Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Mitchell Toews : My Writing Day and the offer to participate, therein.

Dear rob,

If I was (Were I?) Emma Thompson, actress, I would shout, "What fun!" and you would know with no chance of error precisely what fun I genuinely believe this to be. 
        Then I read some of the comments to some of the Guardian author's posts.
        [...] "Utter cockwash" [...] is now in my head, probably for about two-or-three days. I have a brainplace that is Velcro—military-grade Velcro—for words and phrases that appeal to my lesser angels, angels with mustard-stained frocks. An exemplary past Velcroism: “Power Clip”—a design feature on a used pair of CCM Tacks I bought to coach ringette years ago. It was such a gimmicky, marketing pitch thing that it stuck in my head for some unlikely reason. My daughter would ask a question and just to annoy her I would shout "Power Clip!" for an answer as we got ready to go to the rink Saturday at 6 A.M. (Me being a bit groggy.)
        And then, just as I’m concentrating on “Power Clip” and my daughters and how fun it was to have them around all the time, and all of us yelling “Power Clip” on our way to figure skating and ringette and what not, this nettlesome thing happens: "YOU'RE MISSING OUT ON KEY GRAMMARLY FEATURES!" a pop-up screams at me, giving me temporary mental relief from "cockwash", at least.
        Nonetheless stalwart, I try to enter "cockwash" into My Personal Dictionary (a key Grammarly feature) but every time I do, the KEY FEATURE admonition pops-up, like a virtual Nanny McPhee. I am in an unexitable cockwash loop. The sound of ripping Velcro fills my writing room, as I stand at my desk looking out at the lake, chickadees—black-capped—looking in.
        I consider taking a bathroom break. "Ablutions", as you less-alliteratively put it in your “My Writing Day” piece. "Ablautions" ol' velcrobrain thinks, toying with the word ablaut—as in ablaut reduplications—the way English speakers like to arrange vowel gradation. Seea interessaunt, I think, in Plautdietsch. 
        I decide against the bathroom and opt to accept your offer. A kind offer. A fine offer.
On the way to the bathroom (a sudden reversal: "Gangway! Gung-Ho! Gong Show!" I ablaut aloud alliteratively on my way...) I consider possible titles for the piece.
        "Why Do You Hate Ants So Much?" is one example of my typical writing day, jump-started at 2:17 A.M when I listen to a YouTube think tank about Artificial Intelligence. I chose that video because I have a short story in the works about a sweet Jetsonesque household maid... an AI robot with Alzheimer's—or the AI equivalent—and I want to research AI some more. Both my mom and my mother-in-law were fit, bright charming older women who succumbed to Alzheimer's or dementia or both. Maybe if I make my story a bit whimsical, but not quite, I can make sense of the whole shiteroo. Maybe if Rosie the Robot can be cured, I won't get it and my wife won't get it? Our girls? Oh, boy.
        Anyway. A title...
        "My Life is an EM Dash." Kinda nice. Writerly.
        "Distractions are Your Friends"..."Velcrobrain and Me"... Wait, I've got it. "POWER CLIP!"

Mitchell Toews lives and writes lakeside in Manitoba. His work appears in print and online, in places near and far. He is working on a novel. You may follow him on the trails or out on the water or ice, or more conveniently at, Twitter or Facebook.

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