xmas 09 064

When you need to make an important decision but your head is chaos-ridden with yes, no, maybe, but, and if as well as and then that it’s difficult to see which direction to go. I had just such a quandary this morning. I needed to post an entry here because I need to write, and right now, today, a blog post is the quantity of words spilled and time spent will see me through until I can get more writing time. Because blogs are shortish and take less than an hour. Mostly.

So what to write about? There’s been this thorn in my side concerning “rules” ~ you know what I mean: Ten Things to Never Blog About, Ten Terms Bloggers Need to Know, Ignore These Blogging Musts at Your Peril. Articles, entries, posts, tweets, links, and rants with this type of instructional title used to grab my attention and then invariably cause misery as I realized that “Gee, I hardly ever post photos with my entries and it says here that photos are a must.”  And I could kill this darling “Don’t write about writing. Too many people are already doing it.” Yes, and I’m one of them. Sometimes I comfort myself with the ego boosting thought that I’ve been doing this for a long time. (See title. That’s my number of posts). Oh yes, and there’s the rule that titles need to mean something. Well, mine does, but you have to read a while to get it.

Tell it to Shakespeare. His editor (if he’d had one) would still tell him that “you can’t make an idiot say wise things, so strike out To Thine Own Self Be True  Polonius’s advice to his son.” But Bill is set on the phrase, argues for it, and Bill’s boss thinks, hmm, his last play didn’t do so bad, so says “Go ahead, keep it. But give the speech to Hamlet.” Shakespeare is much older than I am and wrote more words. Also better words. Than anyone ever. I’m just saying. Someone somewhere would try to tell him how to do things better.

One of the wisest writing rules I’ve ever come across is “break every rule.” Both theme and title of Carole Maso‘s refreshing book on writing. As a writing teacher, and a person who has written a book about writing, this is something it doesn’t pay the bills to trumpet over the vastness that is the internet. But merely adding a few words: “Learn the rules, then feel free to break them” goes down much easier on teenagers who do not know why we still insist nevermind is two words. KC knew there were two words there. He didn’t care.

Without even realizing it, I’ve got a blog-sized post. (I read a rule they should be 250 words, but I think four or five paragraphs is respectable.) It was not what I intended to write about. I wanted to say that I know I made the correct decision not to leave my writing desk in the middle of March for a sunny vacation. I know this because when I woke up this morning, and sat at my desk, I was filled with joy.

Don’t Mess With Bill

My dad’s name is Bill. My brother’s name is Bill. My cousin’s name is Will. All derivatives of William, and all beloved by me. Then there’s the other William. My historical crush. William Shakespeare. In my dining room, in a place of honor, I have a shrine with a portrait of a young & sweet looking Shakespeare discovered and authenticated only a decade or so ago in a Canadian attic owned by a guy named Saunders, who, much to his delight, turned out to be a distant relative of the portrait painter.

Then there’s the custom-made bookshelf right under my handsomely framed print, devoted to William’s own works and works about him. Also, sometimes I teach Shakespeare  to college students. Mostly Hamlet, and the sonnets, but also things like Twelfth Night. My friends and I are frequent visitors to the Shakespeare festival in Stratford (Ontario, since we live in Detroit and it’s a couple hours’ drive compared to an ocean voyage for the real thing). Simply put, I’m a fan.

Because I love Bill, I dislike the anti-Stratfordians, those crazy people who think, because he didn’t go to college, Shakespeare could not possibly have written his plays. I dislike that theory more than almost more than any other, even the one about only Catholics going to heaven. I do relish lecturing about why. But this is not a lecture.

It’s a ramble about marketing, in which I seek to talk about what I really love instead of hammering out a press release type marketing blog. I ramble with a purpose. Looks like I’m going to have another book accepted by The Wild Rose Press. And it’s the first in a series. I’ve got a few other half-books going. Tonight I started thinking about how I could cobble pieces of them together for my series. And if my publisher will allow the series to transform from romance to women’s fiction. Lots on my mind. Happy thoughts. Thoughts of Bill, who loved words and ideas and stories.

And thoughts of Rosalind, my favorite Shakespeare character, from As You Like It, my favorite Shakespeare play. Rosalind and her words so wise as she cautions an infatuated suitor: “I’m not for all markets.” Ha! That means something different in the play than it does for my own marketing, or lack thereof. But when I find a connection to my special William, I take it, however tenuous.

So there it is. Like Rosalind, I’m a writer who is not for all markets. And you know what? That’s okay. She lived happily ever after, and I intend to, too. Despite the fact that there are no pictures in my blog and the title of this entry is not intended to bring in searchers, which I hear are both absolutely necessary for a good post.  I assert again, like Rosalind, I am not for all markets.

New Duties

Spring is finally here and with it two new classes I hadn’t planned to teach. Another instructor had to leave mid-semester for urgent personal reasons and since the classes were ones I’d taught many times, and they were right before my usual Tuesday sessions, I said I’d teach them. So this morning, instead of my WIP, I am elbows deep into planning the rest of the semester for two groups of students who don’t have a clue what’s in store. Here’s a hint: Shakespeare…