Well, dear readers, the lack of inspiration hitting me at the moment has caused me to ponder the ingredients in my writing style. Why aren’t the juices flowing? These thoughts and Froggy-kun’s article How Does Anime Influence Your Writing Style have engendered this article. I have decided that the perfect metaphor for my writing is the hurricane.
Now, this is not the kind which destroyed New Orleans, but something of restorative value which is popular there: the fruity, tropical cocktail which my sister chides me for imbibing. I needed to pick this cocktail because my usual choices are far too simple: a gin and tonic, a salty dog, a martini, a manhattan, a negroni, or a scotch and soda contain too few ingredients. (I listed these just to show you that I do usually tend to masculine side of the cocktail spectrum.) The complexity of the hurricane seems to capture each facet of my writing without exceeding the number of ingredients–as would be the case in the Original Singapore Sling. (I really want to order that one day! Probably annoy the bartender unless he’s on the order of Ryuu Sasakura of Bartender.) Here’s the recipe:
2 oz. dark rum
The dark rum represents literature itself, as those of you familiar with my new blog, linked in the re-post below, might have guessed. The authors of yore have inspired me to write, given me ideas to write about, and greatly influenced my style. Without constant reading, I find that I cannot pen an article. Either the topic is so boring that it causes the reader to exclaim “So what?” or the writing bland, forced, and headache inducing. Anime and manga are no help to improving my writing skill, though they are useful in informing the topics of my writing, as you will see below.
2 oz. white rum
I have no respect for white rum. It is fit only for cocktails and makes vodka appear like fine cognac in comparison. But, I suspect the hurricane would not be the same drink without it. The drink would be less viscous, and adding two more ounces of dark rum would surely interfere with the other flavors.
This ingredient represents history, biography, and anecdotes–either from my own life or other people’s. The historical influences on my choice of topics tend to be subtle or impalpable; yet, it they were absent from the mix, my writing would come out insubstantial. It would lack a sense of reality.
2 oz. pineapple juice
Pineapple juice lends an exotic feel and vibrancy to the hurricane. If not for this addition, why not just ask for a glass of Pusser’s Royal Navy Rum and spare the bartender the trouble?
This juice stands for religion or–to be more precise–my Catholic faith. Life would be pointless without God. What motivation would I have to insert meaning into a life which would merely be of subjective quality? Might as well just enjoy the little pleasures of life–sucking on the honey, as Leo Tolstoy writes in A Confession, which sometimes brighten the day and seem insipid on other days.
2 oz. lime juice
Lime juice is tangy and sour–adding complexity to the drink. Perhaps it could be removed, but that would render the hurricane a little less intriguing and more ordinary. Can you guess in whose place this ingredient stands?
Those of you who guessed anime and manga are quite correct. If you were present and I had the greenbacks, I’d hand you a cigar! To anime, I might also add foreign cultures in general. They spark my brain to view problems from new perspectives or even to perceive nuances to which I would have remained oblivious. By themselves, they add uniqueness but not impetus to my writing. Yet, with the aid of the other ingredients, it helps produce rich and original articles.
3 oz. passion fruit juice
This is an odd ingredient. Most drinkers would find it an absurdity–something outlandish and eccentric.
The passion fruit juice represents my love of classical and foreign languages. You might dub me an amateur philologist, having a little experience in all of the following languages: Latin, Ancient Greek, Japanese, French, Croatian, German, Old English, Spanish, Italian, and Old Norse (just what a saga enthusiast might pick up). Whenever my writing becomes lyrical or strikingly apt, one can assume that I have temporarily ceased to think in English. My mind is soaring in the empyrean summits of Latin, plunging into the humble essence of Ancient Greek, dancing the sophisticated turns of French, confused by an Oriental vision of the familiar, or wandering the gardens of another language. Whenever my prose takes a flat note, one can be sure that I am thinking in plain English.
1 oz. orange juice
This colorful morning drink represents my audience. If my articles appear cold and distant, I either address humanity in general or worse: scribble solipsistically. Sometimes I write to friends, parents, siblings, political or cultural enemies, political or cultural allies, or my fellow bloggers. Odds are, if you have regularly corresponded with me, I have written an article with you specifically in mind. This post itself must be taken as being addressed to the that group–and Froggy-kun at any rate. By me writing to an audience, my article takes on the warmth of a mid-morning breakfast where all the participants are wide awake enjoying their orange juice, coffee, or tea with savory omelets, french toast, fruit-filled crepes, and thick pancakes smothered in maple syrup. At least, I’d like to think so–perhaps I’m just hungry.
1 tbsp. grenadine
This flavoring is best compared to life itself. Even when depressed, it is always possible for life to offer some sweetness: doing good for others, serving one’s fellow man, engaging one’s talents, nature, animals, delicious cuisine, family, and friends. However, one’s personal problems can lead one to forget the good in life. Then, the sweetness goes out of my writings to be replaced with bitters. These bitters sharpen the flavor profile and place a meditative scowl on the face of the reader. But, I hope that my writings have been more sweet than bitter!
Add the above ingredients together in a shaker 3/4 filled with ice, shake well, and strain into a highball or hurricane glass partially filled with ice. I have been measuring out and shaking the literary ingredients for the past week. May they produce fresh hurricanes for my dear readers! Thank you for reading this very long article. May you have enjoyed it or at least enjoy ordering or making the above cocktail yourself!