“We’ll simply call him, Ajax Warthog.”

Most writers have their own unique writing process. I suppose some stuffy literary experts would say one version is better over another. They’d definitely shake their heads at mine. I don’t listen to those people anyway. I’ll now quote, out of context, former first lady, Hillary Clinton, “What difference does it make?”

I use the term writer quite loosely in describing myself. I’m strictly a hobbyist and struggle putting words to paper, using dictionaries, spellcheck, and writing guidebooks to help me along. Some authors I know like, Helen Hegener and Professor Michael Burwell, are naturals and know their stuff. If you were to ask what I’d like to be called, “Master Mechanic” comes to mind.

My mechanic friends will laugh at this self-bestowed title because they know it isn’t true. An okay technician at best, I eventually get the job done. The master mechanic misnomer goes back many years.

A mechanic working in Bethel, Alaska was notorious for never getting his maintenance work completed. He was an expert at filling out paperwork saying that it was. I won’t mention the fellow’s real name because that wouldn’t be kosher. We’ll simply call him, Ajax Warthog.

I was flown to Bethel by my boss to take care of work that Ajax was supposed to have done. He’d documented all was finished, yet when I started checking things out, it was checked off by pencil only.

I spent a good week in Bethel finishing up some of his projects. After I left, other Anchorage mechanics went out there to do the same. On the man’s toolbox was a fancy sign saying, “AJAX WARTHOG – MASTER MECHANIC.” I took a photo, and the picture went viral in our shop. Ajax was eventually relieved of his duties.

Getting back to my writing process and how it relates to mechanics. I use this site strictly as a tool for perfecting my work, including storing it. An idea is first composed in my head, and then written down via Microsoft Word. I have a hard time editing stuff there, so it’s copied and pasted to WordPress.

The literary mechanics of this process allow me to look at sentence and paragraph structure from different angles. It’s kind of like installing drum brakes on a car. Just because all of the springs go on doesn’t necessarily mean they’re in the right holes. Both literary composition and mechanical repairs oftentimes have to be tweaked.

When I finally publish a story, article, or whatever on WordPress, it immediately goes to all that subscribe via email. That initial publication is never totally free of typos or mistakes. I’ve been asked by some subscribers about such.

The blunders are eventually corrected, but unfortunately, those corrections don’t show unless a reader goes to afterwards. That’s just the way it works and I can’t change things.

I sometimes spend weeks “reworking” the same article. There are nights when I wake up, suddenly thinking of a better word to use. I’ll quickly turn on the computer and change things out. It’s an unorthodox process but one that works for me.

Unlike Ajax and his mechanical assignments, I eventually get my literary compositions perfected and ready to send out to publications. Even at that point they’re not 100% error free. I know editors will take care of the ones I missed, or at least I hope they do.

A book of mine that was recently published has some deliberate grammatical errors in it. I informed the editors to leave them as is because they went along with the book title, “Ordinary, Average Guy – Uncensored Memoirs of a Trailer Park Refugee.” No one reading a book by that name would expect to find perfection.

If I were to label the type of writer I am, fledgling comes to mind. Call me, “Fledgling Writer.” To my mechanic friends having never heard this term, it simply means, brilliant.

Author: michaeldexterhankins

ordinary average guy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: