Writer’s Bloke Consulting, Tip #1

taxi-entrance-my-eye-1.jpg
‘A Taxi Stand, My Eye!’ by Gloria

In The Beginning Was Writer’s Block

WRITER’S BLOCK? I’VE SEEN THE ENEMY, AND IT IS US.

Don’t have Writer’s Block? You must be Isaac Asimov (500 books), Ray Bradbury (99) Edward De Bono (55), Arthur Clarke (60), or Frank Hilario, who has 1 book, 1 wife, 12 children, 48 blogsites (see Blogroll) – self-taught; this bloke says, ‘I did it my way.’

Wepping (writing, editing, publishing) for the last 32 years, starting when I wepped for the Forest Research Institute (FORI) in 1975, where I became Chief Information Officer and founding editor: FORI’s quarterly color magazine Habitat that I patterned after the National Geographic, quarterly technical journal Sylvatrop, and monthly newsletter Canopy, and having wepped for many a private and public institution and individual, I am convinced that for seasoned writers, as well as non-seasoned authors, in the Age of Windows, with sophisticated Word 2003 / 2007, the problem’s name’s the same: Writer’s Block.

Writer’s Block can occur at the beginning, middle, or end of the writing process. Here’s free advice from Writer’s Bloke Consulting when you find Writer’s Block at the Beginning, such as deciding what to write about or which to focus on:

(1) Learn more of it. No, you never know enough to write interestingly about the subject based on your own database, what you already know. I usually go to the Internet; that’s why PLDT’s wifi service SmartBro is such a big help even as I stay at home.

(2) Just jot it! That’s why I have ballpen and paper in my pocket all the time, even when I sit there in the Comfort Zone.

(3) Joke about it. This will loosen up your uptightness, put you off-balance about your pious opinion on the subject – leading you on the road to serendipity. Like this whole unplanned Tip #01 – it took me only 4 hours to write and refine it.

Look at the photograph, that which I took one early morning along a side street of Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, north of Manila.

First, Photographer’s Block. Given the signs, no taxi in sight, no reason to shoot, a photo op better gone than gained, right? I shot it anyway.

Now, Writer’s Block. How can I possibly paint a negative image of my own village? I’m a stranger in town, but I have to think of that too.

Now, humor (or silliness) is one way of productively reacting to a non-funny situation, to get the creative juice flowing. And now here’s this exchange between insistent interviewer and consistent owner:

Sir, when was the last time you saw a taxi stand that was all water?
The last time it rained.
What’s all that water doing there?
Standing still.
Sir, what are your plans for this taxi stand?
I plan to make it pay for itself.
How much have you spent for the whole thing?
More than I should.

Do you keep records?
The rights, not wrongs.
Right of passage, right of property?
R
ight to earn a living.
You must be earning more than that.
I’m also earning the ire of the neighbors.
Surely, you can do something about the standing water?
I’ve warned everyone, ‘Don’t go near the water.’
How do you exactly describe this place, Sir?
Water, water everywhere, and not enough to drink!
Where is all that water coming from?
If I knew I would have stopped it.
Aren’t you inviting mosquitoes?
They all come uninvited.
What happens to the wheels of the taxi when they ride on water?
They don’t ride, they plane.

What’s the best thing that ever happened to your taxi stand, Sir?
That it happened at all.
Has City Hall told you that it’s an eyesore?
You should see the eyes of passengers when they actually see a taxi standing there!
If you didn’t open this taxi stand here, what would you have done?
Open a taxi stand there.

What do the neighbors say?
Mum’s the word.
Nothing said at all?
Well, they talk behind my back.
So, what do you propose to do about it?
Stop listening.

Don’t the passengers complain about the water?
They complain more about the traffic.
So what do you plan to do about it?
Not to put up my own house here.
How much did you pay for the signboard?
I didn’t. I did it myself.
Why is it all in capitals?
To make them look bigger.
The words are more readable if they are in cap & lowercase.
Passengers ride first, read next.
Why did you choose three colors: red, white and yellow?
To differentiate one from the other.
I see trees at the back. Why didn’t you cut down the trees?
They’re not part of the property.
Wouldn’t your taxi stand attract more passengers if it showed concrete, not water?
Only if it showed more taxis.

Are you a driver yourself?
My wife. She drives me crazy.
That’s unkind of you, Sir.
It’s unkind to drive anybody crazy, don’t you think?
You must have done something wrong.
I did this taxi stand.
You mean you didn’t consult her?
She said No.
So why did you insist?
She always says No.

Why is the sign in English, not Filipino?
I didn’t think about it. This is the Philippines, but when you need one, why do you shout ‘Taxi!’ in English?
‘This way.’ ‘Taxi.’ ‘Entrance.’ These must be 4 of the most popular words in the English language.
‘Money’ is the most popular word of all.
Tell me about it!
I don’t love money. I love what I get out of it.
What gave you the idea of a taxi stand like this?
Money.
Isn’t money the root of all evil?
It’s not money – I used a loan from some dummy.
Who owns this real property anyway?
Some dummy.
What did your wife say about using it?
Some dummy!

 

Copyright 2007 June 07 by Frank A Hilario
Researched for, written, organized-reorganized & formatted via Microsoft Word 2003.

 

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