Machine Made of Words

Ten Months In WonderlandAt one time, I worked as an electronics designer. I enjoyed science and math as I grew up, and am still pretty fascinated by science and technology. That’s why I’m able to write and publish technical articles every month. And, if you’ve been reading these blog posts, you’ll also know that I started writing at a very young age.

I write every day…well, that’s not exactly true, I do skip days now and again, but even on those days I tend to write something: advertising copy, blog posts, Facebook comments. Sure, these days most people write something. But what I meant in that first sentence was that I wrote creatively every day. Not practice. Writing with a story, poem, or novel in mind. I think of my life, because of all this writing, as a machine made of words. It satisfies the scientific side of my brain to think of it that way, but it also satisfies the creative writing side of my brain (I believe that we use both sides of our brain for everything we do, so I don’t like to break this up into left and right hemisphere).

This machine made of words idea feels accurate to me, not just because of my writing but also because of the way I engage in the world. For example, the machine is running even when I’m listing to commercials on television. I often recognize the vagueness of statements, the lack of commitment through the words used, so that the advertiser, I suspect, isn’t sued for lying. (Yet, a knowing insinuation is still a lie.) The machine is also working as I listen to “unbiased news” that is rife with editorial comments. The way questions are asked, who the questions are aimed at, all push toward misunderstanding in a way the news wants the public to hear. I often ask myself, “Is there any news that isn’t biased?” There is no end to what I notice about words—even my own words—yet I’m sure I miss as much as I notice.

And here’s the truth about this: I like it this way. It suits me. It doesn’t matter what others think, or if they have an opinion concerning what they think I “should” do, believe, or say. I notice words, which can show me when another person isn’t even committed to their own beliefs. Like the old song says, “You can’t even run your own life, I’ll be damned if you’ll run mine.”

So, one final thought about being a machine made of words: I get to make them up. I get to create lives, ideas, places. None of it has to be what others believe, or even what I believe, it just has to be. That’s how the machine works. It spits out words. What’s your machine do?

Ten Months In WonderlandTerry Persun is an award winning author and a #1 Amazon bestseller. He is also a Pushcart nominee. His mainstream novel, “Wolf’s Rite”, was a Star of Washington award winner, a POW! Award winner, and a ForeWord magazine Book of the Year finalist. His science fiction novel, “Cathedral of Dreams”, was also a ForeWord magazine Book of the Year finalists. And his historical novel, “Sweet Song”, won a Silver IPPY Award for best regional fiction. His latest novel, “Doublesight”, is book one of his new fantasy series. His latest poetry collection is “And Now This”. Terry writes in many genres, including historical fiction, mainstream, literary, and science fiction/fantasy.

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