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xantippeonisis said in February 16th, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Rating: 2.


First, this is great fun.

Second, I’m going to struggle with the numbering (part of, but not the only reason I chose 2). Why make 1 bad and 3 good?

Third, I’m finding it tricky evaluating something written for radio, but read as text. Felt a bit wordy till I read out loud. A general problem about translating spoken to written and would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Fourth. Previous comments general, now specifics about this text. Felt a bit queasy to start with about the thought of writing while driving. Greater safety culture now than when you first wrote it. Nearly put me off reading further and wonder if you could hint at what comes later to reassure. Totally liked the main point about enforced discipline. Coincidence – was talking to D earlier today about writing poetry (only writing I do) while walking (when I do it) and being better polished on the hoof rather than written down too early. BUT there is the phrase that gets lost.

Summary: hit the spot once I got into it.

Look toward to reading more.

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Rose Ippolito said in February 17th, 2014 at 3:06 am

Unit of Resistance: Rating/1. Gosh I hate to rate it 1, because I was delighted to laugh at the Miss Palooka bit. But, I don’t particularly find it enjoyable to read about the struggles others have with their creative processes. Plus, the whole thing made me nervous (driving and writing, no, no!)Don’t get me wrong – I loved reading this post, but I don’t think I’d love it as much as part of a more formal collection.

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andervsta said in February 17th, 2014 at 9:18 am

Rating: 1.
I agree with what has been previously said about the whole driving and writing simultaneously bit. Instead of coming off as funny, it just made me nervous. I liked the analogy about laundry, but I didn’t really take anything away from the piece overall. I also agree with Rose Ippolito that it doesn’t really belong in a “formal collection” like this. There’s something about its overall tone that doesn’t quite do it for me. I think that you probably have other pieces that would make a bigger impact on the reader.

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glord said in February 17th, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Rating:3 – I can’t support the idea of writing while driving

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glord said in February 17th, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Oops – that was a 1 – got the rating wrong :-)Please erase my last answer.

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Homer said in February 17th, 2014 at 10:07 pm

3. Excellent. Funny, edgy (note the no. of readers ticked off at your doing something dangerous- itself a solid recommendation for inclusion). Great sprinkling of Brookesisms including Miss Palooka and the ohm of writing. Ends well too.

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VT Sailor said in February 19th, 2014 at 6:32 am

Definitely a 3! I think it’s a unique take on the finer points and nuances of the process of writing. A bit self-deprecating and, in parts, mad cap, and those elements help drive the point home. And that point is that writing (especially good writing) is much more than a collection of words…it’s the result of a creative process that is as unique to each individual creator as a fingerprint and as fragile and fleeting as a snowflake. Of COURSE it’s obvious that writing while driving is nuts. And of COURSE it’s logical to think that a dictaphone would be the answer. But this piece shows that writing, and perhaps creativity of any sort, often peaks at the most impractical times and sprouts from those uncomfortable and unpredictable spaces between good sense and practicality. I hope you keep this in the mix. I think it’s the best of this first set! Don’t let the safety nannies strap this rascally little gem in the backseat!

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Alex King said in February 20th, 2014 at 9:48 am

3 – Thoughtful. Makes me think about my own habits if writing and thinking and composing. Glad I don’t drive in Vermont or anywhere near there. Yes, edgy, I agree with Homer.

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Paige Schmittlein said in February 21st, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Rating: 1. Doesn’t really capture my interest and I agree with everyone who says the whole writing while driving is anxiety-inducing and distracting from the real point of the piece. I think it should be put aside in favor of some stronger pieces that appeal to wider audiences (this seems to be a little more directed toward writers).

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Wedegis said in February 23rd, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Rating: 1

This is definitely a piece that’s better spoken than written. Some of the jokes come off better as interjections in speech, but when seen on the page, it feels a bit forced and cliche. Sorry, but I also don’t particularly like the part with the secretary Ms Palooka. This piece should definitely be set aside for something stronger.

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Anne O'Connell (@annethewriter) said in February 23rd, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Hello Tim,
Your anthology is a fantastic idea… and I’m delighted to be invited to participate 🙂 I guess I’m the odd ‘man’ out because I’d give this one a 3! My favorite line is “I wasn’t as likely to get seduced by the momentum of my own syntax.” I can so relate (and I think most writers would) because I can write entire chapters in my head and your comment that “Ideas and phrases go round and round in your head like laundry” is a perfect simile. My desk is also littered with sticky notes of character descriptions and plot points (should put them on that neat little plot line I have but then they wouldn’t be under my nose)! I can’t really write while driving because I drive a scooter, however, when I did drive a car I always had a notepad close by. My PR mentor 30 years ago had one mounted on her dashboard! I’m not saying it’s safe but it’s hard to avoid when your brain is going a million miles an hour. If you’re deciding based on majority I guess this one won’t wind up in the anthology but I’m glad you posted it here.

Hope all’s well!

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Molly McGhee said in February 24th, 2014 at 8:44 pm

First: wow you went on an aside? How unlike you, Tim.

I have mixed feelings about this particular essay. It seems trite to me. The idea is good. The idea is solid. Have I ever heard of a dictaphone before? No. Are they still around? Probably not.

Either way, it comes to a good conclusion. You provide us with ostentatious wit and some socially incorrect comments made in good fun (the poke about japanese productivity and your secretary, very politically incorrect). Not a very helpful comment but I think I would score this essay a 1.

Sorry Tim, keep on trucking.

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Tasha Wilhelmsen said in February 24th, 2014 at 9:45 pm

I’d rate this as a one.

What is the point of this piece? Are you giving suggestions how to write, detailing your creative process, or telling an amusing story?

And who is the target? Certainly not young writers because writing while driving is not a wise idea, same goes for traffic cops. Is it for general audience?

Although I find this piece amusing at times, it does not deserve a place in the anthology.

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Caitlyn Syman said in February 25th, 2014 at 12:35 am

I’d rate this as a 1; although a lot of others’ said that it was anxiety inducing, I didn’t get a sense of anxiousness but more a sense of entitlement that writing is more important than the safety of others/yourself. Not only that, but you lost me in a lot of places and I zoned out.

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Maggie D said in February 25th, 2014 at 1:09 am

Rating: 1

For your purposes, I don’t think this has a place in the anthology. Sometimes it was amusing and I found a thing or two very relatable, but I don’t think it is an effective, stand alone piece.

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Heather Green said in February 25th, 2014 at 11:42 am

Rating: 3

I think this has potential. I like the concept because “all great writers were great walkers,” or something like that. I like that you note this process. Driving/walking gives one time to notice the world and just be, allowing great phrases and ideas to come to one’s mind. I think if this spent more time on that particular point, then I would include it in the anthology.

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Matt Sacco said in February 26th, 2014 at 7:25 am

Rating: 3

Objectively, I think it offers an interesting glimpse into a writer’s process. This one also hit home for me personally, as I also admire the richness that a single sentence or phrase can take on with sufficient mulling.

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Alley Shubert said in March 3rd, 2014 at 8:42 pm


I really enjoyed your “Chamber of Commerce nitwit cheerleader” comment and Miss Palooka. I think this is a unique piece with potential but I’m not sure if it is one that would fit in the anthology.

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Valdez said in March 17th, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I rate this as a three. There’s more to this piece than a story. This piece offers several little nuggets of thought that the reader can take away and chew on for awhile. It leaves room for the reader to come up with their own like-minded or otherwise different opinion. It isn’t just an entertaining story. I feel that it is pieces like that that you need to include in the anthology.

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