Bad Advice for Writers (the good bit)
(First appeared at mariaviolante.com on 12/19/12. I cut to the ending, which was the only interesting part of the whole thing. This was, of course, before Facebook had turned into the shitshow of censorship it has now become.)
I once wrote this as a Facebook update:
I hate when you take a swig of a drink you’ve left in the car awhile only to find your mouth full of mosquito larvae and algae because ‘awhile’ is three weeks.
I wonder what the Aztecs would make of escalators. Probably worship whoever showed one to them.
Always eager to find the connection between two unrelated thoughts I came up with a mosquito escalator. Of course, their long thin legs might get caught in the grooves of the moving stairs so that makes the idea implausible. I picture there being all these legs that have been ripped off sticking up all over the place as the escalator endlessly rumbles upwards and all these mosquitoes at the top pissed off.
Words are awesome. I don’t even know you and I put that image in your head.
Then someone posted the following reply:
The legs sticking out of the escalator steps reminded me of the time my dad was painting his boat. I pointed out all of the bugs landing on the wet paint, then getting their legs stuck in the paint. He said, “No problem. I just let the paint dry, then use a very fine sand paper to sand off the bodies & legs. You’ll never notice the microscopic portion left in the paint.” This is also the man who would swallow whatever was drowning in his beer, just to gross us out. My dad, Bug Destroyer.
So much better than what I originally wrote and the closest I’ve ever felt to being validated as a writer.
To help spark a memory like that made me feel, even if it were only a few minutes, that writing isn’t a complete waste of my time.