Building Blocks (How’d you know that…)


Time molds vivid memories from one’s past into the building blocks of one’s writing…



When writing we should remember that not every potential reader will envision a person, place, or thing as we do.  As mentioned in my ‘About’, my writing has been described as a voice of the urban South flavored by my travels.  Thanks to my journeys, both within the United States and afar, I have learned to appreciate that people who come from a specific geographic area do not all dress or act the same, or speak one well-defined colloquial language, with the same regionalism, or accent.

Nevertheless, people are people, and many people will subconsciously key in on something and leap to a conclusion about the speaker’s ‘origin’, or what an object looks like.  For example, in my novel Simplicity Lane I purposely use the word village, not town or city.  How large is a village?  How can a village have ‘avenues;’ and how can a village be in the South?

When I have a cold, a nasality becomes more noticeable; thus, I will retell a favorite story (Yes, retelling stories is a Southern tradition 😉 caught you, didn’t I).:

I was in a restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama and, while the nice waitress, age? late fifties, was telling us more about her family than what was good on the menu, the other person at the table pondered out loud, ‘was the Zac Brown song playing on the sound system from a CD or the radio’.  I responded, “It’s not from the CD.”

Waitress: (With a questionable look) “How’d you know that?”

Steve: “The lyrics on the radio are ‘toes in the water, toes in the sand’.  On the CD it’s ‘toes in the water, ass in the sand’.”

Waitress: (With a very questionable look) “Hows someone with your accent know so much about country music?”

Steve: (Time to order food.) (Smile) “I like the Zac Brown Band.”

I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand

Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand

Life is good today. Life is good today.

Toes/ written by Zac Brown, John Driskell Hopkins, Shawn Mullins, and Wyatt Durette.


Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.


4 thoughts on “Building Blocks (How’d you know that…)

  1. Ooh, very nice tune. I haven’t heard it before.

    Not that it matters to anything, but we live in a village. It was originally a “clustered settlement” near a creek. In its infancy, it had seven saloons! There is still only one main street with two traffic lights one block apart. Population is growing – 2500. Thank goodness there are large towns and plenty of memories to draw from about an hour north of here. We’ve lived here over twenty years, and it’s still a bit of culture shock. 🙂

    • It does matter, and culture shock is a good sign. It matters because you have taken the time to ‘see’ more than a road running through a couple of traffic lights. Weather one lives in a huge metropolis, or an urban crossroads, what makes it human is people taking the time to see it’s heartbeat. OKaaaaaa, that was enough philosophicalness…;-) Thanks Maddie for your comment.

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