Specifically I need to practice writing stuff that isn’t technical wanking about cars, or bicycles, airplanes, hovercraft or any other kind of vehicle.
I know some people who read this blog have been asking me to write romantic dialog. Those are people who actually know me IRL and used to talk face to face back in the Before Times when people got together and had discussions. Well even before the Before Times I was terrible at writing dialog because I was terrible at talking with people. In order to write convincing dialog, you have to have some kind of experience in being part of dialog. And I’m just anti-social enough that I don’t actually talk with people so much as I talk to people, on a good day. Other times the aphasia takes over and I just kinda make noises in their general direction that resemble words. Or I talk at them, which is even worse but at least the words make more sense than when the aphasia is running things.
The interesting thing is aphasia isn’t near as big a problem when I’m communicating verbally but not talking, like right now. I’m using words, making phrases and sentences, but I’m not speaking at all, just letting my fingers do the talking. It’s actually faster to communicate this way than to try to fight past the aphasia, because the words bypass my mouth and run directly to my fingers. Another interesting thing is when I’m typing I have to look back and see where I made a tone or subject change and insert paragraph breaks, like I did for this paragraph. I usually don’t see them as I write, but going back over what I wrote I see where I need to insert a paragraph break.
I saw this break coming because I knew I was going to make a tone change and a subject change, the subject change is this isn’t dialog practice, it’s monolog practice, and almost everything I have done in the last 2 years has been a monolog from me at my audience. I don’t even know who I’m communicating with here, so I’m machine-gunning words in your general direction instead of to you. I know that when I stopped doing the bike wrecks my readership dropped off a cliff for a long time and is just now starting to come back a little. I guess my attempts at writing about building a car amuse some of you and some are reading out of loyalty and some because I have a unique writing style or non-style, I just
write bang on the keyboard and words come out and you read them. Or not, lately it has been mostly not.
But yeah another problem is romantic. I have been married for 43 years and to do that you have to be either romantic as hell, or stubborn as hell, and I’m not romantic. Sexy, I can be sexy as bananas to a monkey, but that is not romantic, it’s romantic-adjacent. I have the physical ability to create arousal and satisfy needs, but I’m not romantic. At best I’m the porn version of romantic. I make vagina-owners happy physically, but romance to satisfy them emotionally just ain’t gonna happen. Or to put it another way, unless they keep their heart and bits on the same shelf I’m not satisfying their hearts.
Now for some people, that’s good enough for a while. They want the porn equivalent of romance, some right up to the point that outside forces break up the relationship. I have lost count of the number of girlfriends who have had a job transfer, or died, or had gender reassignment surgery. Actually only the one had gender reassignment surgery, the rest moved or died. But for them I was romantic enough to maintain the relationship until it was no longer possible to have a relationship.
So, I’m not good at the romance thing, and I’m not good at dialog. And in this case two negatives do NOT make a positive, it’s additive, not multiplicative. But romantic dialog has been requested, nay DEMANDED! in all caps with multiple exclamation points. So how does a writer that has only rudimentary romantic skills and dialog skills learn to write romance. How does a broken bird learn to fly?
That is the question, how does a broken old man learn to be romantic? It’s not from a lack of wanting, I have wanted to be romantic since I was in high school wearing bell-bottom jeans. I thought I had somehow managed when I got married, or when women were after me after I got married, but as I wrote I was “romance-adjacent”. I was sexy, and thought I was romantic. And now I’m not even sexy anymore, I’m just a broken old man who used to be sexy and now is just sad.