In My World

It’s a very nice arrangement here in My World.
it’s always entertaining here in My World.

– from My World, Troutfishing in America

One of my sisters – although I’m sure the others think it, too – constantly reminds me that my world is not the same as anyone else’s world.  She says it in a slightly derogatory but resigned voice.   She once gave me a Christmas card with a green alien on the front that said “Joy to your world”.

I like my world.

My world has been clashing with other worlds lately.  My brains are a bit rattled and I’m grateful to have a day like today where my world doesn’t have to be ripped open and exposed.  However, the last 15 hours have been enlightening; I am convinced, without a doubt, that my world is perfect (for me, anyways.  You’re welcome to live in your imperfect world. )

I was slightly put out a week ago when one of the writers in my group told me that two men (in a long-term relationship) would never hug in the workplace because the gay world just doesn’t allow that.  I’d done a lot of research before writing this, but the entire story hinges on this one action so I decided to do some more research before I threw in the towel entirely.  I asked a lot of people a lot of questions, and received a lot of very helpful answers.  The best answer, though, came from someone entirely unexpected.  He said, “…you can really have the characters do whatever you like, as long as it’s true to who they are.”

Ah, yes.  Who they are.  In their own worlds.

Last night, the writers were ripping apart my story ( ‘salright, it needed to be ripped apart ’cause I’m really stuck on it) when there began a loud-ish discussion about the worlds of my characters.  The writers were all trying to get me to define those worlds, and I just wasn’t understanding what they wanted.  I finally clued in, and asked if the characters’ sexual preferences were really all that important.

You know when someone says one thing but you can tell they mean another?  Imagine a split second of silence, and then five people saying  – in unison – “No, of course not!”.

Yeah.  My world.  In my world, it’s not so important to be defined by one word, whether that one word refers to food preferences, personality, sexuality, or even gender.  I like to be with people who are true to who they are, not what they are.  I now have to think about whether I want to write for an audience which defines their world with anything less than the entirety of Roget’s Thesaurus, or whether I want to write for people who live in worlds like mine.

My world has also won out in the world of teaching.  It seems that traditional methods of teaching ESL are not very effective when used over the internet, and that “properly trained” teachers are losing students.  Following rules is now seen as a bad thing because the rules don’t apply to everyone, they don’t cross cultures.  I’ve been asked to put together a training session to expose the teachers to the concept of students as individuals, and to show them how to think beyond their training.

So, my dear sister can continue to make comments about my world but, quite honestly, this world has done well for me for over 40 years.

I wouldn’t change it for your world.

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