A Bit of It All
writing from columns to screenplays
I write. Not a few pages here and there, but often thousands of words in a week. There have been times when I have written complete manuscripts, over 100 pages, in two weeks. I find that complete stories often come to mind, and I “see” these like films playing in my mind. The biggest challenge is writing to capture the story before my mind has moved ahead to the next project.
Visit tameri.com for information about what I do as an editor and “ghost” for others.
I make no claim that my works are great. I am aware that many are mediocre and others don’t even reach mediocrity. But, I also believe that the more one writes, the better the works become. The key is to write and refine, to practice writing as a discipline and an art.
What I Write
I have tried to record the history of my writings. My online portfolio includes information on the following:
- Scripts – Works for stage and screen.
- Poetry – Most writers seem to at least dabble in poetry.
- Stories – Both short stories and novels.
- Essays – General observations about life, with a dry wit.
- Non-Fiction – Columns, reporting, and technical writing.
My Philosophy as a Writer
I write to educate and to challenge, but I also seek to entertain readers and audiences. Students have assumed that because I have a doctorate in rhetoric that I must analyze my writing in some detail. The truth is, I write my drafts quickly, often 120 pages in a month. As with most writers I know, I write what I would want to read or watch. Only after the draft do I shift to the process of analyzing potential audiences. Generally, I make few alterations because I have no desire to be judged by any work I would not embrace as authentically “me.”
One Web page is too short to explore various concepts of “authorship” and “reading.” Anything posted here is an over-simplification of my views. Such is writing.
We can debate what “authentic” is, since people alter words based on situations and cultural norms. However, we still have traits that make it possible to know when we are trying too hard to appeal to an audience. My desire to write as naturally as possible.
While many academics in the humanities emphatically embrace the notion that the author is dead, or more curiously that all texts are a conversation, I resist these notions with the question: why write academic texts if they cannot accurate reflect your views or knowledge? The literally dead authors of the past are certainly not in conversations with readers — and they could not have anticipated cultural shifts spanning centuries. Yes, we impose our values and knowledge on ancient works, but that is far from a conversation; it is more akin to a lecture, with students debating the lesson amongst themselves in the absence of the speaker.
I know my meanings and intentions might be interpreted in unpredictable ways. That means it is my responsibility as a writer to be as clear and concise as possible when employing words. Perfection in a text is impossible, but that does not invalidate the aspiration to write what I mean. That is why I am interested in the rhetoric of fiction. How can a writer most effectively and accurately convey ideas?
- My monthly column on technology, Virtual Valley, appears in Visalia Direct, a free magazine distributed in Central California. The column was launched June 2006 and is now entering its seventh year.
- Three short stories appeared within online collections. I believe one or two will also appear in print anthologies. These do not appear under my name, but it is nice to know they are out there being read.
- Here Forever, a play about religious tolerance, received two public readings, one in Visalia and one in Los Angeles.
- 2002 September 27
- The Garden, a full-length play, was staged by the Visalia Community Players. I hope this marked my entry into writing seriously for stage, even if it was a comedy of sorts.