Posted by: canthold | November 1, 2007

Rules for Yams and Spinach

I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam. I recently had a conversation with my oldest daughter about cartoons. And spinach. She didn’t know who Popeye was, which totally blew my mind. He was a cartoon staple when I was growing up. Everyone knew that eating spinach would make you strong.

I remember wondering why Popeye and Brutus always fought over Olive Oil. I didn’t think much of her when I was a kid and Sweat Pea used to drive me nuts. Big chin and all, though, Popeye was a stud. I must have a delusional memory, but it was either him or Elmer Fudd and there’s no contest.

We have recently gotten our oldest hooked on the Pink Panther. He was pretty cool then and he still is now. I never understood the leap from the cartoon to the motion pictures, but perhaps there is no connection at all. Maybe it’s just a name and they have nothing to do with one another. Sort of like Apple Computer and the Apple record label. I don’t think anyone would mistake one for the other – at least no one over 30.

But getting back to the I yam what I yam part. My rule-following-self won’t let me write nonfiction for NaNoWriMo. It feels dishonest for me to claim to have written an novel if it’s not – by definition number one – a “fictitious prose narrative.”

Fortunately, today as I drove my youngest up to Santa Rosa to exchange a gift, I came up with a story idea. I don’t know if it’ll be any good, but I think I can work with it. And I won’t be breaking any rules. And that will be good for my rule-following sensibilities.

I’ll try to keep posting, but with 50,000 words on my horizon for November, I might just stick with the novel. Then again, they’re totally apples and oranges sort of writing, so who knows what I will accomplish.


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