…A-Z Blogging for April
By Jeff Salter
As you may have guessed from my title, I have the Letter ‘Q’ to blog about in this April quest to cover the English alphabet.
And, unlike my recent efforts with the letters ‘E’ and ‘K’, I’ll confine myself to two Q-words:
Q is for Quiet
I often see everything from brief comments to entire blog columns (from my writing colleagues) about Quiet. Or, more precisely, that many / most of them need music or ambient noise in order to write. Some even carefully select particular music, depending on what type of story they’re writing … or what part of the story they’re working on.
Not me. I need quiet. On a scale of 1-100, I prefer something around 95 on the quiet scale.
Years ago, when I had an office with a door (at my full-time job), I’d go in nearly Saturday – my day off – and WRITE. With my door closed and me off-duty, I would often spend 7-8 hours writing without interruption. I even wrote a poem about those experiences, which I called, “My Saturdays”. I won’t subject you to the entire poem today, but one of the lines refers to the only sounds being the muted clacking of my keyboard and the soft ‘tsk’ noise of the second hand of my wall clock. [Let me disclose that I had to MUTE the clock — literally. It was ‘tsk-ing’ too loudly, so I took off the back and stuffed foam strips into every available space … in order to lessen the noise. Seriously.]
So I think I’ve illustrated my point: I crave QUIET!
Q is for Quantum
Quantum is one of those words which 85% of American adults are ‘familiar with’ (and likely use) … though they have no clue as to its meaning. I’ll confess: I’m in that 85%. Furthermore, I don’t even care what it means.
Quantum sounds so intelligent and so cool, that we all use it … as though we actually know what we’re talking about. Uh … but we don’t.
Not sure what I mean? Okay … everybody’s heard of quantum physics. But I bet you don’t know what that really means. Nope … me neither. Many of you will recall the engaging TV show, “Quantum Leap.” But do you think that series had ANY actual science involved in it? Uh … no. That little gadget which the cigar-smoking boss kept poking … was just a glorified TV remote.
You see: quantum is an ubër adjective … and it sounds sophisticated no matter how you use it. Here are a few examples of some new applications I have in mind:
I’ve been studying Quantum Poetry, and I’ve decided that, in order for my sonnets to really ‘pop’, I should end them with a Quantum Couplet … instead of the regular kind.
See what I mean?
Here’s another: Since I got tired of all those hit-and-miss diet fads, I’ve switched to the Quantum Diet. [Now, 6 out of 10 people I’ve told that to have just nodded their heads and acted like they’d been thinking of doing the same thing.]
Another: After slicing two golf balls into the adjacent fairway, hooking one back toward the club house, and shanking my fourth shot into the flustered party at the ladies’ tee box … I decided to pull Old Blue out of my bag and give it a Quantum Drive. Now, I’ll bet you can picture exactly what I’m about to do, even though you’ve never heard of quantum drives … at least not in golf. [I think NASA uses them in moon shots, however].
Remember the dour character named ‘Q’ in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels? Well, it’s never been explained (to me, anyway), but I reckon that ‘Q’ stands for ‘quartermaster’ … which, in a military setting, would be the unit in charge of supplies, materials, foodstuffs, etc. In the case of Fleming’s ‘Q’, he was actually a Quantum Quartermaster. See how this works?
Since I believe I’ve made my point about the efficacy of the word ‘Quantum’ as an all-purpose (yet inscrutable) ubër adjective, let me apply it to my other Q-word for today: When I write, I need Quantum Quiet!
In what context might YOU use the word ‘quantum’ … and get away with it?
Do you prefer music, noise, activity around you when you write? Or do you need Quantum Quiet?