Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dawg Sez 5:

Bugaboo

Every writer's nemesis is a blank page. Struggling? Take your last coherent thought, replace what you got with some synonyms, and the same thought comes out in a different way. Fills some space. If yer lucky, might provoke a new line of thought.

Many bugaboos afflict the writer looking for a plot. Raymond Chandler offers this solution: When you hit a wall, real or imagined, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand. Even Chandler thought this was often a silly piece of business, but it worked for him. (Read The Long Goodbye. Many tag the book as his best.)

What we are dealing with here are unrealistic fears or dislikes of something real or imagined. Afraid of the dark? That be yer bugaboo, friend.

The word has no entry in Skeat's etymological dictionary. 'Bug' is there. That word derives from the Celtic bwg which is defined as a hobgoblin or spectre. The Irish say bocan. In Lithuania you say baugus which just means 'terrific'; and baugus comes from bugti, to terrify. When you say 'she's a terrific girl' do you mean you're scared witless of her?

Meanings come and go. Confusion ever present. Where's that chump with the gun in is hand?

Well, enough. A blank page can be terrifying. A blank mind is even worse.


Zudnik's old pal Blue.

Sometimes ya just got ta stop and eat the flowers.  

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