Well….here we are…..number 500. That’s right. I said 500. This is the 500th posting of Marc’s Blog since it began in November 2012. I know I have a tendency to talk a lot, but I would have never thought I had it in me to write 500 of these puppies. But then, I have been writing in some capacity since elementary school, so maybe it’s just another set of words I have to put together.
My first memory of the task of writing—and it is a task whether it comes easy for you or not—was around 4thor 5th grade. The class had a weekly homework assignment that was due every Friday. We had to write a story about an assigned topic. I was very much into the Hardy Boys at the time so I weaved each week’s topic into a mystery that filled six tablet pages. That’s how many pages we had to hand in: always six and always on tablet–ah, that’s not a electronic tablet, but a paper tablet with the wire spiral on the top for those who remember.
Now, coincidentally, Thursday night was when my mother and her writing friend, Lucille, got together to critiques each other’s works. With such a panel of two expert writers sitting right there in the living room, it was mandatory that I read my weekly six pages to them. It was a great ego trip for me because they never had a thing negative to say when they “critiqued” each week’s suspenseful page-turner. I went off to school the next morning with my thriller in hand, knowing full well that the next generation Hardy Boys series would no doubt be written by me just as soon as I reached adulthood.
Writing has always bailed me out. I was a terrible college student because I don’t retain certain kinds of information for very long. Precisely the kinds of information that I was asked to feed back in 100-question exams or those terrifying 4-question blue books. The four questions I always got were exactly the ones that I would have never selected and they consistently left me unable to upchuck a worthy filled-out blue book. But…but…if it were a class that was based on writing assignments or making some kind of presentation, then I managed to score enough A’s and B’s to offset the D’s and F’s in the other courses, but barely. I was always on academic probation and even a month after Penn State acquiesced by awarding me a degree, my final semester’s grades arrived home with the usual notation that I was still on academic probation and I better beef up my grades.
Then it was off to a life-time career in radio broadcasting. This afforded me the opportunity to further my writing skills while pounding out news stories, public service announcements, a bunch of usually annoying commercials and a gazillion promotional campaigns. Next, once I hit retirement and its bountiful allotment of idle time I pumped out seven books in almost as many years—none, unfortunately, has ever measured up to the success of the Hardy Boys. But, if you need someone to write an essay about why an amoeba is more fascinating that an paramecium, or scribe platitudes on the wrapper for a roll of toilet paper…well, I’m your man.
The point is, whether average or maybe a cut above mediocre, writing has come to me reasonably easy, like playing an instrument is for a good musician. And it has, after all, gotten me through this posting on my blog which, as I stated at the beginning, is number 500…and I had absolutely no idea what I was going to say after that. So, if you have managed to hang in this far, I hope you will join me in a humble toast. To what? you ask. Well, what else: here’s to another 500!