September 5, 2016: 7:30 a.m.
Welcome! Welcome to the MacRath Institute's Lab for a stunning new experiment on writing a post with no subject in mind.
I submit a post here on the 12th of each month while also maintaining my own blog. This week the two deadlines conflicted. Though I'd finished the AE blog early, I hadn't even started my weekend entry for my own blog. So I had to do something quickly or I was sure to lose face. Solution: I posted the AE blog onto my own, putting myself in a new pickle.
Still, I had a week to write a well-crafted piece for AE. My mind turned to the subjects that interest me most: transitions and segues in writing...plain and fancier styles...time and the writer...deadlines...book titles and covers...promotional flair...expensive vs. cheap cigars...pizza dough and Chicken Parmesan...razzmatazz and personality...moondancing...Groucho Marx and Marlon Brando...tiny-waisted women...and, above all, epigrams.
Could they come together somehow in a piece that I hadn't a clue how to write?
Excuse me while I disappear.
September 6, 2016: 6:00 a.m.
Reappearing properly is no mean feat in itself...and it's all the more effective if done proudly on one's knees.
I've returned, you bet I have--both humbled by the task ahead and proudly brimming with ideas. The word Moondog came into my mind while I walked. Then, better still, The Mind of Miss Moondog, whoever she was. Then--oh, merciful Jesus!
The Malodorous Mind of Miss Moondog.
Excuse me for a day or two while I attempt to digest this.
September 7, 2016: 7:02 a.m.
Digesting Chicken Parmesan may sometimes take a day. Or two. But it's well worth the effort. For there are times in writers' lives when honest self-indulgence can be the greatest discipline. And this form of discipline can lead to still greater rewards instead of greater indigence. As proof, I now give the new title:
The Malorodous Mams of Miss Moondog
The Malodorous Mind wasn't bad, not at all. It's a perfectly adequate title reminding us of an older pizza maker twirling fresh dough with elan. But perfectly adequate titles, like perfectly adequate covers or blurbs, no longer cut it half so well with the marketplace packed as it is. To stop traffic we now need supremos: I mean brash pizza makers who whirl their pies like boomerangs and catch them while moondancing with almighty razzmatazz, just like Marx and Brando...
I'm ready, almost, to begin. But first, I've walked so long and hard, my dogs are really barking.
September 8, 2016: 12:05 p.m.
Speaking of dogs, they've all started to bark: have I gone totally bonkers, using a word like Malodorous? Plain writing is the key! Avoid fine writing like The Donald.
Maybe so and maybe no. But I'll heed the instincts that tell me: sometimes a $25 cigar isn't just a cigar...it's a rose. Let readers Google if they must but that lovely Malodorous lives.
And now I still have time to learn who Miss Moondog is and why her mams don't smell like roses. So, if you'll excuse me...
September 9, 2016: 7:24 a,m.
No, I can't say it's all come up roses. I have learned who Miss Moondog is and why her mams have been afflicted. But I'll have to save that intel for another post or for my work in progress--because it's a hell of a story. And I have a deadline to meet.
Still, before you feel cheated, consider: I have met my deadline in well under 1000 words. And I have covered all of the topics proposed: from Chicken Parmesan to pizza dough...from plain to fancy writing...from transitions to titles to alliteration...from discipline to epigrams...from beloved Marx to Brando...to tiny, wasted women. And the real theme, apparently hidden, has been in clear sight from the start:
I pray I've also delivered the goods with that positive and precious P-word.
So let us all awaken now and either smell the coffee...or at least cough the smelly.