will, read Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings for the first time. You can't open the same bottle of wine for the first time more than once can you? That would be weird and completely destroy my analogy if you could. But that doesn't mean the wine can't be just as sweet the second sip. Maybe not as mysterious. Maybe the anticipation is gone but the sweet taste remains to be enjoyed in a more self-assured way.  Each poem, each story is a bottle of wine Some good for the moment and some good for generations.

As for grapes, the more grapes you collect the more wine you can make according to your craft. Bad grapes make for rancid wine. Words are like grapes. The good ones are sweet and tangy. The bad smell and taste like mold and are hastily spit out. "Good"constitutes words that are used well not just ones that have a positive connotation just as "bad" words are perfectly fantastic words just used heinously. "Good" and "bad" having nothing to do with the words individually but in how they are used. Different people have different taste therefore "good" and "bad" grapes are a fluid thing and not a "one-size-fits-all type thing. Like grapes, words burst and splash and occasionally will leave behind stains (such as words that are characteristic of certain generations and time periods or words that people use a lot (who hasn't said "dude" or "like" excessively?). I like to take time to savor words, however, if I spend to much time fixated on a word I begin to second guess whether I spelled it right until I eventually begin to question whether or not it is even a real word. In which case I have a marevelous time making up words. Those spontaneous outburst are like artificial grape flavoring - an aquired taste. (As for me I have have no qualms with artificially flavored grape otter pops or starbursts. I quite enjoy them actually.)

People can also be compared to wine. Each person is a potentially delicious bottle of wine. Aging, aging, aging. When their time is up and they open up, did they age well or go sour? Will they swish it's contents of their life around in their own crystal Holy Grail, hoping it will catch the light? But even then we won't taste that final product. Only they will.  Delicious or rancid. Since I am Mormon I hope my life tastes like REALLY good grape juice (Welch's). I don't want to sway on the Judgement seat. But I digress. 

Unfortunately I can go FOR DAYS with this analogy. (Submitting poems for review etc, saying I love you for the first time (oh, me.), or even a job interview. But I trust you too can think of a million ways this can be an analogy for a million things as well,so I will leave it at this, terribly formulated-scattered-needs-more-explanation analogy and call it good. (You dig?) But I will stop pretending to be pedantic (I really do enjoy it, My self-indulgence at your expense. I really am sorry, but this is just TOO fun)......in a moment. 

The Rambling, now comes to a point. 

Rebecca Black's song :Friday = (old) boxed wine (yes, I borrowed this band wagon.)
"Call Me Maybe" = grape juice (hey, I thought it deserved an honorable mention.) 
J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter = Henry Jayer's Richebourg's red Burgundy (HEY. It was my childhood.)
Shakespeare, J.R. Tolkien, Mary Shelley, J.M. Barrie etc, and all the other enigmatic, famous writers we kinda wish we were like, well, they never drank alcohol did they? ;) I kid. Their writing = Penfold's 168,000 dollar bottle of wine. (The most expensive wine in the world) (It comes ensconced in a unique and incredibly handsome glass case after all. I mean, have you seen Lord Byron?  FACT.)

I have never tasted good wine. And I dare not because If I did, I imagine it would be a lot like great writing, in which case I would become a drunkard. 

In other (less "winy") words, I love good writing and great stories.
 So i hope I have supplied those in my life with a few good grapes in my short life. (that is my intent). 
(did you see what I did there?)
(No words were harmed in the writing of this blog.) 

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