Friday, January 9, 2015

This Week in Cartoons

The cartoon strip “Pickles” had a great one for the first day of the New Year. It showed the older couple sitting on the sofa. Grandma observes that they are at the start of a 365-page book. The pages are blank and await the stories that will fill up each day. She wonders aloud about what those stories will tell at the end of the year.

She looks over to Grandpa and sees that he’s fallen asleep. “Oh, I forgot. Long books put you to sleep.”

I found a variation of this on Facebook, so maybe this has been around for awhile and I’ve just missed it. I made sure to share it at a Writer’s Studio meeting.

Another “Pickles” strip had the young grandson ask his grandma about life before the Internet. Grandma ponders the question—then looks for the answer on Google.

So true. I use Google for spelling and word usage checks all the time. And for research—it’s a gem. But I know where I’d be without it—in a library somewhere up to my bloodshot eyeballs in musty, dusty books.

The strip “Dustin” is about a twenty-something young man living at home. A case study in failure to launch into an adult life with steady job and steady girlfriend. The cartoon that struck me as “writer friendly” shows the family at the table sharing a meal. Dustin asks for the salt. His grammar-conscious sister points out that he needed to say “may” instead of “can” in his request. Dustin grumbles to himself and thinks bad thoughts about “autocorrect.”

Spelling and grammar correcting features are a godsend for me. I may not agree with every one of the automatic suggestions, but I always pay attention.

The final cartoon that I saved from the last week comes from “Rhymes with Orange.” The title is “The Creative Tag Team” and consists of only two panels. The first shows the Muse arriving on the scene of an artist at work. The second shows the arrival of the Muse’s sinister sibling—Abuse.

I love it when the Muse comes to visit me. I try not to take it for granted.

But I hate it when the voice of creativity turns into the dark self-critic and tries to tell me, “It’s all garbage.”

It’s a chore to ignore that kind of internal dialogue, but it’s imperative. A writer must keep writing and have faith that one, it really isn’t that bad; or two, rewrites will make it better; or three, it’s holding a place until you can think of a better way to get your idea across.

And yes, I keep the faith that my writing will always get better. Finding a little helpful humor along the way is a pleasant gift.

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