Imitation

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Many literary amateurs — in the original sense of the word — take this quite to heart. I really shouldn’t say “they” but “we;” I’ve done it myself, many a time. But when the reader finds some style of expression, some use of language, some plot device or character or setting that speaks particularly to him, naturally he wants to keep it. He wants to hold it close to his heart, bury it deep in his soul, feed it and nourish it and allow it to grow, let it spring upwards towards the light of day again, in his own colors and into his own sunlight. He wants to re-create, according to one who has already created something beautiful and truthful and good.

The truest way to re-create a masterpiece, however, is to study that which the first artist studied. It’s easy enough to read Agatha Christie novels and try to formulate a murder mystery according to her plot patterns, but what first inspired her to write? What books did she read to gather her ideas? Jane Austen’s seemingly-facile turns of phrase and lovable characters may be read and read again, but nothing will make a new Regency-era story come to life until we familiarize ourselves with Anne Radcliffe and the Brontes as well. A true Tolkien imitator should, in theory, not only read Tolkien, but read Norse myths and Arthurian legends and Beowulf — in Anglo-Saxon. 

Well, that’s all rather daunting, isn’t it? But I should dearly like to try it. 

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Hullo!

Please, call me Blue. The “lady” is in imitation of some of my favorite literary characters: Lady Frankie (Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?), Lady Harriet (Wives and Daughters), Lady Catherine de Bourgh (Pride and Prejudice). The “whimsy” is, well, for the sake of whimsy, as well as for another favourite character — indeed, family of characters: the family Wimsey, Dorothy L. Sayers’ brilliant mystery creation. The “blue” happens to be a nickname assigned when I spent a few months in the company of some half-a-dozen other females who shared my first name; we called it coincidence, but who knows what nefarious plot of the troglodytes of Greek mythology might have brought us together.

Rule #1 of this blog: I like words. I’m a bit of a word nerd, in fact. So, when I have recently been spelunking for verbiage, or just returned from a particularly fruitful deep-dictionary diving, you will hear no end of odd, assorted words. I plan to give you a “whimsical word of the week” for your vocabulary-building exercises, and the scattered strangelings I leave in my wake I will highlight for you to peruse and pursue at your leisure. Hence, troglodyte. Look it up.

You might call me mad. Or, obsessed. Some, perhaps, will say “eccentric” or “bored” or “just plain weird.” But, no worries, I answer to “Blue.”

Beyond the square reaches of the grey, windowless cubicle I call work, and the brownish expanse of Midwestern soybean fields I call home, my mind wanders far and wide in search of adventure. Someday-famed author is only one of the many alter-egos I possess and cherish. Moonlighting as a cookie ninja comes a close second. Amateur time-traveller (as of today; who knows what yesterday may bring), fairy godmother-in-training, never-to-be-yet-always-wishful-linguist, and Calvin-and-Hobbesian also appear on my resume. Well, not the resume my boss sees.

But anywho.

Welcome to Blue Whimsy writing 🙂