The Brevity Bell


Be a Writer

We are natural story tellers
and practice the art daily.

Converting those stories to
written form is the path to
being a writer.

Here is a story that I have
told often over the years.

First day of Kindergarten

I and many kids in the 1950's
attended Kindergarten.

Pre-school was not in
our vocabulary then.

For most children you had to
be 5 years old and I was 5
when I started my first day
of school.

On the first day of class
all the kids were lined up
with their Moms. The teacher
was standing at the door
greeting each parent as they
introduced their child.

When my Mom introduced me, she
said, "Good Morning Miss Kust,
this is Lu Mar Lee."

Miss Kust bent down to shake
my hand and said, "I am pleased
to meet you, Lu Mar Lee."

I smiled and was as quiet as a
church mouse, then my Mom
tapped me on the back of my
shoulder and I remembered
what I was supposed to say,
"Good Morning Miss Kust."

Mom told Miss Kust, "If Lu Mar
does not behave, make sure
you paddle his behind."

Miss Kust replied, "Oh no, we are
not permitted to do that."

"Well then," replied Mom, "If Lu Mar
does not listen, pin a note to his
shirt and send him home. We live
just across the alley and I will
take care of it and send him back."

After my first class was done and
we were dismissed, I raced home
and told Mom everything that
happened in class.

I told Mom, "After class we cleaned
the room and put everything back
to where it belonged."

Mom asked, "Did you help or did
you just stand around and watch?"

Standing up tall I said, "I helped
everyone put the toys away."

I did not tell her all the details.

Like what Miss Kust told me,
"L u M a r,
if you do not help,
I will send a note home
to your M O M.”

This story of my experience
shows how memories from the
past can be writing material
for today.

We can tell stories all
day long, but if we try
to write a story, it will
take us all night long
to finish one sentence.

Mom taught me how to write,
by following a simple idea
that we hear often,
"To be a good writer
be a good reader."

She had a simple lesson plan,
she read Nancy and Sluggo
comic books and passed
them along to me.

When Mom saw me reading,
she would not think of
things for me to do.

Most of the time.

After supper, Dad and I
would read the evening paper.

He read and turned the pages.

I would look at the pictures.

When I got old enough to read
on my own, we still hung out
reading the paper.

I still read the local News
Paper today to keep my writing
skills current.

It helps keep me tuned to the
word flow and correct punctuation
required for good writing today.

It does not teach me how to
create stories, but shows how
I can take a normal event and
make it sound more exciting
than things might have been.

What makes writing easy for
me is how I see words. They
are musical notes of our past
comming together in a symphony
of thoughts that are transformed
into a performance for today.

Many people are held back from
writing because they want a
perfect written creation on
their first draft.

They want to follow the rules
of good composition.

Not to discredit the rules, but
remember this:
The most important rule to
follow is your reader's rules
which is unknown.

Writing for those readers are
called practice sessions.

You are your own first reader
and make the rules you want
to follow.

You will develop rules as
you begin reading to youself
out loud.

Read other books out loud
and compare the word flow
to yours. Improvement will
follow with practice.

The strictest reader, will demand
that you follow strict guidelines.
That will be your agent and book

I would like to offer a suggestion.
Think back in time about something
funny that happened during grade
school. Write about it and send
yourself an email..

All complex stories consist of
simple and readable sentences.
strung together for reading.

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