Jun 27 Written by 

Writers' Agonies, Volume I, Chapter I

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As a writer, I maintain certain unexamined assumptions I do not wish to examine at all. To wit:

1. Words are the whole world.
2. All words are equal.

These assumptions mean I agonize not only over my own work, but at scarifying length over all words ever spoken or written to me. I can spin up whole rainbows of agony out of a lone "Sorry" scrawled on a rejection slip, and fury, too, because whoever wrote it doesn't seem really sorry! I can't seem to weigh and sort words according to their source or context or tone. Some people say that words are mere hot air, or can be ignored! Not I! To me, all words are serious! You can imagine how I fare in a culture that is jerry-built on kidding and banter. For example:

A--HOLE:
Hi there, Eagle Beak!

ME:
Eagle Beak?

A--HOLE:
It's a joke! Just a joke! (Punches ME on the arm.) Can't you take a joke?

ME:
(Looks daggers.)

A--HOLE:
Ha, ha! I was just kidding. (Pounds ME on the arm repeatedly.) Geez!

ME:
You're a f-----g a--hole.

A--HOLE:
A-ha, ha, ha!
Catherine Rankovic

Writer, with 30+ years' writing and publishing experience, 20+ years' teaching experience. Last book read: Mrs. Lincoln by Catherine Clinton.