Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Scratch Test

Even a casual reader of this blog can glean that I am somewhat preoccupied with food and cooking.  If it was a preoccupation with something less welcome, like a collection of my toenail clippings, people might accuse me of having a form of mental illness.  But everyone eats, and all cultures of the world embrace cooks; it is perhaps the most socially accepted form of madness.  Not just accepted, but condoned and even encouraged, a touch of madness is part of the job and everyone loves a crazy chef.

But I digress somewhat because this communique is not about food; I have had a small, but interesting, epiphany.  The words are important and perhaps, just maybe, I've been using the wrong ones.

This is how it started, I gave some completely unsolicited advice to someone I barely know about something I have no experience doing.  However, I stand by that advice and am poised to take it myself.  I recommended to this person that a simple change in wording would effect a much larger change in the action overall.  Theoretically, a changed word can resonate differently inside you, make you approach a familiar situation in a different and more organic way.

The word I am considering changing is actually two words: self published.  Those two little words can be the kiss of death for a rookie from Suttertown and make most people automatically look over the book that they really should be reading.  Personally, I do not understand the mindset because a self published author has to be more committed, more tenacious and more creative than someone who has an editor and publicist taking care of the details.

There are a lot of pretensions in the literary world, which is extremely weird to me because that is the exact same world that published Modelland by Tyra Banks.  I love Tyra, but come on, Modelland?

This is the part where I'm supposed to say that I can't change the system or I can't fight city hall.  My anarchist heart beats for precisely that, so it is time to change the vocabulary.  I'm going back to my roots, to what I know for sure works.  I am changing my word and maybe the established order along with it.

Out with a term that does not resonate with me, I will be a self published author no longer.  I am very pleased to introduce the new me; Cairn Rodrigues, Scratch Writer.  Everything is better when it's made from scratch, from cupcakes to novels, the craft and dedication are equal.

People are impressed when they are offered a handmade treat; in fact the flavor is improved when they are told that the bread was kneaded by hand.  I know how I feel when I offer up something to those happy people, a confidence and surety that comes from knowing I did it all from the ground up.

That is what The Last Prospector is, the whole series in fact, a delicious treat made up of the most unassuming ingredients that were crafted with great care by hand.

This is all a grand experiment of course, but I do love a grand - and wacky - scientific theory.  It's all that initiative, I suppose, that keeps me trying.

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