Friday, August 12, 2011

A Little Random Riffitation

This blog is NOT about music, per se. Yes, I know a riff is a short measure of music or signature sound. So is spewing an opinion no one really cares about until after they hear it. I Riff on everything in life, generally in conversation. Until now, I’ve Riffed in the written form in an ever growing series of notebooks, binders, sticky notes and once on a mirror in soap, but never where anyone else could actually, you it. Why? Time and effort. It's work to get published these days.

I have written professionally in the past. "Professionally" in that someone other than I or my mother read, enjoyed and published my thoughts and words for others to read and comment on.  Every now and then I was even paid for such things. But those were not Riffs. They were assigned articles on specific topics. The editors often removed all of the really good bits of pseudo Riffing, fearing, no doubt, that their readers would “storm the castle walls” as it were in the editors section of the next publication. Nope, in the past, with very few exceptions, my published work was relatively dry. Not any more.

As the name of this blog implies, I tend to write about whatever strikes my fancy. I’m a trained curmudgeon and have an opinion on virtually everything. There is no real rhyme or reason to what I may include here. Unlike many blogs with specific areas of interest - and bloggers who actually have dogged focus on an objective - I may rant about politics one day and marvel at a wonderful cloud formation the next. Reviews of movies, books, plays and street performance will crop up out of nowhere and my daily observations of life in general will be an ever present theme. Why, you may ask, would I wish this sort of thing on the world?

Because I am a satirist at heart. I write, as do most writers, for my own enjoyment and if someone else likes what I present, so much the better. Formal writing is, as they say, re-writing. A first draft of anything should never see the light of day, especially as much of it is written at night. Even a second draft, generally speaking, is little better. Unfortunately the nature of blogging seems to be that what little time is available to do it goes into 1.) Thinking up a post, 2.) Drafting that post, and 3.) Publishing that post. Often in the same amount of time it took for you to read that last bit of enlightenment. I tell you this by way of apologizing, in advance, for my horrible spelling, punctuation and grammar. Yes, yes...I know. I claim to be a writer of sorts and I should be better at those pesky little subtleties. And you are correct. However I would refer you to the third sentence of this paragraph. 

Under normal circumstances I would write a bit, wash it through a spell checker/grammar evaluator, and only then allow it to see the light of day for purposes it. That is NOT going to happen in the time frame I have for this ever expanding tome. Also, as in the title, I sometimes elect to misspell words, make “mashups,” or simply slaughter the Kings English as it were. And before you ask, I do in fact have a well read copy of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, as well as The Chicago Manuel of Style, and I couldn't care less. 

I've read Cormac McCarthy and know that following the elements of style and form set out by others is not required to tell a gripping and successful story. I once flunked an English class or three (but was elected class speaker based upon my Riffs) and am more than able to continue my ways without getting great grades at it. What I have to do is entertain the reader and tell a good story. That is what makes Riffing work for me. Hopefully that is what will be enjoyable about these Riffs for you, the reader (or victim as the facts may be.)

So, thank you for finding my little blog, and taking the time to read it. Please let others know if you found it entertaining or otherwise worth a few minutes of your time.

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