Almost all of my experience of writing stuff that other people get to read is limited to essays in History and English at school (I assume my teachers read that stuff but who knows!) and this blog. For work, i once went on a one day course about writing press articles run by a hardened and worldweary journalist. She talked about whatever the subject, you need a ‘hook’ that will grab the reader so you can reel them in to keep reading without being formulaic. That bit stuck, the rest of the content is long gone. She really shouldn’t have been in front of an audience, her enthusiasm levels barely registered on any kind of scale. Maybe too many traditional journalist liquid lunches had taken it out of her.
I do think about the hook when I put fingertips to iPad and words spill out onto the screen. I try to write blogs that are quite short and relatively pithy with a tiny sprinkling of humour here and there. Definitely not just a report of we did this, then we did that. Sometimes inspiration comes easily and a story with a clear hook comes tumbling out of my head. Other times there is a definite lull in postings and inspiration is clearly lacking. I have written some lines that have bored me witless so who knows what you’d have thought. Hurrah for the delete button.
Returning to the hook. Tony Hawkes traveled round Ireland with a fridge, pretty pointless it seems, the result of a bet wagered in a pub but he got a book out of it with a ready made hook. When I read it I immediately thought why, then on reflection, why not? Guess that’s the effect he wanted.
I’ve decided my current ‘signature dish hook’ is haircuts. My last ‘magnificent’ haircut was in Mindelo on New Years Eve. That was a top experience. So off I went in the tender to the dinghy dock with cash in my pocket and headed to the Mall in Rodney Bay, St Lucia. If you chose to read the title of this blog, you’ll already know how I look now. Viz, that articulate, informative (I always liked a top tip) and rude northern offering used to have a character called Millie Tant. Yes I know it’s stereotypical and offensive to some, so maybe Viz isn’t on your current reading list, but it’s not too hard to stretch your imagination as to how Millie Tant may look.
My haircut / scalping was created by a hairdresser called Vizy. Is there a subliminal link I ask myself? Does everyone who leaves that premises come out looking like a character from Viz? I hadn’t imagined there’d be a subversive link to the Caribbean but the world is quite mad at the moment.. My hair will grow …… eventually. By the time I get to the UK in June, I should have recovered….I hope!
Before I saw Dave following my new weight loss programme, I called in with friends Andrew and Polly to share my baldness and have a laugh about it. Andrew said…. I want to know what Dave’s first words are when he sees you. In Dave’s inimitable way, he rolled his eyes and said, “did you buy beer?” Enough said.