Wild and Woolly

Wild and Woolly

According to “Phrase Finder” Wild and Woolly is defined as “Lawless and Uncultured” and was first used in print with its current meaning in 1875 in the Sedalia Daily Democrat. Being as I wasn’t even a glint in the milkman’s eye at that time, I cannot confirm or deny the origins of the term, but I do like the style.

I may not be lawless or uncultured, but I am a firm believer in the Dalai Lama’s rule that one must ‘know the rules so that one can break them properly’. And, being as my first project on a professional scale takes place in the age of steam, the time period of the phrase also appealed to me… So you hold in your hands (well, as much as you can hold the internet in your hands anyway) my very first blog.

In these pages, I hope to thrill you and chill you with a long time wordsmith’s journey on the road to becoming an author. Why wordsmith? Is it because I pound words into submission on the anvil of my will with a hammer mightier than the mighty Mjolnir? Or because, as the immortal Chuck Wendig once said, that “Writers are forged in the kiln of their own madness”? Well, actually, no. It just sounds cool to me.

So…why do I write? I’ll answer with a story. Ernest Hemingway was once asked to write a very short story…some say less than 25 words, some say less than ten. Not sure which is true, but the result was six words “For sale. Baby Shoes. Never worn.” Talk about a heartbreaker.

At some point, don’t quite remember when, either in class or in a meeting, we were asked to do the same. Six words, but as a memoir … spill your life out in six little words. The first thing that flowed from pen to paper was “Stories inside, fighting to get out.”

And they always have been. From the beginning. From when mom would lie in bed next to me as a little kid and make up the sequel to Charlotte’s Web on the fly. From when I would watch Starsky and Hutch and SWAT and tape them with my little Panasonic horribly 70’s cassette recorder with the pop up handle (mine was blinding white…what color was yours?) and then play it back under my pillow and dream up my own episodes. From when my best friend and I invented our own space pirate stories at the rollicking age of 12 (yes, Star Wars had just come out…how did you know?) to now.

So that’s why I write. In some ways I think I was built to write (at least if you look at my Strengths in Strengths Finder 2.0, it sort of leapt out and slapped me in the face that this was something I had to do whether I ever get published or not). Any road, that’s a bit about me. Stay tuned for the next chapter … Wild and Woolly World Building…or where do ideas come from?

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