By: TJ Larson
Some people have hobbies that are professions while others have professions that are hobbies. I suppose I fit into the latter group when it comes to writing. Yes my friends, writing is most certainly a profession but don’t take my word (no pun intended), just ask Eric Jerome Dickey or Dean Koontz. These are just two among many who made solid careers out of writing. I like to call them the rock stars of the written word.
I however, have a different story to tell. Once upon a time (I just love that beginning), in a galaxy… oh forgive me, my mind tends to wander sometimes. Anyway, once upon a time, back when I thought that a thesaurus was a prehistoric animal and my copy of Webster’s was being used to hold up a broken couch leg, someone placed a book in front of me. What a strange device this was for it had no buttons on it like the devices I was accustomed to. It didn’t control the television nor did it help me make it to the 600th level. For a while I puzzled over this device then one day I decided to open it and lo and behold, I was transported to a land unlike any I had ever visited. Surely this Stephen the King was a wise ruler of his realm. At that point I set out to find my own realm to rule.
Sadly this was not to be. Many realms did I set out to conquer and each time I met with stinging defeat. That, my friends, is the subject of another story. Today I am here to discuss the heinous crimes I committed while on my quest to find my place in history. Before I begin, I must caution readers that the story I’m about to tell is not for the faint of heart. With that out of the way let me begin.
Over the years I’ve done many terrible things to my beloved English language. So numerous are the literary faux pas I’ve committed until I cannot name them all here. I’m so glad there isn’t a “Writer’s Court of Law,” because if there was, they’d have thrown the book (pun intended) at me long ago. Not only have I not minded my “p’s and q’s”, I also failed to dot many of my “i’s” or cross my “t’s”. I’ve kidnapped “artistic license” and taken “suspension of belief” hostage. I haven’t just bent the rules of grammar and punctuation, It’s more shattered them like the Ten Commandments. I’ve substituted antonyms for synonyms and had more run-ins with run-ons than I care to remember. I’ve purposely broken and fragmented innocent sentences and oh yes, left many a poor participle dangling for dear life. I’ve driven English teachers to early retirement and others were left in a murmuring, unintelligible pile crumpled on the floor in my wake. A few even ran off screaming into the night, never to be seen or heard from again. I’ve also littered quite a few essays with the semantical equivalents of landmines.
Among the less egregious offenses I’ve committed are reducing a paragraph into nothing more than one long continuous ongoing sentence due to my lack of the use of punctuation to more clearly define one thought statement or idea from another one I may be trying very hard to convey to the people who are trying to read the work that I clearly want them to understand.
So why did I do these things? What is my defense? I have none. I did them because I could. Besides, how much fun would it be traveling to all those wondrous places if every article or story read the same? I write simply because it’s what I love to do. So to all the English instructors, English majors, and other professional writer types out there, I offer my most humble apologies for the wrongs I’ve committed and will no doubt continue to commit from time to time. So the next time you’re reading one of my stories and you see a misplaced comma,, please consider that it was me… uh… it was I, the Literary Vagabond who wrote it.