Charles Clanton Rogers

Reflections based on poetry, music, visual art, book reviews, history of science, first-person history, philosophical essays and International Blogging

Now in the final month of 2015, I am reviewing, in reverse order, the top-ten-best received of my posts.

Number nine; Stages on becoming a writer.

In December, I am revisiting the best-received posts – number ten – a book review
#10 Three Dog Life 12/4
#9 The Evolution of One Writer 12/6
#8 Before I Built a Wall…. 12/8
#7 Birches – Robert Frost 12/10
#6 You Could Be Immortal 12/12
#5 FDR is DEAD! 12/14
#4 Ella and Louis 12/16
#3 Journey of the Human Mind – Introduction 12/18
#2 Writers and The Butterfly 12/20
#1 Lessons from My Grandmother 12/22

A first person history.

 

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cowboy image by Pinkey Bucket,

permission requested

 

My grandfather was a real cowboy, When he was eleven years old, he and his twin brother drove his widowed mother’s cattle to Chicago to the auction.  They had rifles in their saddles to fight off cattle rustlers on the way up, thieves on the way home. It was a year’s worth of cash in their saddle bags. -1903 – non-fiction. Unfortunately, he never wrote it down.  I’m determined that my sons will be able to read about my life. 

Now, that’s the grist for your mill. My grandmother was born in 1892, in a wagon while her mother was being ported across the Missippi River on her father’s  way to stake out some land. 

My father graduated from high school in Oklahoma in 1929.  In the Great Depression, he had to make his way in the world, support a family and help educate  me.  He never wrote any of that down.

My mother was one of the first girls to get a college education in Oklahoma [Oklahoma College for Women- class of 1932] No one wrote anything down; there  should have been a book, there.

I was the first male in my family to even enter a college.  I always saw myself on a horse or boiling coffee grounds on a campfire, lucky to be able to read Zane Grey.

quil

When I was in remedial English in college, I was instructed: “Do not write, if you can help it“  Elizabeth Hope Jackson – my English Teacher.

I was able to keep the urge locked up for a long time. I had to learn the origin, the course, the branches and the function of the twelve cranial nerves [O. O.T.T.A.F.A.G.V.S.H; I can recite those, after 50 years!].

 

DNA       kreb's cycle                                                                        the molecular biology of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and the Kreb’s phosphorylation cycle.

 I did not care a hoot about dangling participles!

 

In spite of Miss Jackson’s admonition, one day, “I put my hand on a rock, looked up in the sky, and in a loud voice, I said: 

I AM a WRITER!”

“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.” Friedrich Nietzsche
typewriter:laptop
“Think digging ditches is hard? At least you know when you are done. Think erecting a skyscraper is hard? At least what you have when you are finished is an unequivocally completed project. Think flipping burgers at the fast food restaurant in the strip mall of the nowhere town in which you live sucks? At least you get a paycheck.

quil

Writing is thankless work. It is like housework. It is like laundry. It is like a soap opera. It is never finished. There is always more to do. People may tell you that you are good, but you won’t believe them, or you will believe them too much, or you will not know who to believe, least of all yourself and this thing you created that is

nothing more than a mess of letters trying to make sense of things that don’t: life, death, what happens in between.”

Susannah Breslin

quil
One day I, Charles Rogers,  had an Epiphany about writing:
Metaphorically, Writers need to fly in their lives!.
We want the panoramic view of LIFE.

We demand to see everything.
We want to see behind every facade; to tear back the curtain of “The Wizard”.

pullong back the curtain
To fly, we must first learn to stand and walk [Every day, make an appointment with yourself to write]-write the alphabet- write about how difficult is to start- do it the way that musicians do their scales.

Without complaint, a good musician just does his scales every day. Sentences are your weapons. Words are your ammunition. A soldier field strips his rifle  and cleans the parts every day. If you think you can write, be prepared to use your weapon. Be a warrior with a pen. [It is mightier tnan the sword- “to coin a phrase”  🙂 ]

Be ready with your weapons when an idea crystallizes,  which they always do [Mine come dissolved in my morning coffee -sleep, followed by coffee- I write an hour before breakfast, like runners run..

coffee

Then run and climb,
Then dance.
Finally, flying!
“One cannot fly into flying.”
My epiphany tells me that these are the stages of becoming a writer.
Great writers are flying.
I would say I am at a fast walking phase, aspiring to  “the dance”; now with elementary dancing lessons.
Where are you?

 

References:  I’ve read a dozen or more books on writing: IMHO,  the two best are: Anne Lamott and Annie Dillard with the advantage to Dillard,

The Writing Life: Annie Dillard: and Bird by Bird  by- Anne Lamott

Charles Clanton Rogers Extensive revisions December 2015

write charlesclantonrogers@me.com

14 thoughts on “The Evolution of One Writer – number nine of a series

  1. Great review! The photo of the cowboy is epic with wonderful wording to compliment it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      🎀⚔Faraday’s Candles, I completed your 3 day quote challenge! I haven’t received my “certificate of participation”.☎️ Here is my “Pay-back-challenge: I published a list of names: Society of International Blogger’s a few days ago. My challenge to you: exchange one e-mail with a member of S.I.B. each week (one exchange/ week) for the remainder of December! 📡🍒🍒🍒

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That is a challenge!
        You do have our heartfelt certificate of participation…lol!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. bbnewsab says:

    Howdy, horse riding cowboy – and scout!

    This is beautifully narrated and thrillingly inspiring at the same time!

    Yes, I agree with you, KK. It’s a great pity your amazing grandfather didn’t write his memories down. But at the same time I become so delighted to hear that you yourself won’t make the same mistake as your grandpa did.

    Let’s face it, KK. This is 20th century HISTORY at its best. First person memories. From those who “created” HISTORY.

    Couldn’t be better that that.

    BTW, I guess that also Zane Grey seems to have inspired you in many ways when you grew up. KK. Maybe he was to you, at least in some ways, what papa Ben Cartwright in Bonanza – see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonanza – was to me, together with his three sons Adam, Hoss and Little Joe, when I was in my teens? Someone to rely on, to be comforted by when needed.

    But you were also blessed with a real dad. To count upon. To learn from. To get consolation from.

    So fortunate wasn’t I. My dad was an alcoholic. Seldom present. (Maybe best so.)

    BTW, once more: Is it really true that you, just you of all people, were in remedial English in college? Unbelievable. Well, you took your revenge. Today I and other followers can be spellbound by your way to to use the English language in order to convey both thoughts and emotions. Especially of the first person memories kind.

    KK, I’m so DELIGHTED that you didn’t take Miss Jackson’s admonition and advice too seriously. Sometimes it’s recommendable to dare. Dare to be a bit rebellious. And listen to your heart. (Remember the advice from the Little Prince: “Here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.”)

    It’s easy to understand why you like that novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – another man who wanted to fly – so much.

    Writing is equal to letting your thoughts and emotions free. If you don’t understand that, you won’t be able to captivate the attention of your readers – neither you will be able to enchant them.

    Also, KK, remember Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Livingston_Seagull . Jonathan .

    That’s another novella that comes to my mind while reading your charming and lovable post.

    In that novella you find words of wisdom like: “You’ve got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull.”

    Or: “You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way.”

    Only to end up with a semi-religious message that can be summarized like this: “Love, deserved respect, and forgiveness all seem to be equally important to the freedom from the pressure to obey the rules just because they are commonly accepted.” (As quoted from the Wikipedia article I just linked to.)

    Last, but not least, KK. Your carefully chosen music must be praised. What a crescendo you offer your readers – and listeners! Not to speak of your first first music choice. With that choice you got my mind to remember Bonanza. Listen, remember and enjoy by clicking this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjdRgBAY278 .

    Like

    1. clanton1934 says:

      I am vey pleased that my new template/format allows everyone to read the comments that you and others have made. You, PK, have the quite significant talent [in one’s comment section] of writing an essay on-the-fly. This also remarkable AND in a language which is the most complex, and is not your first or native tongue!
      I greatly admire that. 1. My posts have more than two dozen editorial revisions of drafts before I send them out; 2. MY Second language is “grunting, pointing and jumping up and down’ speech. That’s what Americans do when they stray out of the shadows of their bucolic abodes. Yes, it is definitely true about college English. My high school advisor said I should declare for English major. The Chairman of English interview me and sent me; he then assigned me to the slow and the behinds and said I should do Science.My stengths was visuals [drawing] not verbal. So I became a physician/surgeon/radiation oncologist. I was 75 when I decided that I would write down a few meandering notes to leave my sons. Those notes became a diary which became a blog, which led to this! Who knew that anyone would want to read from the slow and the behind class.
      K

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jen says:

        I love this post Charles, thank you for sharing. I think I’m crawling at the moment. One day I will fly!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. clanton1934 says:

        Oh Jennifer! My dear, I hereby declare that you have fulfilled the requirements for Crawl-1, Stand-1 and Walk-1. I, as GRAND POO-BAH, award you the rank of RUNNER 1st class. Your certificate is being hand lettered by some Irish Monks on a remote island off the West coast of Ireland [don’t hold your breath] c. [M.L. Kappa feature is live in one hour- stay tuned] c.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I’m honoured! Monks hand writing my certificate, I’ll put that on my resume. ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

    2. clanton1934 says:

      My Swedish good buddy: in my gratitude for your role as Fox, I have been building for you! In a week, I have built you a bridge to Russia, a very long bridge to Jennifer, a bridge to Rosie in England and today a bridge to Greece! Not bad for an old man in a high-rise without car keys? K

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bbnewsab says:

        No, not bad at all, KK! You have proved your bridge building abilities and qualifications.

        In short, you ARE a Sage. And kind of civil engineer. Not only the Medicine Man of this Readers & Writers Tribe (RWT) Community we all who follow your terrific blog belong to.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. bbnewsab says:

    May I suggest a topic for tonight’s camp fire talks? That you tell us about what happened at Pearl Harbor today exactly 74 years ago: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Pearl_Harbor .

    Why not reblog at least one of your earlier posts, in which you tell us about Pearl Harbor?

    You know, KK, first person memories used to revive important historical events can be seen as a powerful tool to defend democracy, an ideology that is threatened more than ever in today’s world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      Yes, I remember December 7, 1941 and then listening to live address of Franklin Roosevelt . This was my introduction to the World beyond our little town. K

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The image shown above of the Cowboy belongs to me PhyllisBurchettPhoto, if you are going to use this image without my permission at least give credit. You have cowboy image by Pinkey Bucket, this is incorrect.

    Like

    1. clanton1934 says:

      The beautiful image has your signature in the picture! I tried to enhance it. C c

      Like

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