Saturday, January 22, 2011

Finding The Balance - Reprise

First published May 25, 2009, but without the Greg McDonald stuff...

I have quit trying to write the perfect poem. That's how come I can write so many of them. Sometimes I think I will be able to quit trying to write the perfect dialog. Then I could write the novel that's in me. Not yet. I am still screwed up over dialog and cannot write novels. I also can't write song lyrics. Bummer.

The dialog master is Gregory McDonald, and the books that show this are his Fletch series novels. He managed to tell most of the story in his dialog in those several novels. I wanna be him, Mom.

Wiki says: "Gregory Mcdonald (February 15, 1937 – September 7, 2008) was an American mystery writer best known for his character Irwin Maurice Fletcher, an investigative reporter otherwise known as "Fletch." The Fletch series, consisting of nine novels, also spawned the 'Flynn' series, as well as the 'Son of Fletch' series.

"Two of the Fletch books have earned Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America: Fletch was named Best First Novel in 1975, and Confess, Fletch won for Best Paperback Original in 1977. This is the only time a novel and its sequel won back-to-back Edgars."

I happen to know without looking that Greg was president of the Mystery Writers of America at one point. Wiki omits this factoid.

Of course, Fletch was made into a movie starring Chevy Chase in 1985, an excellent choice considering the style of dialog and the humor in McDonald's plotting.

Finding The Balance

I am here again,
Trying to figure it all,
Trying to square things.

I know I'm not all alone,
That others wish to balance
The ball precisely.

The perfect poem won't fit
In the perfect life.

January 6, 2009 9:57 AM


  1. What. is perfect? What. hurts my head. What. is irrelevant. If I think or feel, then the poem is awfully right.

  2. I know I am not the only one who has struggled with perfection. We call it that, though it might not really be the right word. When I was a little boy there was one day another boy showed me a paper airplane and it flew beautifully. I went home to my upstairs room at 2314 Oregon St. in Berkeley Ca. and proceeded to make that paper airplane, only I couldn't get it right. Over and over again it tried, more and more frustrated until I was surrounded with the waste completely fit to be tied and quite busy with my tantrum. That's the earliest example of a lifelong problem.

    I was maybe four.

  3. Beautifully illustrated.

    And makes me think of my daughter on the stairs two weeks ago with a book on Origami. I said, Oh my, you have patience. And she looked at me like I was crazy, but she had great confidence in the pages, in the step by step illustrations. She failed, of course, and I could not help her. I had failed so often myself, you see.

    On CBC radio a woman yacked on the other day, a ten year grant to study perfectionism. Most of what she said made me unsettled that people get money to think on these things. (Someone? Anyone? Money...) But of special interest to me was what happened after her first seven years of studying in which she determined that we are not perfect. Um. Ok. But what I LOVED was that she determined that it is wrong that we view imperfection as a negative. Why does it have to be a negative? We need to widen our horizon.

    And yet, the paper lays torn on the stairs.


  4. You are an interesting woman with interesting attitudes; such a beauty you are. I cherish you, good friend.

    Perfectionism certainly deserves study by someone, though it is not surprising to me that such a study might not get too far. The demand for perfection may not be universal but it is widespread enough to qualify as distinctly one of the sources of human misery. That it arises in so many lives, that it is difficult if not impossible to eradicate, that it often cannot even be talked about intelligently - shows the issue to be disease in the sense that it is not just confused thinking. You can't simply change your thinking, though in the end the successful change looks exactly like that.

    Perfectionism is in a class of "isms" like alcoholism that are astonishingly difficult to resolve even though the resolution often seems really simple after the fact.

    And like most of them, there is a parallel stream of human experience that is unquestionably healthy and useful. We can strive for excellence and often do. Striving for excellence incorporates accident and error in a positive way, where perfectionism cannot tolerate either.

  5. i can relate to the poem.
    well writen !!


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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