The clouds in the distance look like something from a storybook illustration. I am looking at them long and hard. Thinking. I don’t know what I’m thinking about. Everything, I guess.
When I was a kid, I had this idea that I would grow up to be a writer. I was terrible at it. Mostly, because good writers are expected to use similes. But I was as bad at similes as a goat trying to recite Shakespeare.
See? Case in point.
Then I got some literary advice from my late father—I don’t know how he knew to tell me this. He told me to simply run my mouth, then write it down.
Then he added, “Not everything you write has to be perfect, just heartfelt.”
I am a talker. I have always been good at running my mouth. The teachers in school would place me at the front of the classroom so they could keep an eye on me. Because my mouth never stopped.
I could make conversation with almost anything, including paper-mâché, and certain
varieties of soybeans.
And there was always so much to talk about. The weather, for instance. Also, ham! OH MAN! I love ham! And what about tomatoes? Do you know how GREAT tomatoes are!?
I would run my mouth so much that my teacher seriously considered taking up heavy drinking for a new hobby.
Both my parents were talkative, too. My father spoke loud and fast. My mother could talk the paint off a Volkswagen.
I was more talkative than all my friends combined. This bothered some of my pals because when I told stories, I never paused to take a breath. And my stories could go on forever. And ever.
For example: Let’s say that I was telling a story about something that had happened when I was riding my bike past the retired Methodist minister’s house, Brother Tony, who was a good guy,…