Wherein Solberg, the ‘Velvet-Elvis’ writer genuinely seeks help:

I have some classy friends, minds, and writers here from the now mortally-daid Xanga site. And lately, with the discovery of several other WP gifted writers and editors…um.. I think it may be time to get serious about my (lack of) craft. I’m including here a post from several years ago as a sort of ‘blood sample’; it is dead-center representative of my long-running style. Probably 70% of the 970 Archived entries use the first-person, stray quickly from the whole truth, play with words till they break, and attempt to make a point as non-didactically as imaginable. Them’s the Rules.
Oh and also: A catchy title is a must. Yes I can write prosaically about ‘June 9, 1956: cereal & eggs‘ but it’ll be headed ‘Tiffany can lick my Plate!‘ or the like.
In short, ‘there must be something I’m doing wrong’. I find myself murmuring. The serious crowd goes to school long years to lern how to rite gud and here am I, driving the mower in aimless circles on the lawn without even a glance at the Owner’s Manual. And the neighbors (read ‘Readers’) just cluck their tongues and sigh in private. That’s the part I’d love to see change. I want to know what could be ‘fixed’, for example in the (below) post here, such that it feels more like a Renoir, and less like the style mentioned in the Title.
Sculpting is rumoured to be easy; you just ‘ take a big chunk of rock and chip away everything that doesn’t look like an elephant’. Using the correct tools, of course.
So, can anyone help me morph from ‘Johnny Hatchet’ into Terry Prachet?
I’m growing weary of black ‘n blue velvet, to tell the truth.

Here’s the post: takes five minutes to read.


“Incident Report: “Witch Switches Wishes; now Which Wish was the Witch’s?”

    I knew she was a witch the second she came around the corner, still over a block away and leading a small black dog. Something about the dog, I think. Sure, it’s easy to identify the obvious ones, you see ‘em on their broom-sticks at night, at times even flying across the face of the moon like ET, pointy black hats and hooked noses. Get lucky and sometimes you can  hear their unearthly cackles as they achieve cruise altitude and level off, bound for who knows where..
But this one was pedestrian, and in civilian garb at that. As we approached one another I understood the clue of the dog: Not just ‘black‘, no, this creature was nothing but a canine ‘black hole’, a dog-shape with no features except its black invisibility.
    And then she looked at me. The eyes of a thinly disguised predator assessing mainly caloric content, though with a wisp of a smile to throw off the victim.
“I want you.” was her opening salvo. That I wasn’t prepared for. Her purple sweater clung tightly to her breasts, but even on that warm Israeli evening I noticed the frost clinging to her bosom, like on the space shuttle rocket when they load the liquid oxygen. Yeah, witches’ tits. They are real, and a real challenge to warm up to. Or to warm up at all. I wasn’t planning on it. At the time.
“Sleep with me tonight and you get two wishes.” she announced, her voice a little shaky.
“Two wishes? What happened to three?”
“Two wishes.” She made it sound like ‘…and that’s my best price, take it or leave it…‘ “You know what I am?”
“Sure.” I shrugged, “…we’re just bickering about the price.”
She thought that was funny. Yeah, witches do sometimes laugh… like, normal, non-maniacal chuckles. I still didn’t like the deal though.
“Wishes first.” I countered. I knew my rights. (yeah, from all the previous times I’ve had to negotiate with other-wordly beings.)
“Ok, Shoot.”, she agreed, with a little toss of her jet-black hair. Hmm.. She folded easily. I liked that in a witch.
“Oy, there are so many things I could wish for;” I stared at the darkening sky, “ friends to raise from the dead, lifetime pizza with mushrooms and pepperoni, (no anchovies), a car that starts without running it down a damn hill….”
She looked at her watch, and her doggie snapped at a moth, which took a few seconds to disappear inside his event horizon. I sensed impatience.
“I just wish I didn’t have to pick one. It’s tough, you know, tryin’ to..um..” I muttered, stalling.
“Granted.” was all she said. Like a fair discussion moderator, but with more… more oomph. More EQ. Her voice had changed. Wait! Could it really be?
“And your second wish is that our night together shall be The Time to Remember © for the rest of our…”

Suddenly I could feel my body start to quiver, then shake.Every heartbeat sent her… her wishy-ness toward my fingers, my toes, and especially, toward… well, I don’t have to reveal everything… My veins felt like the night Flaco finally came through with a bag of un-trod-upon smack, and we banged that shit, me drooling “Esta bien, muy bien..” before I went and puked behind a tree, there in the Park.
But still, this was different. Cleaner. Deathly romantic. I needed her desperately, like a proton needs an electron, like a sodium needs a chlorine, like a rabbit needs a hole, like…
“I get the point.” she put her strong arms around me and laughed. Ok, maybe she cackled, but I didn’t care. I was watching  my wish come true. ‘A Time to Remember’, was that it?

I only remembered the pizza and the new car the next morning. Damn


11 thoughts on “Wherein Solberg, the ‘Velvet-Elvis’ writer genuinely seeks help:

    1. solberg73 Post author

      It’s categorically improvable, otherwise why would OBL and others be talking about MFA programs? (When they themselves write spendidly Ha, I don’t even know what ‘MFA’ stands for, honest.
      My not seeing the faults in it is just more of the problem, like a home-made dress only a mother could love.
      No, i won’t sit still until I’m plain outright worshipped, ha,

  1. Roadkill Spatula

    If you really want it to be a Renoir you have to get rid of the anachronisms. I doubt old Jean-Auguste ever heard of ET, black holes, space shuttle rockets, smack, protons, electrons… Well, maybe electrons.

    And it all needs to be in a French accent

      1. solberg73 Post author

        Love your ‘anachronisms’ usage. Ok, not Renoir, that Jackson, Polish guy with the splatter brush. Or the tiny Roy Lichtenstein.
        yeah, if I were Renoir, my middle name would be April.

  2. whyzat

    It depends on your definition of “improve.” Make it more accessible to the less-imaginitive? Nah, that would take away it’s fun and challenge. Speak in second or third person? I hate it when people refer to themselves by their first name: “Whyzat went to the grocery store today and bought herself some bacon.” Sounds as if I’m talking about a neighbor, when it’s me, me, me of whom I speak.
    I’m not one of your classy friends (I once posted a photo of myself wherein I was naked {I was two at the time {two in the photo, not when I posted it}}). I just thought I would throw in my one-cent worth.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      You’re as classy as it gets. I did use 2nd person for a change in the title. The Book says ‘Good for instruction manuals, etc.
      Your photo escapade reminds me of the time I shot an elephant in my pajamas. No idea how it got in there.
      Yes, ‘accessible’, that’s certainly a decision I make daily. some of my posts are just about sly IQ tests. Kind of a passive-agressive thing to do to an audience you claim to love.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      You are correct about the deviant punctuation. My lap-top display attracts tiny dots of dust, which masquerade as periods, commas, and even question-marks. Makes proofreading a chore.

  3. somewittyhandle

    I’m sorry to say you may be beyond help.

    However, after several years tutelage, studying at the feet of Xanga’s most successful and most feted writers, I am able to offer some advice.

    First of all, to have viral potential, you must not exclude imbeciles from your readership by having any intelligent content. This is perhaps where you mostly err. Frequently, your posts require not only thought, but time to digest.

    Secondly, to use complex sentences involving subject, verb, object, and adjectives and what-not, seems needlessly pompous and cumbersome. Stick to “totally sucked”, “totally rocked”, and so forth. Any sentence longer than 40 characters, or involving a subordinate clause, simply will not be extensively read.

    Thirdly, your posts are original. The masses don’t want that. They have to expend energy to overcome their cognitive dissonance towards any idea they have not encountered before. Stick to the familiar. Maybe talk about Madonna, and say she rocked, or sucked. Or maybe she was “Meh.”

    Finally, to attract commentators, you must finish your post with an inane question, which the cretins feel they can answer without straining the little grey cells. Your posts raise entirely the wrong kind of question: interesting ones, which invite creative contribution.

    What are you playing at, Solberg?

  4. solberg73 Post author

    I seem to be playing at that protruberance immediately belovv the vaistline, for all I’m managing to progress as a vriter.
    Thanks muchly for your exhaustive tutorial; in fact I have no great problem vis mass appeal among the hoi polloi, my vish is to become a better vordsmith, to be recognized by the vorld community as one of the century’s greats.
    Oh, and to get my ‘double-you’ back, so I don’t look like an idiot.


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