The Search For Layers

painting and poetry

Have you ever listened to If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot? Sometimes when I am working on my fiction I’ll put that one and use it as musical inspiration.

That is because those lyrics are filled with layer that I can pull from. Layers add depth to stories and I love depth and searching for the background on why things are as they are.

Some of those who know me might be surprised by that because when you ask me to share details about some things I don’t say much. It is not unusual for me to keep things close to the vest, but still waters run deep.

Changes With Age

My paternal grandfather wasn’t big on small talk. He was a friendly man with bright blue eyes who knew how to tell a story that held your attention, but if he chose to be silent, he was.

It took some time for me to recognize that silence didn’t indicate that anything was wrong or that grandpa might be thinking about something.

My father is quite similar and as I grow older I see it happening with me too. I haven’t any problem carrying on a conversation and when I am in the mood I can be the life of the party, but it happens less than it once did. Don’t know if that is good or bad, it just is.

The Blog Has Multiple Uses

Sometimes I like sifting through the posts here to see what I find. It reminds me a bit of an archeological dig with layers upon layers of things waiting to be discovered:

  1. Writing Tips & Tools Part 1
  2. I Told You She Is a Bitch
  3. Useful Information Used Usefully
  4. The Rules of The Game
  5. Inside the Blogger’s Studio- A Dream, Er Nightmare
  6. The GermoPhobe

There are all sorts of nuggets of gold in that pile there. Of course it might not look like that you, but to paraphrase a line, “value is in the eye of the beholder” and what I see makes me smile.

Bits and pieces of flotsam and jetsam that cover the beginning and middle of this blog lie in the midst of it all. Alongside those pieces are stories about my kids from when they were quite little up until the present.

When I look at it I see the layers I am searching for and think about how to try to build those layers into the things I write. I stop, stare, look and think about what is important and what is not.

I don’t just do it from my perspective either.

Reader and Writer

There is a symbiotic relationship between reader and writer. Writers can say we don’t care whether people read our words because we will write them regardless with supreme confidence but still accept that there is an advantage to being read by others.

It is part of why I sometimes write paragraphs like the following:

Some things make me so angry I want to kick the dog and drown the cat. I want to drive down the sidewalk and run over all of the pedestrians and then for good measure do something far more heinous than all of those put together.

It is the kind of thing that captures eyeballs. People read that and stop to find out what else has come from the lunatic scribe who flung such things at the page.

Layers are one of the things that keeps those eyeballs from pointing and clicking elsewhere. Layers help add value to our posts and provide a sort of secret sauce that makes the soup something special instead of just bland and dull.

And now my friends my time here is done.

Don’t fret, this isn’t the end of this blog it is just the conclusion of this post. Chanukah starts soon and the time has come to prepare for the festivities.

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14 Comments

  1. Jayme Soulati January 9, 2013 at 7:09 am

    You’re being very philosophical.

    I need this peaceful post to manage all the freaking tech issues plaguing me right now. Look at one of them…my RSS feed is a comment. Feedblitz is nowhere to be found; nowhere.

    • Jack January 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Jayme,

      Peace is a resource we often need more of. I Sorry for the tech stuff, I hate those issues. Hope you get them fixed soon, let me know if I can help.

      • Jayme Soulati January 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm

        In fact, I’m wondering about other RSS options beyond Feedburner and Feedblitz. The latter is nowhere to be found; will not reply to my 4 request for support since last Friday. I can’t very well grow subscribers if I have no RSS feed button that works and these flippin’ linkbacks that show up as comments.

        There has to be other options…suggestions, please?

  2. Julie Barrett December 9, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I am endlessly amused by what layers people see in my writing which I never thought of or intended!

    Happy Chanukah.

    I’ve been listening to GL for the past couple of months while at the gym. Not that one though – Sundown and Carefree Highway.

  3. Jens P. Berget December 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I have never heard of Gordon Lightfoot, I’m not sure how big he is in Norway, but now I’ll have to take a closer look at what you’re listening to. I search for layers as well, especially in marketing, I’m trying to find the true meaning behind the messages.

  4. Hajra December 9, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Like Betsy said, I am cared of people digging deep when there is nothing to find and then going ahead and making sense (sometimes nonsense) of things TNT don’t really matter.

    Happy Chanukah ! Hope the festival brings joy, happiness and lots more of it, always.

    • Jack December 9, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      That’s part of the joy of being online, you just never know how people are going to interpret your words. Ideally when we develop relationships, people to get to figure out what your true intent is or is not.

  5. Kaarina Dillabough December 9, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Love Gordon Lightfoot: Canadian eh:)

  6. Betsy Cross December 9, 2012 at 2:01 am

    What’s scary (or fun if you see it that way) is that sometimes people see layers where there aren’t any!

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