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Monday, January 6, 2014

Noodling around

Proud to be a 'Don before being a 'Don was cool.
So I'm trying to focus on an idea that came to me while fixing lunch but working (at home) and headlines like this keep getting in the way:
It's really had to compete with naked Australians and satanists, to say nothing of goats.

Yet, compete we shall. I was assembling chicken noodle soup of the homemade variety, and although it's easy, it involves a little patience. First, waiting for the veg portion -- the carrots, the onions, the celery -- to soften up, then adding the noodles -- Amish type -- and waiting for them to cook just a bit beyond al dente
[Editing in action: I wrote the paragraph above an hour or so ago. Sat down again and you see the edited version above. Here's the first draft:
Yet, compete we shall. I was making chicken noodle soup of the homemade variety, and although it's easy, it involves a little patience. First waiting for the veggie portion -- the carrots, the onions, the celery -- to soften up, and then putting the noodles in -- Amish variety -- and waiting for them to get just a bit beyond al dente.
If I waited another hour, it'd be better still.]
Anyway, it took awhile -- I kept checking the noodles and they were staying pretty dente -- one time, twice, three times -- and finally, you could see the change, the moment they ceased being crunchy/gummy and took on the softness perfect for soup.

Back in the day, IPFW was desperate and deluded enough to allow me to teach a class on free lance writing. My students were just as desperate (for what they perceived, I'm sure, as three easy credits), although not nearly as deluded -- I had no idea what I was doing, as they discovered, and I'll take this opportunity to apologize to every single one of them. 

But just because my teaching skills were pretty weak doesn't mean I wasn't a good editor -- and that's what most of those students needed to become, their own good editors. So I often felt I wasn't teaching writing as much as I was (self) editing.

And what does an editor do? Cut out a lot of unnecessary words. [Strunkify it!] Let it sit awhile, so you can bring fresh eyes to it. You'll end up changing a few words, deleting a few, even adding one. 

You know -- noodling around with it. Serving up prose, al dente.

Enough of this prosaic overload. I'd write a poem about the snow and cold but Wallace Stevens has beat me to it:


I just like it: Timeflies acoustic: I Choose You. No great meaning.

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