I've really enjoyed this business of our bouncing ideas off each other. This thread feels like it's drawing to a close - I need to get down to the serious business of annoying our returned friend Korrie with trivia and redirect my energies to the play I've been avoiding - but I want to reflect a little on what has been a pleasurable experience, especially for someone who has only been on the net for a month. (So glad I alighted on Steve's kewl site and not somewhere else.) And just as other people seem to have got something from our discussion, maybe this attempt to articulate what I've got from the internet/this dialogue may ring a few (mission?) bells.
The biggest thing is that, satisfying as putting all those thoughts into words over our series of postings has been, I wouldn't have been prompted to develop those ideas without your response - ie, just throwing them onto the net, hoping that someone might notice. So even though a lot has come out about our different life experiences, this has been a genuinely interactive experience. Some people bitch about Paul McCartney's revision of history, apparently trying to appropriate credit for songs they'd prefer to think sprang fully formed from John Lennon's unconscious. From working closely with another writer in the past (on our separate projects) I know how integral someone's comment or suggestion or example can be to one's own work. Not that I'm comparing us to the Beatles, but you brought out the best in me because of your own willingness to go the extra mile. And kind comments both here and in my personal mail suggest other people enjoyed that process and felt part of it.
Which brings me to my next point: that despite qualms about its not being appropriate for this forum, or too exclusively between us, actually it is public and appropriately so. When Doug V. said of one of your postings that it wasn't written to him but it felt like it was, that hit the nail on the head. For me, this is the conversation I'd always wanted to have about doowop but never had a partner and an audience to bring out in me. For me the audience is important: personally revealing as our exchanges have, to some extent, been it wouldn't have felt right for me on email, but it still needed the one to one of our dialogue in order to bring out something that has been meaningful for others too. It's the paradox I find as a writer: the more personal you are, the more you can give to others, if honestly exploring your own feelings as opposed to just displaying yourself. I have a writerly vanity (or, more charitably, sense of self worth) and the knowledge that more than one person might be reading this is part of what impels me to type all this in despite the discomfort of a keyboard like a GI Joe accessory, but it’s also the stimulus of seeing you going for it, no holds barred, and wanting to respond in kind. It seems to me that this odd mix of the public and private and the immediacy of contact (you type it up and it's out there, giving a momentum a newspaper correspondence could never have) is unique to the internet, so this has been a wonderful introduction for me. Credit, too, of course, to Steve for creating a supportive environment for everyone and to "Picksburgh's Own" for keeping postings fizzing along. We haven't spoken much, Brian, but I reallv apreciate vour incredible enthusiasm - and knowledge at only sev - sorry, EIGHTEEN.
This seems to be acquiring the air of a farewell address. I'm not going anywhere, but I will be striving to cut down for the reasons indicated. I just wanted to acknowledge formally that this has been an enriching experience for me, and to thank you, Clarke, and our faithful readers. I know I'll never fully unravel the mystery of a song like Golden Teardrops (who would want to?) but it's been fun trying; and thank you for encouraging me, by example, to write at the top of my voice.