A lot of Boring stuff in my life that I like

Last night I read The Chrysanthemums by Steinbeck, The Unicorn in the Garden by Thurber, and A Respectable Woman by Kate Chopin. Thurber doesn't really fit in with those other pieces, but Julia likes it when I read his stuff to her so he made the cut.

I didn't think I would enjoy The Chrysanthemums but I did. When I read the last few lines, all the other parts of the story flashed through my head, and I felt that epiphany again. I felt her sadness. "Strong woman" her husband calls her, and yet she's crying over her flowers in the road.

And then in A Respectable Woman, I again, felt her moment of release and understood her confusion, or I guess, her awakening.

One thing that stood out though, was the usage of semicolons. Can I just say how much I dislike these little buggers? I try to use them when I see fit, and sometimes I actually enjoy doing so. But it seems to me no one really knows what to do with them. They're like the salad fork of the writing world: Does it go here? No . . . it definitely goes here. When do I use it? Oh forget it, I'll just use a dash. Anyway, I noticed that these classic authors used them not so sparingly in places I would have thought to use a comma. Have a look at the first few paragraphs of A Respectable Woman and tell me what you think.

How do you feel about using semicolons? I have to admit, as much as I complain I do enjoy the challenge. It's good to have something to be neurotic about to replace all the other things I usually obsess over.

Anyway, I love the movie Minnie and Moskowitz. It was on Retroplex (my favorite channel) and it, very loosly, inspired a recent short story. I just liked the opposites of these two characters. Something about them makes me feel all emotional (snif snif). Plus I love his Fu Manchu. You don't have to watch it; I just put it there as a reference.


Peace : )

Comments

  1. Amy, I love the semicolon; I use it a lot. It stretches a comma, giving a slight breath-holding extension to a sentence. Just that tiny extra hair-breadth pause can make or break the tension.

    Long live the semicolon. The colon, however; that's another story!

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  2. We should find the person that invented them; tie him up; take his eyes; just really let him have it.

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  3. Oh, I love Kate Chopin! What an amazing writer.

    I also love the semi-colon. Does the job perfectly!

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  4. I guess I'm indifferent towards semicolons. They don't really bother me, unless there's tons of them on the page. Of course, if there's too many of any punctuation or certain words, it bothers me. So I totally get you on this one. :)

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  5. I get kind of cross-eyed when I see too many on a page. Sometimes I have to wonder about how subjective writing can be, when many can come up with the same sentence only broken up in different forms. I feel extremely inferior, and am still so unsure of my writing abilities (technical especially). But it's fun learning!

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  6. If we were all overly worried about the technical side of writing, we would never have enjoyed the works of D H Lawrence (amongst hoards of others).

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