Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Sunday, May 12, 2013

3-8-13 RMB Electric Orchid
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
“If I were you, I’d read this chapter.”
You crack me up. That is the first line of “The Subjunctive: The Empire of the Shadow Senses” chapter of Starting From Scratch: A Different Kind of Writers’ Manual. I read it and stopped to laugh. Picked up the book and laughed again. It took three tries for me to get to the second line of the chapter. Your humor, the timing of it, is arresting. 
I know there will be countless times in my future reading endeavors when I will begin a chapter and read invisible words etched before the author’s first line that say “If I were you, I’d read this chapter.” I found it a hilarious first line of a chapter, any chapter. I know you went on to give technical reasons for it, but that didn’t detract from the humorous injection.
Also in this chapter, I am noticing how you string words together, words I have never seen side by side in the same sentence in my life. You use them in complimentary ways, to stretch one another’s meaning, broadening their scope. Here is one example: “The subjective tense shines like an electric orchid.” Subjective tense + shines + electric + orchid = Rita Mae Brown.
Okay, it may be a possible someone else has used electric + orchid in the same sentence in written history. Perhaps I just missed it. However all five words? I don’t THINK so!
It is late and I have three boys watching a Transformers movie on DVD. They are on a sleepover, complete with popcorn, soda and treats they don’t normally get, along with staying up as late as they want as long as they are good (good as in no one gets injured, they aren’t too loud, and nothing gets broken).
Maybe I am just slap happy, up past my bedtime, over tired from taking boys to the park after work, then being in the midst of them playing with the dog and cat before settling down. But Rita Mae Brown, you crack me up.
Good night,

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