Downtown Bakersfield, circa 1977

Writing short pieces is hard. I spent the whole weekend on Panorama. My target was 750-1000 words, but it ended up around 1,300. I feel like I’m writing to an audience with short attention spans, so it becomes essential to be concise. It’s quite a challenge. I can’t tell you how many times I deleted whole sections of this damn thing.

Things get more complicated when you find out that the person you are writing about is dead. I don’t know why that is. I left out one of the reasons why I remember Fred so much. He gave me one of the lowest grades I ever got in college the first time around. I just wasn’t there (spiritually, chemically, and otherwise) and it was my fault really. But I remember he tried to reach me. That’s all a teacher can really do.

Another really hard part was trying to compress the allusions, without becoming obtuse. Most people haven’t heard of the references I needed to use. I hope it reads clearly enough. I’ll find out. I’m reading it this afternoon to the class I suspect, though I plan on keeping quiet and not volunteering. But people always seem to pick me out of the crowd for some reason, and put me on the spot.

Of course, I want to beg for comments here. If anyone takes the time to read it, please say something. Even one word comments are fine, bullshit, yawn and huh? included.

Now the paranoia deepens. I read the piece in a small group, and no one got it. I wasn’t trying to be that obscure; there are famous people that the average Arkansan (or Californian for that matter) haven’t heard of, and it’s hard to write about them without getting derailed. I’m worried about this one.

1 thought on “Panorama”

  1. ohhh! i never know what to say in these comments. it’s good and i really liked it! but how stupid does that sound for a comment? i hope it sounds sincere? because it is. if i had a better brain i would say something intellectual. but like your title tag says, i am good for a fun read; in the same manner i am only good for a fun comment 😛 but anyway, i really enjoy your writing.

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