by Nic Olson
It is with a heavy heart that I write this today.
My editor often comments that my writing is heavy-handed. Does this mean that my head is heavy-brained? Or does it mean that my hands are heavy-fingered? I usually don’t know what the hell he’s talking about, so I often have to ask him several times for several explanations. Those things you pick up in University that replace colloquialisms and make you sound smarter. If he just said, “That part sucks, that part sucks marginally less,” I’d get it.
I just finished another Vonnegut book. I have read many, remember few, and still have more to go. He has the ability to write stories about humankind without being heavy-handed. Maybe it is because he seems to use short phrases the make the narrator seem like your quirky middle-school teacher.
So it goes.
And so on.
Or maybe it is because he is smart enough to convey meaning in properly-placed, simple sentences. Or maybe he was a hard worker. I think he just got lucky.
My heavy-handedness, which I see as the inability to subtly put meaning behind fiction that I am currently experimenting with, may stem from my tendency to over-think things. Or to keep things to myself. Or to think I’m smarter than I am. But let’s not get too heavy in the hand that offers psychological analysis, here.
Recently while in the land of milk and honey and beer and tacos and large bridges and fog, the land of the originators of the fortune cookie, I got two fortune cookies. The first read, ‘Your future is rife with mediocrity.‘ The second; ‘You are to the opposite sex what “OFF” is to mosquitoes.‘ That seems somewhat heavy-handed. Like they took their hand, gripped a brick, and hit my face with it. At least it is the first fortune cookie that ‘hit the nail on the head’ (is that a colloquialism, or an idiom? I just taught myself both words. Self-education). I am still awaiting a sum of money that a fortune cookie promised me in high school. The second San Francisco fortune was maybe the most accurate. I am sitting on a stool wearing both pants and underpants and I can still clearly see my the hairs of my upper thigh through a hole in my crotch the size of a holiday ham. I am repellant to myself most days. Fortune cookies are always heavy-handed, even more so when they are pointing out your foibles.
I guess maybe my editor just wants me to leave my overly philosophical way of analyzing things, my overly logical way of complaining about things, to this blog which has been rife with mediocrity for over six years, and is doomed to the same fate for six years to come. Because I am not eloquent enough to mask my complaints in literary metaphors. My hand is far too heavy for that. Heavy with the weight of the thousands of souls that have been lost from reading my writing.
You are now soulless.