LOST IN THE LAND OF WORDS

16 01 2010

Hi. I’m Pat Abbott Snyder and I’m tongue-tied. Literally.

Somewhere along the line I picked up a quiet gene. It couldn’t have been at birth – my grandmother said I had the shrillest cry ever, so shrill her louse of a husband said “she goes or I do.” Grandmother said “Goodbye!” (My very favorite lady.)

As a little one, I loved to sit facing a corner, making my own world. My school year book said, among other things, “Quiet”.

So, what’s a gal to do? All these things spinning around in my head and no one listening. I think I tried. I remember for a very short time I stuttered. Those words really wanted out. But then I’d get mad and slow down and I guess the stutter got bored or maybe run-down. Anyway, it went away. Eventually, the quiet gene got a little worn too and maybe it was slippery on one side or something, as eventually I could be listed as normal in the great society.

But non-quantity doesn’t do for quality. It is pretty hard to compete with Winston Churchill when you have half a gene.

Wikipedia says genes are a  ”locatable region of genomic sequence.”  Locatable. Where do you find words? I know. Words are not genes, but the gene is the boss there. It says, you got ‘em or you don’t. One day, (maybe it was the day I paid a quarter to see Gone With the Wind) I suddenly found what I had been looking for. Even for me it was in a very unlikely place.  The words were stuck on the end of my finger. I don’t think chewing gum held it. (What was it? Black Jack or something?) Anyway, gum won’t stick forever when you have to wash your hands. Possibly it was the whorls of my finger prints.

Because my father had a long, long name, I decided to find out where he got it. That sort of goes back to the genes because way, way back there were a load of famous writers in the family. I keep telling myself it’s not so far, but my greatest novel has not been written yet. Well, with genealogy, you have to take a bit of salt to bank on it (salt was money once, wasn’t it?). I figure if you have a bit of European blood in you, somehow you turn out to be related to some king or other, if only through their bastards. At least, though, when I can’t make words come I can go to the mirror and see if I can find Poe, or Hawthorne there in the face. Actually I’d rather find Wordsworth or Tennyson. But beggars can’t be choosers.

The whole point of this trek among my genes is to confess that I finally found what I wanted through my fingers. Thank goodness they have a computer to slam around. I tried the pencil and pen bit, but even in school I had “D” in penmanship. I hate pencils. And typewriters, those exercises in virtue! They really were a great training ground for the virtue of patience when you had to retype every time you changed a word, and the carbon copy looked like it had been written in a coal mine. Then there is the virtue of biting the tongue so as not to offend the environment with naughty words that probably leave a huge carbon footprint.

Possibly those old writers in the genes are tired or maybe busy playing harps. I’m sure they can’t be in the heavenly choir because I can’t sing. The point is, that if I didn’t have a computer, I wouldn’t write. Maybe I could just sit and read the dictionary every day to satisfy my need for the written word. Written by me, of course. I’m not at all interested in getting lost in other peoples’ land of words. Somehow second hand chow just isn’t the same.

So, now I have some published novels (na, na, na, na nana !) And some poetry chap books that no publisher wants because Europeans are not quite ethnic, and I don’t really like agony poetry too much.

And now, I have three blogs:

birdoftime.wordpress.com    for Socrates fans.

justwords.wordpress.com    my web page,  poetry and ruminations for for lovers of words, poetry and ruminations

Ohio, what’s to love.wordpress.com    photos and memories of my beloved rolling hills of Southern Ohio.  Then just odds and ends, but mostly Ohio.

My web page is all about my hard work, including samples of  the kind of poetry I write and love – imagistic, words to make me fall in love with them, probably philosophical, and I hope it has the music I so much miss in the harsh words of today.