I’m working on two nonfiction books in my spare time and spare thoughts. One deals with what I’ve learned about writing since becoming published. I add to this one as insights occur to me, or I come across good resources.
The other book is broader, and its working title is “Outhouse Wisdom.” Everybody has a draft of this volume in their heads, though they probably have a more genteel way of phrasing it. I’m trying to keep track of the everyday lessons that have added up to smooth out my path, help me around the blind turns, and otherwise add meaning to my life.
Some of the lessons have arrived to me in clever phrasing. An engineer friend, trying to express a sentiment about some processes having to unfold over a prescribed time, said, “You can’t make a baby in one month with nine women.”
Love that. He said it better than I ever will.
Another friend, a guy I’ve known all my life who builds houses pretty much single-handedly, and has never really left the valley where we were raised, came out with, “Everybody gets a turn in the barrel.” He meant we all have bad days, make bad decisions, look like fools.
I like how he said it better. His version is friendlier, and more homey.
Homespun wisdom is great fun for putting into the mouths of the Duke and Duchess of Moreland, or the occasional child character, but it’s also a real comfort to me as I muddle through my little life, occasionally stubbing my toe, bouncing checks, saying the wrong thing, and generally being human.
A few more:
You don’t want to be with anybody who doesn’t want to be with you. (From my dad.)
We’re here to learn how to love and be loved. (A long time therapist.)
Weak people give up and stay, strong people give up and move on. (Attributed to Maya Angelou, and not always that simple. I could do a whole blog post on this… hey, wait…)
OK, those are few of mine. What are the homespun lessons that you keep in a mental pocket to pull out when the Undertoad is having a good day at your expense?
To one commenter, I’ll give a complete signed series of the eight Windham novels in print, plus Douglas: Lord of Heartache.