Thursday, January 31, 2008

85; Travels

Okay, so I wrote a column a little while ago about my travels, it was installment one of five. Oh, you don't remember it? That's probably because it was never posted.

Here was my train of thought, late as usual: The most interesting thing I've done recently was travel around Europe. I bet those travels would make interesting subject matter for my column. I shall write a multi-part series of these travels.

The problem with this scheme was that I'd already written such an account. I emailed everyone I knew at the time all about my two-part travels of Spring Break and Post-Finals. Indeed they were good times. But they weren't times I wanted to retell so soon after I'd experienced them, and, you know, told them the first time.

This lead to a mini-crisis. Was I a bad writer? What did it mean that I couldn't retell a story multiple times? Was this a case of writer's block? Did I need to take a couple aspirin, and chill the heck out?

The problem (I know, I already identified the problem, this should be labeled the heart of the problem. But it's too late for that now, I'm on a role, I'm writing, we're going to make Chatanooga by sunset...) was that I couldn't tell stories differently. I mean, things just happened, I reported the facts, the concurrent emotions, and my observations. Those things hadn't changed, so how could I rewrite the story?

There was always the option of using different words. Different words, drawing out elements, elaborating and sprucing up were all there. But what does that do to the story? The things happened the way they happened, putting extra emphasis into my step as I crossed the bridge from Europe to Asia wasn't going to change anything except highlight the fact that it was Real.

At times the column, for the sake of presserving interest delved into the fanciful. For example, my initial foray into Scotland is recorded thusly:


(While our (hero) was hanging out in northern England Ross' sister Jess has infiltrated the southern part of the country from Ireland.)

Jess: Bwa ha ha. I shall rendezvous with my brother in the north. I shall bring 500 cavalry, 1,000 mercenaries, 2,500 crack troops, and send orders to my armada in Cornwall to sail north. Together we shall form an alliance and take Scotland by storm!

Ross: ...

(Instead, the storm turns into a blizzard, and the two venture into the country under rather chilly circumstances. All the troops peished at Hadrian's wall.)"

So there you have it. If you want the original story of my travels let me know. I'll be more than happy to send you a copy. Otherwise you're just going to have to wait for it until I'm either willing, or able, to provide.

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