I photographed these irises while on the golf course on Saturday. It was the one sunny day when we could actually be outdoors out of a long stretch of rainy and cool, breezy days. The flowers also distracted me from my first golf game of the year, which is filled with moments of great hope (sinking a chip and a very long put and a few great drives) balanced by the realities of my actual level of play (3-putt anyone?) Golf is just that kind of game, and, in my case, it always makes sure that I come back by letting me play like I know what I’m doing on the last hole.
Mark Twain is credited with saying that “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” But apparently that’s not likely. Here’s the scoop from Quote Investigator:
“In 1904 the saying was attributed to a popular novelist named Harry Leon Wilson who used a cleverly expanded version of the jape. Wilson employed a rhetorical device called reversibility to augment the humor [HW1]: Some of his friends have been trying to induce him to play golf, but he refused. He makes the following unique definition of golf: ‘Golf has too much walking to be a good game, and just enough game to spoil a good walk.'”
Writing has as many challenges as a golf game. The equipment often needs improving, you need to practise, you need to experiment and try new techniques to succeed, you need patience, and mental and physical discipline, and it can take a long time to get to the level that makes you feel confident when you approach that first tee. But like golf can spoil a good walk, can writing spoil a good read? As a writer, how do you approach your reading? Does a good book get spoiled because you are busy analyzing how the author built the plot, or developed characters, or used symbolism or theme? Or can you put your writing brain on hold and just enjoy reading?
I’m lucky enough that I can still be swept away by story and enjoy a good book. But … there are times that being a writer can make me very critical of a novel. And that can be good. As I try to figure out what isn’t working for me in a particular story, I can store that as a cautionary piece of advice when I start to edit my own work. I’d love to know when you turn off or turn on your writer’s brain when you’re reading. Are their books that you would suggest to be read with the writer’s brain on because they have good writing lessons to teach?
Love to hear from you.