Tag Archives: writing

Writing is as hard as it is easy

colorful sunset, Ohio's Amish country

Inspiring sunset. © Bruce Stambaugh 2015

By Bruce Stambaugh

I attended a writing conference recently, an opportunity I always enjoy. Mingling with a group of fellow writers has its definite rewards.

The assembled participants and workshop presenters represented a typical cross section of the global populous. That’s as it should be.

The attendees ranged from teens to octogenarians. Men and women, short and tall, round and thin, assertive and shy, professional and novice, poets and novelists, suits and dresses, jeans and leggings, dreads and bald like me gathered for one purpose. They wanted to learn about writing.

Writers attend conferences to grasp new ideas, to share their stories, to gain confidence, courage, and knowledge about the craft. Presenters enable that to happen.

Rushing water. © Bruce Stambaugh 2015

Rushing water. © Bruce Stambaugh 2015

Often at conferences like this one, papers are presented, and awards proclaimed for various categories. There appeared to be no sore losers, only happy winners, and supportive family, friends and audience.

I marvel at how many people both write and want to write. I feel honored to be among them.

Now and then when I am out and about, someone thanks me for a piece I have written. They mention how much the column or article meant to them. I kindly thank them and walk away fulfilled. It doesn’t take much to make a writer’s day.

It happened at this conference, too. Two different ladies thanked me for my writing. One even said she cuts out each column and saves them. I smiled as humbly as I could.

I am also often asked how I come up with something to write about week in and week out. I always answer, “It’s easy really. Every day is a new day full of astonishing moments and opportunities.” It’s my charge to note and share in words what I uncover.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle. © Bruce Stambaugh 2015

As a writer, I look for things, for activities and experiences that interest me, that I think might interest my readers. The truth is, though, that the process is much, much harder than that.

It’s difficult because I can be selfish, stubborn, silly, serious, prone to mistakes, omissions, too attuned to other sensory activities as I interact with others, with nature, and with myself. I am human. Just ask my loving wife and family.

However, I sometimes miss the obvious. Then I obsess.

I strive to write what is on my heart or what I have observed or experienced, hoping that at least some of my readers might identify with my subject. I do so because I know not everyone can or cares to write.

I am not the best writer in the world. I just want to write the best I can. I know I am not always successful in that endeavor.

A writer friend of mine, a nationally syndicated columnist, once gave me some excellent advice when I struggled to find my written voice. She said, “Write what finds you.” And so I try.

I wait and watch and pray for what finds me. When the words do come, I write for me. I write for you.

Writing is both easy and hard. I hope you find both joy and hope in the words you read. Nothing satisfies a writer more than knowing their written words have touched someone in a personal way.

I am grateful to be published. I am grateful for faithful readers, too. That’s the deep, dark secret in making a hard task easy.

inspiring scene, Amish children

Scenes like this one inspire me to write.

© Bruce Stambaugh 2015

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Don’t let the gray skies get you down

gray day, dreary day, Bruce Stambaugh

Gray day. © Bruce Stambaugh 2015.

By Bruce Stambaugh

It’s not easy living in the third cloudiest location in the nation. Like it or not, that’s just what the residents of Northeast Ohio have to do.

That’s not good for people with Seasonal Affective Disease (SAD). Recurrent gray days negatively affect their daily outlook. Folks with SAD have to suffer through as best they can. I can’t imagine how they do it. It’s hard enough to wake to one gray day after the other without that affliction.

I speak from experience having been a Buckeye all my life. Strung together like a necklace of discolored pearls, these series of overcast, dull days, can get us all down if we let them. We shouldn’t.

I will be glib and say there is good news anyhow. Minute-by-minute, daylight is increasing. That’s little consolation to all those overcome by the seasonal dreariness.

Winter mornings in Ohio seem darker and colder than ever. A minute of daylight tacked on a day at a time isn’t all that inspiring, helpful or meaningful.

We can always hope for an Alberta Clipper to roll through with a few inches of snow and frigid temperatures. The passage of the front usually brings clear, crisp days.

eastern bluebird, songbirds, Bruce Stambaugh

Songbirds like this male Eastern Bluebird can help cheer up any dull day. © Bruce Stambaugh 2015.

In addition, the fresh coat of light, fluffy snow brightens the dull, dormant ground. A million diamonds sparkle day and night, as long as the moon shows its face. Even if it is cloudy, I find a certain joy in the crunch, crunch, crunch of each step to retrieve the mail or fill the bird feeders.

Indeed, these dreary, damp, cold days are what they are. They don’t have to keep us from keeping on. We have to remember that each day is a gem of a gift to treasure all unto itself.

For me, that is an important reminder. The start of a new year means we enter winter’s hardest times. The season’s coldest temperatures, harshest weather, and often the worst storms are likely yet to come.

All things considered worse scenarios than depressing weather abound in this world. Can we look beyond our personal life space to see them?

A friend of mine has terminal cancer. He unabashedly asks others what they think about each night before they go to sleep. Do they believe they’ll awake in the morning? Are they ready to pass on?

Those are blunt, but necessary questions for each of us at any age, healthy or ill. At the end of another day, what do we contemplate? Can we accept dismal skies or broken relationships, or unsatisfying vocations?

Will we wake in the morning to a new day or a new world? None of us, regardless of our situations, knows. I do know this, however. Time is fleeting, gloomy skies or clear skies.

How will we use each day we are given to the benefit of others no matter our personal station in life? Will we let the weather get us down, or will we radiate sunshine that warms and enlightens others?

Regardless of where we live, that is always a challenge, isn’t it? I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. But at this stage in my life, I only want to be helpful to others, those in my household, my family, my community, and even strangers I encounter in my daily duties.

My personal challenge this New Year is not to let the gloomiest weather dim the day at hand. What’s yours?

Amish farm, fresh snow, rural landscape

A fresh layer of snow helps brighten rural landscapes. © Bruce Stambaugh 2015.

© BruceStambaugh 2015

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This writer can’t write or spell so well

By Bruce Stambaugh

I love to write, but writing doesn’t like me. Let me explain.

I have always enjoyed finding out the details of situations, then telling other people about what I learned. I guess I was born with a nose for news.

Growing up in post-World War II suburbia, a neighbor lady affectionately called me “The Beacon Journal,” in honor of the Akron, Ohio newspaper. Her point was that I not only knew the latest neighborhood news, but my facts usually checked out, too. At least that’s what I always thought she meant.

brucestambaughbybrucestambaugh

Me.

Unfortunately, I had a problem when it came to actually writing down the information. I could remember details all right. It was just that my handwriting was so bad it was nigh impossible for people to decipher. This was especially true for school projects.

On top of that, I wasn’t the best speller either. The problem there was that I spelled phonetically, which in the English language won’t carry your written communications very far.

So here I was a young storyteller with atrocious handwriting and horrible spelling skills. I can’t tell you how many times I would seek out a teacher to ask how to spell a certain word. The answer was always the same, as if it were an educators’ conspiracy. “Go look it up,” was the universal response.

In junior high study hall, we had one huge dictionary that students queued to use. I wore a path in the checkered tile from my assigned seat to the lexicon lectern. With impatient peers waiting in line while I fumbled through trying to find a word that I had no idea how to spell, I would break out in a cold sweat.

Whenever I heard that hated phrase “go look it up,” I cringed. What was the logic in trying to find a word in a dictionary when I had no idea what letter the word even started with?

scribblednotesbybrucestambaugh

Notes I scribbled during a recent phone call.

Let’s just say that the answer to that was that I did a lot of erasing in my schooldays. I knew I was in trouble already in the first grade. Those big fat cigar-like red pencils they gave us to use to practice our letters were not only hard to hold they didn’t have any eraser on the top. I had to always borrow one from the teacher until she finally asked my parents to buy my own.

That led to another problem. The pencil lead was dark and gritty on that pale green writing paper with the two-toned blue lines that I never seemed to be able to follow. Out came the eraser, and pretty soon the paper was not only smudged, it often had at least one hole in it. Those lettering lessons would have made really neat abstract art.

That’s what happens when you start first grade at age five with no preschool or kindergarten experience. My fine motor skills have never caught up.

My handwriting is still horrible. So is my spelling. But thank goodness for computers and word processing software. I sit in awe sometimes when I run the spellchecker and the program can actually figure out the word I meant.

Typing has saved me from trying to decode my scraggly penmanship, unless of course I’ve done an interview with someone. I usually have to hustle home and quickly transcribe my scribbling so I can remember exactly what I wrote.

That’s how bad my handwriting was and still is. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Michael Dell saved my life, purely in a literary sense of course.

© Bruce Stambaugh 2013

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A model for keeping Christmas

selectingthechristmastreebybrucestambaugh

By Bruce Stambaugh

My late father loved Christmas. In truth, he lived for Christmas. Dad got so excited about Christmas it was as if our poor mother had six children, not five. When it came to Christmas, Dad was a grown man who never grew up.

Dad’s exuberance for the holiday was prolific, to the point of over-spending an already limited income. No matter the economy, there were always plenty of presents for everyone under our Christmas tree. I really don’t know how my folks financially did it.

dickstambaughbybrucestambaugh

My late father, Dick Stambaugh, with Senator Bob Dole at the World War II Memorial, Washinngton, D.C., Sept. 12, 2009

His joy for the season wasn’t limited to gift giving. Dad dragged us downtown in frigid weather to watch Santa arrive on a fire truck in the annual Christmas parade. He hauled us to his workplace where we stood in line with thousands of others to receive Christmas candy and small gifts.

Choosing the Christmas tree became a family event, too. Dad would stuff as many of us kids as he could catch into the car, and off we went, oftentimes tromping through the snow to select and cut the perfect tree.

Dad made the house a priority for being properly trimmed for Christmas. The tree was erected in front of the large plate glass window in the living room for all to see. Garland, tinsel, lights and heirloom ornaments nearly hid the needles. The plastic white star always crowned the glittery tree.

decoratedtreebybrucestambaugh

A little plastic church that lit up took center stage on the fireplace mantel between a pair of red candles in glinting glass holders. Of course, the stockings were all hung with care around the hearth.

Dad’s perennial priority project, however, was outside the house. His beloved light display seemed to grow each year. It started with the six-foot pine planted on the corner of our lot at 44th and Harrison in Canton, Ohio. It was a rather busy intersection in our post-World War II suburban neighborhood.

Dad loved to load up the tree with string after string of colored lights. The single lighting option then was using strands of large bulbs, which were individually screwed in. We got lots of compliments about the tree, which only encouraged Dad all the more.

As the tree grew, he added additional cords of lights. Later, the extension ladder came out until it was no longer practical for Dad to try to decorate a 20-foot tree. Instead, he loaded up the shrubbery with lights, and outlined the ridge of the house with those big bulb lights. By then, all of us kids were no longer kids. We had grown, married and had families of our own.

christmasgatheringbybrucestambaugh

Each Christmas the Stambaugh family, like thousands upon thousands of other families, gather to celebrate the day and its meaning. We continued to do so long after our parents were unable to host the annual family gathering. Our late mother, Marian Stambaugh, is in the center of attention.

Dad kept his holiday lighting tradition going nevertheless. When the dainty icicle lights came out, Dad draped those from the multi-colored lights around the facing of the house. It was festive, but not exactly aesthetically award winning.

Dad capped off the holiday merriment with buying out the neighborhood candy store of its assortment of tasty chocolates. I think he alone kept the store in business for years.

On each Christmas Day, my brothers and sisters and I gathered with our families and extended families in the home where we grew up out of celebration for the day and respect for our Santa Claus parents. Those were magical days, made more so by a man who refused to grow up, and who bequeathed his fervor for sharing joy to the next generation and the next.

If anyone knew how to keep Christmas, our spirited father, artfully aided by our loving mother, surely did.

christmastraditionbybrucestambaugh

Keeping the Christmas tradition alive in the Stambaugh family.

© Bruce Stambaugh 2012

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Writing is my labor of love

By Bruce Stambaugh

I like to write. For me, it is a labor of love.

Writing takes time. It’s not physical labor, but it can be just as exhausting.

Sunflower at Marblehead Light House by Bruce StambaughTo report an accurate story, concentration and absorbing details and the setting are essential. Even more difficult is deciphering my scraggly handwriting afterwards. Trying to properly tell the story in an assigned number of words against a deadline adds to the creative challenge.

The good people of many of the events and stories I chronicle don’t necessarily crave the publicity. But they do appreciate the consideration, especially when they have put so much effort into their own work or hobby or community service. Those are stories worth telling.

Stambaugh family by Bruce StambaughOf course, when I write about my family, all bets are off. So far, though, I haven’t been barred from any family gatherings.

For the longest time, I thought everyone could write. I eventually discovered that most people don’t have my passion for writing.

I’m not bragging. I have much to learn in the writing field. In fact, I strive to improve my style, approach and content. This spring I attended three very different writing workshops in the space of six weeks. I was bombarded with helpful and practical information. The poets, columnists, scriptwriters and authors offered invaluable personal and professional tips.

The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop held at the University of Dayton was incredible. Perhaps that’s because a huge majority of the hundreds of participants were women. They didn’t hold anything back, and we didn’t lack for laughter or levity. It truly was inspirational.

Batter up by Bruce Stambaugh
I realize I have several people to thank for teaching and encouraging me in my writing. Some were high school and college teachers. Most, like Hymie Williams, were practitioners.

Hymie was a sports writer for The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio. He and two news reporters anchored the paper’s Canton bureau. Out of the blue, Hymie called me one day to ask if I would be willing to fill in for him while he was on vacation. I was 16 years old then. Of course I jumped at the chance.

I had been sending Hymie and other local papers summaries of the Stark County Hot Stove League baseball games. Coaches called in the scores to our home since my father was the league’s secretary. I usually answered the phone and quizzed the callers for any significant details about the games.

I wrote up the results and next day looked for the story in the newspaper. I was heartened to see that the articles were consistently published with only minor changes.

I enjoyed my little stint as a sports reporter, especially since it was at the start of the high school football season. I had lots on which to report.

Light rays by Bruce StambaughThis opportunity heavily influenced my choice of a college major. I graduated with a degree in journalism, but quickly made a left-hand turn for a 30-year career in public education. When I retired, a newspaper came calling and the ink in my veins started flowing once again.

It is an honor and a privilege to be able to write a weekly newspaper column, this blog and other feature stories that shine the spotlight on deserving subjects. Their stories are refreshing, especially given all the negative news that dominates the national media. I enjoy sharing my photographs, too. But that’s a story for another time.

My goal is to continue spreading as much good news as I can, and there is still plenty to tell. After all, writing is my labor of love.

This column appeared in The Bargain Hunter, Millersburg, OH.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2012

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Humbly accepting the Illuminating Blogger Award

Sunset by Bruce Stambaugh
By Bruce Stambaugh

Illuminating? I am not sure that term has ever been applied to me until now, unless you count the glare off of my baldhead. To me, sunrises and sunsets are illuminating. That said, I am both humbled and honored that this blog has been nominated for the Illuminating Blogger Award.

Illuminating Blogger AwardI am also a bit surprised, mostly because the nomination came from a food blog, Food Stories. Kindly check out that blog and you will discover that it is more than about food. I am not a foodie, and but I do enjoy food, although I do have to follow a special diet. I have written about that on this blog, too.

As part of the condition of acceptance of the award, I have to reveal one random fact about myself. You may find this hard to believe, but when I was young I had long, blond, curly hair. Look at me now.

I also need to nominate five other worthy bloggers. With so many excellent bloggers in the blogging world, that is a daunting task. I recommend these five bloggers:

If you want to be personally illuminated, visit Carrie Craig’s blog. Without a doubt, her words will inspire you.

Even at her young age, Hannah Karena Jones sheds some light on the art of writing at her blog. Waiting is important for writers.

Niki Fulton illuminates life with artsy photography and to the point descriptors. You can find her blog here.

For serious writers, Anita Nolan has the inside track on both information and inspiration. If you write, her blog is a must.

Finally, I thought it only appropriate to nominate a well-written and illustrated food blog. The Gourmet Wino does both.

I’m sure you’ll find these bloggers even more worthy of this nice award than me. Nevertheless, I do appreciate the kind gesture. It’s nice to know others appreciate your creativity, whether it’s revealed through writing or photography.

Thanks, again, to the kind folks at Food Stories.
Foggy sunrise by Bruce Stambaugh
© Bruce Stambaugh 2012

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Minding our Ps and Qs, 21st century style

Williamsburg VA by Bruce Stambaugh
By Bruce Stambaugh

I couldn’t help but sense the irony and wonder in it all. My wife and I were visiting my older brother and his wife near Williamsburg, Virginia.

We all were enjoying a pleasant spring evening on the back porch of their lovely home. My wife was using her iPhone. My sister-in-law toyed with her iPad. My brother and I each were surfing around on our MacBook Pro laptops.

The evening was dark and still, except for the occasional distant rumble of thunder. The only light on the porch was the glow from the screens of our electronic gizmos.

My brother and sister-in-law own a lovely home just minutes away from Colonial Williamsburg. Founded in 1654, Williamsburg played a significant role in the development of our country to say the least.
Williamsburg home by Bruce Stambaugh
We had spent the heart of the day walking the streets of the historic town. If you have never been there, it’s a bucket list kind of place, beautifully restored and maintained with lots to do for children and adults alike.

Williamsburg actor by Bruce StambaughEven though I had visited Williamsburg before, I again thrilled at just the thought of strolling the same streets that a young Thomas Jefferson once did. With so many guides and actors dressed in period attire, it was easy to imagine being back in time.

Plush carriages pulled along by noble teams of horses plied the once muddy streets, now paved for the comfort of the tourists and the convenience of the staff. The night before we had enjoyed a delicious meal in Shields Tavern, where we were careful to mind our Ps and Qs.

That old saying, still heard today, could very well have had Williamsburg roots. In those days, a tavern’s bartender simply kept a chalkboard ledger of what customers consumed. If they drank a pint, a P was lettered under their name. If a quart, then a Q was marked. At evening’s end, the bill was tabulated and the customers properly minded their Ps and Qs by paying their bill. Today it simply means to take care of your own business.
Williamsburg carriage by Bruce Stambaugh
As the four of us sat quietly on the darkened porch, we could have been minding our own Ps and Qs by paying our bills online. With the rumbling thunderstorms growing closer, it seemed a bit surreal using our 21st century technology to check in with the world while sitting in the shadow of a bygone era. The town crier was definitely no longer needed to announce the time.

I thought about other familiar sayings we utter without knowing their origin. We derisively chatter about big wigs without contemplating the phrase’s original meaning. For the record, “big wigs” came from the 17th century society custom of wealthy people wearing expensive wigs made of human hair. The taller the wig, the more aristocratic you were.
Williamsburg hats by Bruce Stambaugh
You could say we went the whole nine yards at Williamsburg. That reference was attributed to a bolt of fabric, which equaled nine yards. Clearly I enjoy linking the past with the present.

As the line of storms hit our area, it rained cats and dogs, but not long. Even well before colonial times, superstitious persons believed cats symbolized the rain and dogs the wind; thus, the saying.

Back on the porch, we powered down for the night, thankful for both the generous hospitality and the opportunity to reconnect with the origins of our democracy. I wondered if somewhere, someplace Thomas Jefferson and Steve Jobs were both smiling.Williamsburg wisteria by Bruce Stambaugh

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From book seller to book author, Wesner connects with the Amish

By Bruce Stambaugh

Erik Wesner, 33, went from selling books to the Amish to writing one about them. It was an unexpected but enjoyable trek for the Raleigh, North Carolina native.

“I kind of stumbled into it beginning in Arthur, Illinois,” Wesner said.

Erik Wesner by Bruce Stambaugh

Erik Wesner

Wesner went door-to-door selling books for nine years. His job took him to many communities around the country where Amish had settled.

“The kind of books I was selling were appropriate for them,” Wesner said. He explained that they included sets of family Bible study books.

Whether he spent five minutes or 20 minutes with each household, he liked what he saw and heard. He was impressed with the inquisitiveness of the Amish, their resourcefulness and friendliness.

Wesner graduated from the University of North Carolina with a double major of English and economics. It was that knowledge that caused him to take notice of something else that he found common among the Amish.

“Everywhere I went in the Amish communities,” Wesner explained, “I saw successful businesses.” He said he was intrigued with that pattern, especially since most of the entrepreneurs were self-taught and didn’t have either high school or college degrees.

“While visiting in Amish-owned businesses, I saw customers who had driven three hours from Indianapolis and Chicago to make purchases,” he said. “I figured that was a sign of quality and honesty.”

Wesner couldn’t help but notice the continued success of these businesses in each Amish community he visited, even given the down economy.

“From Iowa to Illinois to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Holmes County, Ohio, I found many success stories to share,” he said. That instilled in him a desire to learn about how they were able to not just survive but thrive when other businesses were not.

That intrigue lead to his book, Success Made Simple, an extensive review of Amish-owned businesses and what makes them consistently tick and click. His book is based on many interviews with Amish business folks across the country.

Wesner said though the book didn’t make the best-seller list, he gained something even more rewarding.

“Through all of this, I have made many friends among the Amish,” he said. That is what brought him back to Holmes County recently. He was visiting some New Order Amish in the Shreve, Ohio area.

In addition to his book, Wesner started a blog called “Amish America” right after the Nickel Mines incident in Lancaster County, Pensylvania in 2006. A gunman shot several Amish schoolgirls. The story made headlines worldwide.

“I didn’t like some of the things I saw and heard following that tragic situation,” Wesner said. Since he enjoys writing, he began the blog at http://amishamerica.com/.

The blog features stories and photographs of various Amish communities. He said he writes about and shows examples of everyday Amish life without trying to glorify it.

“I really enjoy the immediacy of the blog,” Wesner said, referring to the immediate posting of comments by some of his many followers. “I find that very rewarding.”

Wesner said there have been unexpected benefits to his blog.

“I mentioned an Amish business on my blog,” he said, “and the owner thanked me. She had customers who said they heard about her business by reading the blog.”

Wesner said he is working on a second book about the Amish. He said it would focus on the lesser-known things about the Amish lifestyle.

When he is not visiting Amish communities during the summer months, Wesner spends eight months out of the year teaching English in his parents’ home country of Poland. He said his students are mostly adult professionals who need to learn English for their jobs.

“I guess I feel a sense of obligation,” Wesner said about living in Poland. “My grandmother still lives there, and I didn’t want her to feel alone.”

That kind of dedication to family would resonate well with the Amish culture, too.

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Words I always wanted to use

Amish clothesline by Bruce Stambaugh

Perhaps this post, like this clothesline, is just a lot of literary laundry flapping in the wind.

By Bruce Stambaugh

I have loved words for as long as I can remember. That’s a good thing for a writer.

Following the instruction of a highly regarded journalism professor, I never tried to use highfalutin words in my written endeavors. To be absolutely clear, it was best to write with everyday, run-of-the-mill words.

I have tried to stick to that advice ever since, earnestly desiring to avoid platitudes. Over the years though, I endeavored to expand my vocabulary. I noted catchy words that I either liked or sent me to the dictionary. I gradually created a latent lexis cache for future use.

Procrastinator that I am, I never got around to incorporating most of those exotic words in my dissertations. Consequently my verbose hoard burgeoned.

I figured a quick way to rectify that error would be to incorporate a multitude of those expressive descriptors in one fell swoop. My writer’s itch would then be scratched.

If and when I did such a deed, I pontificated that I had better generate a productive manuscript that actually resonated with the readers. I didn’t want to simply create a haberdashery of verbiage. I saw no need to hemorrhage words just for the sake of typographical splaying.

No matter how many syllables they contained or how obscure, the use of the words had to make sense. I wanted such exhortation to be both sanguine and seminal. That amalgamation would be a challenge. I emphatically didn’t want my text to be blowviating.

It would be inscrutable of me if the sentences were disparate. Therein lay the quandary. There could be no dissonance to what I wrote. I had to maintain my own aplomb. I certainly didn’t want my writing to be disingenuous. The content had to be sublime and easily assimilated.

I had to be succinct, too. A sheer plethora of words would not be acceptable. I couldn’t fathom allowing hubris to interfere with my communiqué. By my own volition, my certitude had to temper my cognition to avoid a panacea of a wanton wordy warren.

I could not permeate my writing with supercilious words that meant zilch to the readers. This discourse had to have evocative consonance. I certainly didn’t want the piece to be an Archipelago of disassociated declarations.

Intuition told me that the document had to be symbiotic. Being glib would never do. Creating a cacophony of jibber would not suffice either.

I knew I had to approach this sensitive assignment with both timidity and temerity. It would be a narrow literary line to walk. I would simply have to conjure up the pluck to pull it off.

Simultaneously, I understood that this nuance of style could not be maniacal in any way, shape or form. There was no room for duplicity.

To be true to both my readers and myself, I absolutely had to use discretion. Otherwise, the entire peripatetic piece would culminate into nothing more than an oxymoron. Such a paroxysm would be extremely unfortunate.

Whether you are agog, aglow or have a sense of animus after reading this, I just hope that this quixotic, idiosyncratic reverie of mine hasn’t dissuaded you. Otherwise I will have orchestrated my own demise with this effusive enigma, this pretentious prattle, this demonstrative claptrap.

Ergo, I would have to plead for impunity. Wait. I better go look up that one.

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Sick haiku

It’s a lousy time
of year to have pneumonia.
But is there a good?

Bruce Stambaugh
Jan. 29, 2011

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