To celebrate the first anniversary of my book’s release, I joined Twitter yesterday. I’m @Consonantbooks. And I just learnt that my first follower is someone whose writing advice I began following four years ago: Joe Stretch. Yes, I follow my tutor on Twitter.
Since brevity is the soul of Twitter, my first Tweet was 140 characters and my second 139. But I’m not trying to make my way down to zero. As any author knows, the more characters the better. Just ask the creator of Polonius and Co.
After signing up, I signed out of my Twitter account and searched for “sharon edwards consonantbooks twitter,” to make sure it was up and running before I made any announcements on Facebook. But not one of the results generated by the search engine was my Twitter page. The top few were related to a blog you love called Collected Thoughts, and as I scrolled down the list, I discovered that Pioneer Boulevard is now in India!
I don’t know when or how this happened, and I don’t know if anyone will pay 703 rupees for my book, but there it is. Listed as the International Edition, no less. Wonders will never cease.
Brevity may be the soul of Twitter, but it isn’t the soul of WordPress (aka WordyPress). While I may someday master the art of communicating in 140 characters, I’ll never master the art of communicating in only 140 characters. You, dear reader, will always find more than the soul of Twitter. Even though WordPress has stopped sending me the friendly reminder at 3:58 AM on Thursdays (which is rather unfriendly of them), I’ll blog on and on and on.
Brevity reminds me of brief, which in turn evokes two memories. Since brevity is the soul of wit, and tediousness only flourishes outwardly, I will be brief.
The first memory dates back to school, when my seventh grade English teacher told us that the only time that the word brief is pluralized is when it refers to men’s underwear. St. Mary’s was an all-girls school in my day. Most of us had never referred to men’s underwear, let alone heard a teacher refer to it, so of course we tittered. Schoolgirls today would have twittered.
When I was older I came across another term for men’s underwear: boxers, a word that to this day reminds me of Rocky Marciano, my father’s favorite boxer. And I just learnt that there’s a version of men’s underwear called boxerbriefs. Which shows that one is never too old to learn.
My second brief memory dates back to when I worked as a proofreader at Warner Bros. One morning I received an email concerning the creative brief for a documentary called You Must Remember This. Narrated by Lauren Bacall, the documentary was going to be included in the Casablanca Ultimate Collector’s Edition, and the email had been titled “You Must Remember This Creative Brief.”
Since it was Bacall on Bogart, and since it was too early in the day to say no, I said okay. And I kept my word. As you can see, all these years later I still remember it.