Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I'm Told It's Like Riding a Bike

I'm beginning to fear that I have forgotten how to write. Something is different. I have spent the last couple of weeks prepping for the A to Z Challenge and pre-writing many of the posts. I have also spent considerable amount of time reading many of my older posts and there is a significant difference between my writing today and the writing I was doing as recently as two years ago.

The humor and sarcasm just isn't coming to me as easily as it did before. My writing feels flat and I'm not sure what to do about it. I have been compiling the book that I want to write this year and have the entire story worked out, but don't want to start the writing until I feel that I have regained that snarky voice that I used to have. I thought that, maybe, I was just out of practice, but I'm beginning to wonder if it's something more. So, I have made a list of things that have changed since I last appreciated the results of my writing.
  • I have moved from Illinois to Indiana.
  • My kids have moved out.
  • I have gotten married.
  • I got a vasectomy.
 Let's examine these separately.

I have moved from Illinois to Indiana. To people outside of the Midwest, it may seem like the Midwest is the Midwest and there really isn't any difference. From Nebraska to Ohio, it's all the same. Well, you could not be more wrong. Well, I guess you "could" be more wrong. If you said eating a dog turd was no different than flying a helicopter that would definitely be more wrong. So, let's just say that your way of thinking is does not align with the facts. You cannot honestly compare a small farming town with inner city Chicago or Cleveland (you really shouldn't compare anything with Cleveland). The personality of the big cities aren't even the same. Davenport, Iowa is nothing like Cincinnati, Ohio. Louisville, Kentucky is considered the 8th largest cultural center in the country. Bet you didn't know that. Omaha has nothing in common with Chicago…and Illinois and Indiana are not the same.

For instance, while Indiana has its issues, Illinois is in a class almost by itself. Do a Google search for the most corrupt states in the country and Illinois is always in the top five. Several polls rank Illinois at the second most corrupt. Usually beaten out only by Arizona. Yes, I was born and raised in the state that had to put 4 out of its last 7 governors in prison. My home state. And I saw it in my county and town as well.

With all this cheating and lying being displayed by my trusted leaders, it's no wonder sarcasm and talking out the side of my mouth came naturally to me. However, now I live in Indiana which has become known as the bigot state since I have moved here. This is thanks to the RFRA Law which was passed last year. Whether someone is for or against this law, the arguments on each side have been blown way out of proportion and it has become one of those issues that causes many people to just avoid discussions about it. Regardless of your stance, a public expression of your opinion will bring a storm of vitriolic condemnation your direction. So, maybe I'm not as loose with my lips fingers as I used to be.

I also went from small town living to living in the big city. Indianapolis is the 13th largest city in the country with over 850,000 people. Since I grew up in the country outside of a town of about 700, that takes some getting used to. It's taking much longer to learn everyone's names than I expected.

Next, my kids have moved out. This is a significant life change. So many of the blog posts I wrote centered around my kids. Plus, they kept me on my toes. They didn't just give me things to write about, they drove me crazy. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. My mind had to be sharp to keep up and make sure they didn't get away with anything. However, I am much better rested now. No more staying up late wondering where they are and coming up with schemes to make their lives miserable. I'll bet they miss me.

I have gotten married. Now, this is a huge life change. I actually met my wife through this blog and every step of our meeting and dating process can be found in some of my earlier posts. However, once we lived in the same state, my writing really slowed down and once we got married, I only posted 5 times in the entire next year. FIVE TIMES! This is from a guy who posted every single day for 3 months straight.
Now, getting married may have slowed me down, but I doubt it it what removed the humor. My wife and I spend a lot of time laughing and the jokes never seem to stop coming. I just wasn't writing for a while. She also sees to it that I get out of the house now and then to have an adventure. I've seen and experienced plenty of things worth writing about.

Last, I got a vasectomy. I actually paid someone to take a scalpel and cut into my ball-sack and root around in there. This was a less than pleasant experience, but it didn't last very long. I was soon back up on my feet, but this was also during the time when I wasn't writing and I wonder if that may have been the moment that something left me.

I know that I am now sterile, but could it be in more way than one? Could he have snipped a nerve that contributes to my funny? Where did my funny even come from? I've heard it said many times that men can only think with their penis. If that's true, it's very possible that this surgery severed the route to my typing fingers and changed everything. The Road to Gonad has been permanently closed.

I feel like I'm on to something, but it will take a little experimentation to test this theory. Stay Tuned.


  1. I love this.
    Make no mistake about it: many outsiders who've never been to the Midwest can't even find it on a map. On the coasts, anything that's non-coastal is "Midwest".

    You're humor never left, just the writing of it.
    (...I wonder if spending more time with your brothers would help. They were another big source of humor in your earlier posts.)

    1. We may need to make more trips back home than we have been

  2. I'm new to your blog, but there seems to be plenty of humor in this blog post! And you're right, Cleveland shouldn't be compared to anything, says someone who grew up there, left and never went back :-)

    1. Thank you. I took my time with this one because I really wanted to try to recapture that humor. I wrote it all out and then combed through it to try and add some jokes. It takes more effort now, but it will come back to me.

  3. So it's not a snip-snip? It's a slice and dice? I've been lied to and I'm very annoyed about that.

    You don't write the same as you used to but I don't think anyone who I knew from way back when writes the way they used to. It's all part of growing as a person. Time changes people. You're still funny.

    1. It is a snip-snip, but first they have to do some slicing to get to the part that needs to be snipped. I tried to take a picture during the procedure, but the doctor stopped me.

      I want my writing to get better, but I do think I was always best as a humor writer. Now that I'm writing again, I can feel it coming back, but it's been slow.

  4. Replies
    1. You only think that because you don't like to be reminded that you are shooting blanks also

  5. So I actually did laugh out loud at your supposedly lost humor, until I got to the part about Cleveland...guess where I live?? We get no respect, dagnabbit... Mayhap you are just being more critical of yourself now because as you're writing less, you're paying more attention to all the details of what you are putting down. Truthfully, I don't think your writing has changed all that much, and I've been reading since before you met Red; although I do agree with her about the brother thing - some of your stories about your family had me literally crying so hard I couldn't see my screen to keep reading ;)

    1. It is possible I'm being more critical. On this post, I sat down and decided, "This one will be funny. Now make it happen." I consider this one an improvement over the last several I've written. I'll get there.

      I really appreciate how much you've enjoyed my writing in the past. It's always been fun to tell my stories and I'm happy to get back to it.

      I actually have no opinion about Cleveland, good or bad. I spent a weekend there once and enjoyed it. I just know it's the go-to city for making fun of.

  6. The idea of a doctor cutting into your ball sack and rooting around in there is a pretty hilarious visual, so I'd say you've still got it. Your humor, that is. The ball sack is probably beyond repair at this point.


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