Posted by Mary Marvella | 11:17 PM | , , | 7 comments »

My Brain Just Ain’t Big Enough
Mary Ricksen

I admire people who can write a lot of books and even though they are prolific, their talent shines in every story they write. Some people, like me, however, take a while. It’s not that I don’t have time. I used to blame that on everything. Well, it was true when I was working. Now it’s life that holds me back.

I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying. My worry, gene came from my mother, who at 86 can still find more things to have angst over then any one I have ever known. So your cousin, who was a sweet, darling girl, is dating a meth addict she met on line after watching the TV show intervention. My cousin prefers women, not that she didn’t give men a try.  So far she hasn’t had much luck.

One of my sister’s has an autistic daughter who is incommunicative and keeps having seizures. The list is endless.  I find myself doing things that take my mind away rather then let me use it. Reading, is a great escape. My favorite!
So, I’d say maybe that takes up at least a quarter of my brain. Then there is the half of brain I use to run my body. You know, like breathing, blood flow, living. That leaves a measly one quarter to work with. 

Now out of that quarter brain I have to at least use half to handle my husband. He is a job, let me tell you.

So I am left with one eighth of a brain for learning and writing. Which brings me to the point of this blog-- I have a lot to learn, still… I was so proud when I remembered the difference between an em-dash and an en-dash, and darn if I am not proud to remember what an ellipse is! And yes, I know when to use it.

But, I learned one the other day from an editor which kind of throws out all they say about using the word had. It’s called past plu-perfect tense. Yes, I kid you not, there is really such a thing. It kinda threw me. What? I’ve heard of past perfect, which I still confuse, and then someone mentioned past plu-perfect, well I almost had a brain freeze. I get those periodically, when I least expect it. And usually at the very worst time!

You see, you have to use the right words, to remember a past event that is kinda like earlier then another past event. Yeah, you heard me—(See!)
Wikopedia defines it as follows. The pluperfect (from Latin plus quam perfectum more than perfect), also called past perfect in English, is a grammatical combination of past tense with the perfect, itself a combination of tense and aspect, that exists in most Indo-European languages though there is not one in Irish. It is used to refer to an event that had continuing relevance to a past time.[dubious ] Comrie[1]:p.64 classifies the pluperfect as an absolute-relative tense because it absolutely (not by context) establishes a deixis (the past event) and places the action relative to the deixis (before it).

I am still gonna have to remember when it’s correct to use it. I was told by a talented editor; especially if I am gonna write time travel stories. Uh Oh!  

Lord knows what else I don’t know that I should by now! Does a writer ever stop learning? Not if they want to be successful in any way. I’ve been thinking of writing a shape-shifter story…

What if my brain runs outta space!! AAHHHH!


  1. Beth Trissel // August 26, 2014 at 7:45 AM  

    I have similar challenges. Hang in there, Mary. I enjoyed your humor.

  2. Mary Ricksen // August 26, 2014 at 1:27 PM  

    Thanks for the help posting,Beth. You are the best... I wonder, do we ever stop learning? I hope not!

  3. Mary Marvella // August 26, 2014 at 5:35 PM  

    Writing isn't as easy as folks think it is. It's about more than putting words on a page. People have no idea how many drafts we do!

  4. Barbara Monajem // August 26, 2014 at 8:06 PM  

    I have to admit that I get annoyed when people don't use tenses properly... but sometimes I wonder if I'm just old fashioned. Maybe the language is changing... Maybe not. Sigh.

    Even without challenges, each of us writes at her own pace. Better to take time and be happy with the result.

  5. Mary Marvella // August 27, 2014 at 2:11 PM  

    Some, Barbara, but not that much!

  6. debjulienne // August 27, 2014 at 6:35 PM  

    I don't think my brain hurts worse than after writing...and no we never stop learning...that's my old saving grace.

  7. Josie Riviera // August 31, 2014 at 7:06 PM  

    Plu-perfect? Really? I learned a new word today. Thanks, Mary!