Writing in the right lane

Kind of confusing, being I’m a lefty. But, in most respects, that’s exactly what I’ve done throughout my writing “career”. Just like in my drawing (see yesterday’s post), comics were a big part of my inspiration. Also, Grandma. Yup, strange but true. So, let’s take a trip during “Creative Week” on my road to writing in the right lane.

First, as I mention in my bio, my writing chops are honed from an early age. That’s from filling out greeting cards to my family. Or making them from scratch.

Oh, but let me not skip Grandma. She of the endless Scrabble battles (I’m pretty sure she won all of them). And of the World Book Encyclopedia that I would read to try to beat her. And the dictionary. Yeah, she still won.

But, all them words fillin’ my brain have to go somewhere. There are only so many book reports and stuff you get in high school. Ah, but, even more than in my artistic endeavors, college offered a unique opportunity.

For one thing, I wasted one of my elective credits on a creative writing class. Oh, but I wish I could still find those weird and wonderful assignments.

On a more relevant front, my freshman year proved providential. They let a bunch of us in the “upper class” (in this case, literally “upper class”, as in junior and senior) dorm.

I can’t say exactly the origin, but there I am, Vice President of the area government of Beaty Towers (TAG). Then, the Prez and I decide to restart the area “newspaper”. Our brainstorm comes up with “Towerscope” and a legend is born.

We work with an old mimeograph machine in the admin office. For you little tadpoles, that’s a machine that is basically a big roller that you pour ink onto and roll paper across. Heh. What a mess.

Eventually, we “graduate” to being able to use their copier machine. As you can see, we had only the finest production values. Those are quality staples!

The Prez and I split a lot of the writing duties and I came up with a superhero character named after the dorm (Captain Towers). Inside each “issue” would be a 4-page continuing comic. I would usually create a monster each issue and name it after a different campus dorm. We were the hoity-toity dorm, after all.

Following college, I spent time working retail, so that put my writing career on hold a bit. At one point, I was pushed to the main office. There I became the inventory manager, advertising manager, promotions manager and one other I can’t remember…all at the same time!

That hybrid position allowed me to work with some of the local newspapers on ad copy (the first time I was able to use my UF advertising degree). Not much else during this period.

Later, after re-graduating with the FAU accounting degree, I ended up in a private company doing financial analysis and forecasting. During that time, I developed a company newsletter designed solely for the entertainment of the Financial staff (around 200+ people).

As you can see, my production values and capabilities are greatly enhanced. Unlike the Towerscope, I did everything in this periodical, aptly named The Financial Statement. But, I decided to go hog-wild.

I add a humor piece each issue. Either “Miss Communication” or “Out on a Limb”. You can see many of these if you scroll down and browse the “category” section of the blog (off to the right).

Adding special features, such as picnic and Halloween pictures kept the paper lively. Later, I bought a little software and started designing tricky crossword puzzles (with lots of accounting references, of course).

One of my running jokes was the “credits” box. I mean, the staff consisted of me and…me. So, I changed the box each week to make fun of that fact. Here’s another one that’s different, but the same as the one above.

I kept that publication going until the company transferred me from Finance to Operations. In that role, I actually was writing advertising for the company. That all ended when I was fired…er…laid off.

By that point, I feel confident I have found my “lane”, so to speak. Thus, at a time when I should be feeling nervous and scared about my future, I am actually bursting with ideas.

Those ideas are what take me from writing in the right lane to…well…a place I decide to title “I have no idea what I’m writing!”

For that, you’ll need to return here tomorrow.

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