As most, some, or none of you may know, when it comes to writing, I have three main muses:
…and Mary Pittman-Jones…
Mary and her husband Gareth
…who was one of two extraordinarily committed teachers* I had in high school who elevated my literary spirit to realms beyond my imagination. In addition to inspiring me to push myself to a higher potential with her exceptional leadership skills, Mary became one of my dearest friends and made me believe I could walk on water when it came to my natural inclination for, and future with, the word. I haven’t seen her in years, but we remain connected via the internet (she lives in Paris now, where she’s inspiring others to greatness with her incredible gift. I plan to visit her soon, soon…)
So, in honor of my three muses, I’ve decided to start something fun and new here at The Lo Zone. Something I’ve decided to call…
Really Good or Really Shitty!!!
…a game whereupon we expose the good, the bad, and the really, really shitty and don’t tell you which is which.
I won’t identify who the excerpt is from until the following day, after all the votes are in. It might be a new writer, it might be a celebrated author, it could be one of the masters, or it might be a first-class hack. Living or dead. Any race, creed, or color. No one is exempt. Not even me. This will be polling without pity.
If you know who the excerpt is from, please don’t reveal it in the comments section (otherwise, I will delete it, and I don’t like to do things like that). All will be revealed the following day, and you can discuss it all you want.
I figure this is a good way to get a feel for what works for people and what doesn’t. If we know nothing else about literature, what we do know is that what’s good and what’s not is a totally personal thing, specific to the reader and what strikes a chord.
Then again, sometimes good is good and shitty is shitty.
This isn’t to target specific writers or praise or demean anyone. It’s merely an exercise in judgment. I think we’ll learn a lot from this. I know I will.
That said…here’s our first excerpt:
“Every right decision brings us blessings. Every wrong decision brings us pain. And then, when times get hard, our struggle and our pain shows on our faces and our bodies. When people see our pain and weakness in our face, they say, ‘She used to be fine, she used to be this, she used to be that.’ When men feel our beauty has faded we become shocked at how well they ignore us and forget us. We’ll do anything to get their attention, money, love. Can I suck your dick? Can I do anything, can I, can I?”
This is a completely anonymous poll which in no way tracks who voted how. It will merely tally what rating got how many votes, so feel free to vote however you wish.
*I also consider my other high school English teacher, Debby Ryan, one of my heroes. I mention her on my MySpace page.
**Update: I created a different poll template, so let’s see if this one works.
***Update: This poll officially closed at the end of the day on 3/28/07. A new excerpt and poll will be posted on Friday, 3/30/07!!!