Thursday, March 20, 2014

If You Give Val One Link, She'll Yank Your Whole Chain

Hey! Hear that? Blog buddy Sioux is rattling my chain!

Sioux would like me to share a little bit about my writing process. Be careful what you like, Sioux. Once the genie is out of the bottle, there's no cramming it back in. Here's how this forthcoming train wreck came to be. Margo Dill linked Donna Volkenannt, who passed the honor on to Sioux, who hitched her chain to Val, who ousted the cats who won't chase rats, all from the garage that Hick built.

1. What am I working on?
I'm working on 44 oz. Diet Cokes, churning out two blog posts daily, one here and one on my supersecret blog, to which only a few folks are privy. Heh, heh, I said privy. I have a couple of projects on the back burner. They are along the lines of Poop My Cat Says, and The Book of Humdrum. Yeah. Those aren't real titles. I'm using "Sh*t My Dad Says" and "The Book of Awesome" as inspiration. I also have an idea for a longer work of thinly-veiled fiction that might expose the underbelly of public education. I'll have to wait for my retirement to kick in before that one sees the light of day.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
My work differs from others by the sheer staggering unpopularity and unmarketability of my subject matter. Nobody wants to read about hillbillies going about their wacky lives in Backroads U.S.A. In fact, we are the only group that is fair game for daily derision in the media. Because we don't understand we're the butt of the joke, perhaps. Heh, heh. I said butt.

3. Why do I write what I do?
I write to amuse myself. To play with words. To keep from pulling my hair out in frustration for not being the center of the universe and the ruler of the world. I like to make people laugh. Or stare. I like to take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. Wait...that was Mary Tyler Moore. I would like to be the lesser Seinfeld show: the blog about nothing. Is that frowned upon?

4. What is my writing process like?
My writing process is kind of like living inside a pinball machine. Anybody remember those? Or Pinball Wizard? "She sits like a statue, becomes part of her rolly chair. Feeling out the keyboard, in her dark basement lair. Writes by intuition, her pageview counter falls. That backward uncouth gal, Val...sure types a mean old blog!"

Each morning, I have ideas percolating in my head that might become blog posts, might become submissions, might fit into the bigger picture of my much-neglected lengthier works. I sometimes grab my little spiral notebook and jot them down, but most often that's too much effort, and I swear I'll remember them, but then I head off to school to earn an honest living, and my ideas fade like the yellow butcher paper lining my bulletin board for nigh on 14 years. So I do what I do every day, Sioux...try and take over the world. Wait. That was Pinky and the Brain.

I sit down at my desktop in my dark basement lair every night, read my regular blogs to catch up on happenings, respond to comments, and choose one of the multitude of mundane occurrences from my day to whip into a blog post. Two.

One of these days, I'm going to stop procrastinating, make time to sit down during my optimum creative hours between six and noon, and get something done. Until then, what you see is what you get.

And now, to distress others with this chain, like a fine piece of wood furniture made more appealing by a good whacking...I'm choosing to inject a little testosterone in the mix with two guys who drop in ever day for a round of abuse in my comment section. I don't think they do chains on their blogs, so I am also adding two ladies who might. It's a regular blog-chain royale! As Supertramp says, "Now some they do and some they don't and some you just can't tell. And some they will and some they won't, with some it's just as well."

Joe H. "The Cranky Old Man" blogs about, well, being cranky and unapologetic, issues of the day, issues of yesterday, stupid headlines, and general guyitude. He's written a couple of books, so I figure he writes. Whether he wants to reveal his process remains to be seen. Oh, and he's from exotic New Jersey.

Steven Hayes "The Chubby Chatterbox" blogs from Oregon. He's a real renaissance man. You can get just about any kind of culture you desire from his blog, except for a gourmet brontosaurus ribs recipe. Sometimes I feel like I need to tuck in my shirt and wash my face before I drop in. Stephen shares his vast knowledge of painting, some of his own artwork, stories from childhood, travel tales that take me there better than The Amazing Race, and some classic Mom-talk every now and then. Stephen has a book in the works, and he's published several online articles, if I remember correctly. He may take the stance of those League of Their Own gals, and declare that a gentleman reveals nothing. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Leenie works in watercolors, and I swear I read some really good poetry over at her blog. Perhaps she has a book that she's been holding back. Or perhaps she'd like to tell us more about her creative process with painting and photography. She's also out west, in Idaho. I think I flew over it one time on my way to Seattle on the way to Alaska. Maybe not. I only learned that England is an island last month.

And how about Lynn? What is Lynn up to these days? Is she still writing letters? Naughty Santa stuff? Is there a big project we need to know about? Do tell! I know she NaNoWriMos. What's kickin', chicken? Fill us in. Inquiring minds want to be nosy.

So there you have it. Unchained thoughts from Val's addled noggin. Sorry you asked?


  1. I suspect Lynn will write you a letter instead of writing a post. And once you get on the Lynn Letter Train, you never get off...

  2. Oh Val ~~ Where have I been?! I sure haven't been here...but I haven't been on any other blogs recently, either...except maybe one or two. I've been in a bit of a stagnation lately, too...."tired, wired, and uninspired."...But as always, dear make me laugh and I wonder why the heck I've not made the effort to stop by here every-single-day! I have to comment about your answer on Number 2, where you said, "Nobody wants to read about hillbillies going about their wacky lives in Backroads U.S.A." ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? OR, ARE YOU NUTS?? Look at that crazy show, Duck Dynasty??!!??!! I rest my case. YOU, my dear, write much better!

  3. I am so honored to be in such company. First of all I love the Victorian daily post. CC is my literary and artistic hero, Leenie is also super talented, and I will get to know Lynn. The Cranky Old Man is notoriously untalented. I like to write but could never do it before they invented spell check. So let me stew on this before I join up. If the Chubby maestro plays along, I will as well. And maybe all by myself anyway.

  4. Why are you not writing for the sit com industry? Ask yourself that as you peel the fourteen year old paper off your bulletin board. You funny gal with a blinging brain.

  5. I try to avoid chains and whips--at least in public--but I'm always looking for reason to post something boastful on my blog so I'll take the bait and add some distress to your fine piece of wood furniture in the near future. Thanks, Val. Keep herding those cats.

  6. Let's just say I didn't frown.

  7. Sioux,
    I will gladly be a depot on the Lynn Express.

    I'm not worthy! I am basking in my comparison to Duck Dynasty.

    Mr. Chatterbox has voiced an interest, and is waiting for me to send him the specifics. I did not publish his comment, because I don't want his in-box to be overwhelmed by fans who have found his email address here. He DOES say that he will forward my kind comments to his parole officer. Perhaps you should consider the same?

    Um...because the sitcom industry is not knocking down my door? Surely you don't think Val would ASK to write for sitcoms. She waits to be approached. Just like she waits for that fourteen-year-old yellow paper to peel itself off her bulletin board. WHY MUST VAL DO EVERYTHING?

    Thank you so much for contributing to the distress! Cats don't herd themselves, you know.

    Thank goodness you are not like that cranky Rebecca DeMornay, turning down muffin stumps for the homeless, and art books that have been in the bathroom.

  8. Hi Val,
    I'm late chiming in here.
    Two blogs? That's impressive. I can't keep up with one or visiting others.

    And I remember pinball machines. Playing them was lots of fun, but not as much fun as your posts!

  9. Donna,
    Few folks know that "Val" is just an alias for my alias. My supersecret blog has been up and running since 2005. It is deep underground. And shall stay there.

    We have a pinball machine that Hick bought at...wait for it...the AUCTION! It's so old that the sides of it are wood, and the top part has horses in slots that race when you ping the right thingies.

  10. Oh my gosh, I'm so behind... and Tammy flung the chain at me and well, I'll get to it eventually... you're a hoot, so keep writing!

  11. Lynn,
    No hurry. I didn't tip you off. I don't like to put people on the spot. I figured if you saw it and wanted to do it, fine. Like a leopard, I cannot change my spots. I'll keep dishing out my drivel until 'til the cows come home. And last I heard, they were headed for California.

  12. I just learned of your existence through Leenie's blog--now I'm your newest follower!! I'm in California. If any cows stop by, do you want me to send them to you?

  13. Fishducky,
    Welcome! I think I've seen you hanging around that Stupid-Headliner Cranky Joe H's blog, too, and winning more than I do.

    Please do not send the cows home. I would never stand in the way of their chance to be happy cows.