My husband was a forensic chemist in our county crime lab for forty years. People used to ask, “What is a forensic chemist?” Now we simply reply, “CSI.”
At first the lab had only three scientists, and they worked on every kind of case — murder, DWI, hit and run, you name it. They were the only hazmat team before one was created officially! As the lab grew, and the caseload skyrocketed, more scientists came on board. They broke off into specialties. My husband’s was DWI. Day in, day out, evening courts, day courts, it was all about driving while intoxicated. Of course, he got incredibly good at it, to the point where most defense attorneys did not attempt to trip him up when he testified. I think the judge told the last attorney that tried, and objected to Hubby’s answer, “You asked the question, Counselor.”
I tell you this because Hubby loves “same old, same old.” He eats the same breakfast every morning, and never tires of Lawrence Welk (yes, he is a senior, senior citizen). No wonder he relished analyzing blood samples exclusively. It would have driven me nuts.
I love change, even to the point of resenting holidays because it feels like they have been done to death. I once turned a Santa statue around so it faced the back of the store. In my defense, it was only October, for Pete’s sake!
My penchant for change runs through my writing as it does my life. Currently I am doing research for a magazine think-piece I want to write. I had never been assigned such an article and I am thoroughly enjoying the prep work that is leading me down interesting paths. I am still not sure if my creature will be an article or an essay. Nor am I sure yet of the angle I want to take. Previously, I knew the genre (article) and the angle (what the editor wanted). This is a great adventure for me, and certainly not “same old, same old.”
Right now, I have not queried editors because my creature is not ready to be sent out. Then, while it makes the rounds, I am off to my next article, essay, short story, or devotional.
Perhaps you prefer painstakingly creating a book for a year or more. I love that you do, because I’m a fish out of water without a book in my hand! Maybe you like to tackle a variety of subjects or become an expert in just one or two. Then there are those who write books and shorter pieces.
I do not believe because a writer writes “short,” he or she necessarily is doing so on the way up the ladder to The Great American novel or work of non-fiction. To borrow a phrase about Freud, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” A writer is a writer is a writer.
I think sometimes it may take a few years of travel down different roads to discover our creative home. But in the end, we writers, by trial and error, will discover who we are and bloom where we’re planted.
Wonderful, Sue! Love that Gene was a DEI expert! I knew he was a CSI before they became the rage! You could write yet a new CSI series, “CSI Rochester”!
I think he should. I’d just edit.
Good article Sue and you didn’t pick on my buddy Gene too much. Very interesting article about him (knew where he worked = never quite knew exactly what he did)!! I knew he always sent you cards and flowers on special occasions!! What a guy. I know you are a nurse and you sat behind the desk and was a wonderful supervisor. What exactly did your job consist of when you did home visits (before you were a supervisor)? Maybe you mentioned this before, but apparently, I didn’t catch it. I really enjoyed this article. Take care.
He certainly has enough war stories to tell. As for what I really did when I worked…My beloved son said: “Oh, meddling and nagging, your two best things.” To which I relied, “And aren’t you lucky I have an outlet for my talents other than you?” Actually, other than verifying if a client qualified for a particular Medicaid program, I would visit the client with the community health nurse to assess if the services in place: 1) Met the client’s needs 2) If services more were necessary for a safe/effective plan of care 3) :If some could be eliminated or combined more efficiently – and save taxpayer money. I guess it was meddling and nagging, but in a nice kind of way (I hope).
I don’t know which one you secretly–in your heart–lean toward. But I love your essays! (Or,maybe we read ourselves into it?)
Good, I’m not tellin’
I think we sometimes burn a lot of rubber driving against the grain.
I love reading your articles! Thank you for sharing!
Sandy C. Hope
Thank you, Sandy!