August 5, 2010

Max’s Musings

maxBy Max Molleston

If you are a professional writer, as I was for decades, a writer and broadcaster of news stories, longer series, and finally agriculture markets, you scout out what appears to be truth in the matter at hand. As a novelist or poet, make up all or part of what you say! Create it! The majority of poetry is a conjuring from ideas resting on facts. The other big chunk is manufactured. It is an exercise tied to feelings. Here is one of mine from the 1980s. Never titled.

Wishing is a road to nowhere
but relief, however fleeting.
Hope is the promise that
keeps weakened hearts beating.
The two are not a pair
but often asked in tandem.
Hope is a piece of the action,
wishing is starting at random.

This short poem is made of yearnings, and those can be all fantasy. It is, of course, centered in belief that hoping is stronger than wishing. Agree or disagree? The idea is from scraps of my observations about levels of desperation. I favor hope over a wish. I’m a seeker of solutions, not a builder of barricades to a new approach that comes along.

Here is another short poem I authored in the 1980s. I did not have the confidence to execute a longer poem at that time.

A Choice

A sound mind and body
is the mother of the nation.
A fine mind and body
is the ultimate temptation.
The former is a requisite
for all things that are right,
The latter is a loving form
to kindle through the night.

I have never been sure if the poem has anything to do with natural
selection, but it is full of suggestive ideas about “apple pie and motherhood.” Definitely a quandry in the selection of a loved one.

Words and phrases that relate to your story or poem need to be crafted. Here is where fantasy comes to work. If you want to rhyme, then word selection is foremost; words and phrases are the root. Most of us are like Sgt. Friday of the early detective series on TV. “Just the facts, Ma’am.” Novelists who succeed (get published) have a routine built from outline. Each writer needs to gain direction for each character as the story deveops. Just the same, the direction that the plot takes, and what happens in the novel may be total fantasy. Writers’ histories tell us that much of which develops the situations in novel writing is borrowed from true experiences, sometimes their own, sometimes from public domain.

People who end up (or start out for that matter) as some type of spokesman to the general public hold some kind of fantasy about themselves. Otherwise, we stop short of improving our skills. Fantasies are useful in society. For instance, fantasy can help us yearn to be a piano player. Hearing a good one inspires us to do better. Our fantasy, our own goal, forms itself into actual progress. This is important!

We address progress and success for ourselves, as we mature through life more confident, achieving tasks we believe will make us a better peson. Our challenge in this column is for all of us to start writing, maybe memoirs, or a poem. If we write currently, we can become an even better writer and poet. We can turn facts into fantasy. That is our privilege. Join us here in September, now placed at the back of each issue of 50+ Lifestyles, and therefore, much easier to find.

See you then.