The Only Writer I Know Who….

        My agent and I were outside the Tyvoli theatre in Chattanooga before the afternoon session of the writer’s conference cranked back up.

        “What time is it, Bibey?”

        “1400 hours.”

         “What?”

        “1400 hours.  You know, two o’clock.”  I showed him my watch.

         “I always knew you were strange,” he said.

         “Me? You’re the cat who winters in New York.”

         “Son, you’re the only writer in my stable who keeps a watch in military time.”

        We went on in.  I thought about that later, and decided it would make a fun exercise.  Most of my readers are writers, and they are quite good.  What is it about you as a writer that is unique? 

        I’ll kick it off.  “I’m the only writer I know who keeps his watch in military time.”

       Tell me about your uniqueness in a sentence.  If nothing else, several agents and publishers read my blog now.  Maybe your comments will draw some attention to your efforts.  Like Ms. Susan said on FaceBook, we all need all the help we can get.

Dr. B

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26 Comments on “The Only Writer I Know Who….”

  1. lynseymay Says:

    This was far harder than I thought it would be – but here’s my attempt.

    “I’m the only writer I know who gave up smoking and started chewing empty ink cartridges instead.”

    Not as serious or as self explanatory as I would have liked – but as someone who exploits uniqueness and wants to make it universal it was the best I could do! Nice exercise though.

  2. drtombibey Says:

    lynseymay,

    Cool. A cosmopolitan young lady with a Southern name who chews empty ink cartridges. (As a Doc, I’m glad you didn’t start chewing tobacco.) Sounds as unique as an old country doctor who moonlights as a bluegrass mandolinist to me.

    Dr. B

  3. Vinomom Says:

    I’m the only writer I know (if I can call myself a writer) that can use the word (The F word) in a sentence about my kid and not feel one ounce of shame.

    It just came to me.

  4. drtombibey Says:

    Lordy Lordy ms vinomom, I ain’t much of one for censorship, but I promised my agent and readers PG 13. I do uphold your right to write as you choose, though.

    At the Chattanooga conference the keynote speech was about this very right, and I will post on that subject in a few days.

    Dr. B

  5. Parson Bob Says:

    As a friend recently said to me, “Bob, you’re a little unique.” I decided not to pursue that one, but I know of one way in which I may be, well, unique:

    I’m the only writer I know who’s given up writing his blog (www.homeboyreportsII.blogspot.com) and gone to writing legal briefs in law school.

  6. danny fulks Says:

    ……….one who proved to my deans and university review committees anything I published was in my field. Seems they put a higher value on writing in field especially with jargon and, even more important, the research would only be read a a few other professors. Since I taught reading and language and writing in the honors program I convinced them if I published it, it counted. Even if I got paid for it and 5,000 people read it. Some may not know many research articles by professors are in journals that have to be paid to run them, called page costs, often paid by the university itself. I survived the stigma of using little tiny words instead of the normal phrases like cognitive dissonance, apperceptive mass, (how’s yours?) verbal interaction (called talk), Cognitive dissonance means, “Damn, Leroy, Mom says go, Dad says stay.”

  7. drtombibey Says:

    Parson,

    You’re the only man of cloth I know who can negotiate with the sharks and win. Do you play poker?

    Dr. B

  8. drtombibey Says:

    Dr. Fulks,

    You are the only Professor I know who is a common bluegrass man, and I mean that as the highest of compliments.

    Kristin tore the house down at Merlefest today. The kid can play and is a fine human being, too.

    Dr. B

  9. Billy Says:

    I thought I was the only cross country driver that is trying to write a novel on the road. Then I found out that there are a whole lot of them. That made me stop and think. Every writer should be unique, so here it is: I am the only writer that loves Muffuletta sandwiches from Central Grocery in New Orleans and Bar-B-Que from Goldie’s in Vicksburg and steak at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Las Vegas and Skyline Chilli in Louisville and Key West’s Camilles’ famous Key Lime Pie and who gets up every day and writes for thirty minutes with coffee before I hit the road.

    How’s that for unique?

  10. drtombibey Says:

    Billy,

    You are a truck driver, but you’re more intellectual than many of my college Professors.

    I know one truck driver who is a studio engineer. Also, I know of two mailmen who have written novels. One of them, Silas House, is beyond good, and has now taken to writing plays.

    Many people don’t believe a Doctor would be a bluegrass picker. Just goes to show, you can’t judge folks. You just never know.

    Dr. B

  11. Karen Says:

    Well, what a great question Dr. B. Let me sit and think about this for a while…

    I’m the only writer I know who consider 500+ words to be a lengthy work that most likely needs cutting back.

    Maybe it’s because I’m in love with picture books. I have the utmost respect for children’s writers who can craft a masterpiece with few words. I have a real issue with picture books with too many words! Less is more and I love the challenge of trying to create a wonderful, meaningful and amazing text while using 300-500 words. Every word really does count. I also love the flow and rhythm of picture books. I think every writer (for kids and adults) should read their entire work aloud before sending it off anywhere. There’s so much ‘music’ in writing that you don’t hear unless you read it aloud.

    Maybe another unique thing about me as a writer is that I’m happy to let something else speak louder than my word – the illustrations. I love creating books where the illustrations add not only detail but also meaning to my words. It’s just a shame I can’t draw!! But so far, the publishers I’ve worked with have found the most amazing people for me to collaborate with that if I did it all myself I’d be missing out on half the fun.

  12. drtombibey Says:

    Ms Karen,

    I am sure there are others, but you are the only writer I know with twins and no gallbladder.

    You are right about the music in writing. My agent has me write mine with a mandolin around my neck. He said otherwise ie read like a doctor- boring!!

    All the best in both in books, family, and health.

    Dr. B


  13. Not sure I constitute as “a writer” but I’ll have a go. I love that you keep military time, Dr. B, by the way!

    “I’m the only writer I know who had to get used to writing in script when I was 18, having written mostly print before.”

  14. drtombibey Says:

    msslightly,

    I was gonna say you are the only writer I know who is grown-up teenager.

    Dr. B

  15. danny fulks Says:

    I agree with Karen. I soon learned that editors are stingy with pages for one thing. Another thing, a good writer can tell the story in fewer words, maybe almost anyone could tell it in unlimited words. I have learned that nouns and verbs do the job and try not to use the word “that”, to eliminate conjunctions by using more commas, I love the simple sentence, I think Hemingway brought a lot of respect to it. I once bragged to an editor I had written a sports story and not used the word fan. He goes, “Well, one of our editors will find a way to insert it.”

  16. drtombibey Says:

    Dr. Fulks,

    Lordy I still have a lot to learn.

    I like one quote; I think is is Twain’s. “I would have written a shorter letter but I didn’t have time.”

    I am sure I will still have to chop some cotton on mine before it goes to press.

    Dr. B

  17. newt221 Says:

    I am the only writer I know that thinks God put me here for comic relief.

    Honestly, some of the stuff that happens in my life is more funny than any comedy I have seen on TV. I am toying with calling my book the Saga of Cindy.

  18. drtombibey Says:

    newt 221,

    PERFECT! I cruise over and read your stuff all the time, and it always brings a smile and a chuckle. For me that is what writing is all about; trying to make someone’s day better.

    Dr. B


  19. Dr. B,
    Aw, shucks… Thank you kindly, I’m sure :).

  20. drtombibey Says:

    ms slightly,

    You are good young’un even if you are all grown up.

    Dr. B

  21. vinomom Says:

    Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever been edited before!

    I didn’t know it was a PG-13 crowd, sorry

  22. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. vinomom,

    Not a problem at all. The main thing for me is my little daughter reads my blog.

    However, I want you to know I ain’t judging you one bit, and I hope you’ll come back and read some more.

    Maybe now the line on you in this excerise now could be “Only writer I know who is a hip young lady who has been censorsed by an old stuffed shirt Doctor!’
    Heck, I understand where you’re coming from. At one time I was young. (I think)

    When my book, ‘Ths Mandolin Case’ comes out I hope you’ll look at it too. (It even has a few cuss words.) When I ever get around to posting the rest of the Chattanooga Southern Writer’s Conference I’ll tell you about one young lady writer’s thoughts on this very subject. She had ‘cuss time’ with her kids every day so they could just be up front about it and get it out of their system.

    Dr. B

  23. rekx Says:

    I am the only writer I know who routinely wears a collection of fedoras.

  24. drtombibey Says:

    rekx,

    Cool. I might add to that: ….and willing to pick the mandolin with old Doctors who visit Texas and keep their watch in military time.

    Dr. B

  25. pandemonic Says:

    What an excellent but tough question, Dr. B!

    Writers are similar in many ways, so finding likenesses is easy, but the “only” things are tough.

    How about this:

    I’m the only writer who routinely uses the conference room at work for romantic trysts with her husband.
    :-)

  26. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Pande,

    You are a smart woman. I am sure your husband is your number one fan in the world!

    Dr. B


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