Since I made the fateful decision to start my less-than-regular LJ, I have worried over what I should call it. I’ve seen other blogs out there with highly creative names and I have to admit some jealousy on my part. Titles, whether for blogs or for my writing, have never been my strong suit and I confess limited creativity in my previous “Life of Smiley” effort. Since the beginning, I have searched for some other name to call it and I believe I have finally found it.
I tend to use some of my pre-writing down time traversing the blogosphere for entries that will either inspire my fiction or provide me with more information on how to do it better. This evening, I came across a piece by Elmore Leonard, an author I particularly enjoy reading and who often fills me with a great sense of hopelessness that I will never write as well as he. This piece in question–Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing–is much like Leonard’s fiction, concise and brilliant, and can be found here. While I would guess that any aspiring writer would have found this gem waaay before this blog, I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it. For those that have, I recommend having it tattooed on your stomach, upside down, so you can refer to it as you write. This would require writing topless and may not be suitable for particularly lean writers, neither of which are problems for me.
In lifting Leonard’s brilliance to head my own lack thereof, I must say that the term “hooptedoodle” is itself lifted from John Steinbeck’s “Sweet Thursday” and Leonard offers full acknowledgment of this fact. Loosely defined, hooptedoodle is writing that, while perhaps pretty and eloquent, offers no true benefit to the story in which it is found. Writing that, by its mere inclusion, takes away from the narrative. Really, isn’t that what an author blog is? Writing that takes away from writing that we should be doing?
So, with many thanks to Elmore Leonard and John Steinbeck, I hereby rename this thing “Perpetrating Hooptedoodle” and hope that multitudes may one day look upon these words and be inspired as I have by so many people on the internet sharing their secrets, their dreams, and, most importantly, their own hooptedoodle.