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By: Wayne Brown
Writers here on the hub celebrate various milestones in many ways. For a while I was focused on getting to the big number 100 hub, but doing it with as much quality in my writing as I possibly could. I am slowly and methodically working my way there. But, if you remember, a while back I celebrated my 45th hub and wrote a tribute piece called “Forty-Five” mainly because I did not think that number got enough attention like 50 and 100 do most of the time. Thus, it was only natural that the thought might occur to me that celebrating my 90th hub might be a bit more appropriate than waiting for number 100. So here goes…
HubPages has been a really good experience for me filled with a lot of highs and some low moments. There was a point back there around the mid-20’s hub count when I really considered chucking it all and moving on. I was more or less in a state of writer’s block, my hubs were not scoring well, and I had decided that maybe it was a mistake to attempt to my hand at writing. That was early in the process but it was an important place in the process. Things happened there that showed me what a wonderful community of writers live here. I learned that others really care and want you to do well here. On that basis, I think it is appropriate that I talk about some of the hubbers who influenced me early on and kept me motivated and in the game. There are a lot of great hubbers here that I follow and read regularly and it is impossible for me to cover all of them here. Suffice to say that this piece focuses on those individuals who have made a difference for me.
Stan Fletcher was my first fan. He signed up when I only had a couple of hubs. He had a high score, lots of followers, and lots of hubs. I was humbled. He left me comments too encouraging me, complimenting my writing with specifics about those things he liked. For the hubs that Stan could have been reading, he was including mine. Needless to say, I felt pretty special considering I was just one fish here in a sea of over 160,000. When the going got tough for me and I considered dropping out, Stan propped me up with more encouragement. He even wrote a hub and highlighted one of my articles. He sent his fan base in my direction. In less than a week’s time, that one hub logged almost 100 readers. Fans showed up on my doorsteps letting me know that Stan had sent them. He, along with their help, kept me in the game. I will not ever forget that. Now, if I could only get Stan to write a serious dramatic piece that I know he is capable of but will not do.
I think Rochelle Frank must have read every thing I wrote at some point or other. Her short comments built my confidence. When I came on the Hub, I was fairly shy about my writing showing it mainly to my sister who always encouraged me to share it somehow. I just was not sure enough about my ability to entertain the reader. Rochelle would leave me little comments like, “you are a really good storyteller”. Just that short little comment adds so much to the equation and it makes me want to write more and write it better than the last time. I have tried not to forget Rochelle when I encourage others as they start out here on the Hub.
Ralwus…what the hell would I do without the maddening poetry of Charlie Campbell? His profile photo first caught my eye in that old sea jacket and hat with all the gray hair. When I discovered his article was poetry, I almost did not go there. Poetry has never really been my strong suite, even the rhyming kind. When I saw that his did not rhyme, I was even more intimidated. But I was curious and I stayed and read. Wow! Charlie showed me that I did not always have to understand the total meaning as long as I enjoyed and savored the words and their use. Charlie can yank life right out of your skull and put it on paper. He can make you want to have sex on a bulldozer seat. He showed me how you can push the edges and not fall off the paper. He made me want to be brave and try some new stuff. He made me want to let go of my inhibitions and write my emotions and experiences. There’s way more to Charlie Campbell than just poems. Charlie writes with a passion that few can muster. He is bold, honest, sincere, and willing to go it alone. He inspires me.
Ken Abell came along about the time that I was writing of Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly. He had a lot of great hubs and a ton of fans. He left me some fan mail and told me how glad he was that he had found me here on the hub. I wish he could have know how glad I was that he found me! I did not have to read very many of his hubs to realize why he had such a following. Here is a guy who has probably been writing since he could hold a pencil. He received a lot of encouragement from his family as he grew up and he continues to hone and improve his skills. Ken has one of those “star wars” imaginations which allows him to create just about any situation mentally that he desires. He takes it from the mind to the paper with absolute precision allowing the reader to grasp the picture quickly. I learned much about quality and the right choice of words and phrases through his writing. He also helped me to realize that I don’t need to get wound up in technical details and lose the reader. He taught me the importance of a strong story line. To top it all off, he included me in one of his hubs as one of the ten HubPages writers that he would most like to meet. He left me speechless and humbled but overjoyed to be a part of that group.
Saddlerider1 came along not long after I cured my writer’s block and decided to try my hand in various writing genres on the hub. I wanted to know if I could affect the reader’s emotions, elicit tears of sadness or joy, send them reeling to the heights of happiness, or leave them laughing in the aisle. Ken helped me to understand how well I could do that. He would leave me detailed comments letting me know how a particular piece had affected him and how it touched his own personal experiences. He taught me that people are not so different from me no matter how many miles are between them. His hubs brought me to a new sense of honesty in my writing. Here is a man who can openly share some really difficult parts of his life, allow us to feel that sadness, and then help us to find our way back to the joy. His bare-ass style of writing has taught me much about letting go and sharing. He has certainly helped me to be a better writer.
One day I looked up and there was Breakfast Pop, “The BP”, “BPop, or “Poppy. I dare not reveal her true identity to any greater degree than she already has at this point. Poppy showed up on the urging of Stan Fletcher. Much like Rochelle, she quickly offered encouragement in the way of short supportive comments to my offerings. She made me actually feel talented just by saying so. BP inspired my desires to attempt political commentary, to release, to vent. She has the wonderful ability to take the most political events and weave them into a child-like fairytale that makes it fun to experience. I might also mention that she offers up some good breakfast food and drink ideas in the process. From her, I have learned much about delivering the message. She has taught me to lead others away from the Kool-Aid. Reading her weekly hubs, I have visions of Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, and maybe even a Sir Lancelot or two. Politics just like Fairy Tales has both its villains and its heroes. Fantasy and reality are not so far apart. BPop taught me that.
A couple of months ago, I clicked on a hot hub by Tim Bryce. I liked what I read so I went to his site to read more and I am so glad that I did. Tim is one of those folks I call a “sleeper”. He is here but he just goes quietly about his craft not necessarily seeking or needing anything from anyone. He is one of those people that you just instantly like. Judging from the way he writes, I really believe that he has the ability to bring some order and understanding into just about any state of chaos. He can attack most any subject and take it from a new perspective. It will always be interesting. He can be very objective and fair but I suspect that he can tell it like it is when he wants to do that. He writes in a way that just inspires. He slowly takes things apart and puts them back together right before your eyes. When he finishes with a subject, you really understand it or you really understand how you feel about it. He still believes in those things that made America great, work ethic, honor, duty, your word, consideration for your fellowman. When you read his work, you will believe in those things as well. Tim can get any subject down to the reader’s level and get the intimidation out of it for the reader. He does that by creating an empathy with his reader and he does it well. Just reading his work has created a lot of reader awareness in me for my writing. If you have doubts, go to his site and read the piece on cigars. You will see. If I were directing a hostage crisis or mediating a labor contract, I would want Tim Bryce with me. I’d win too!
Laura Summerville Reed a.k.a. “lalesu” showed up on my door steps one day with a note that said, “Charlie sent me.” I had to laugh out loud as it seemed she was just a young school girl sent on an errand by Charlie Campbell. She even asked permission to be one of my fans. I should have known there was a lot of talent lurking here. Just her email and the way it was worded gave me a sense of excitement, laughter, fun and just such a carefree feeling. “Here truly I have found a free spirit,” I remember thinking to myself. I had no idea. When I read her first poem, I could only wish to read a second, then a third. I read everything she wrote and re-read some. Wow! She could take words and phrases and twist them in verse like a kudzu vine entwining itself around and about the bars of a steel gate. She hangs her emotions, scratches and scars up on the wall to let you see but you have to figure out what they are and whence they came. She squirrels away nuggets of word or phrase on a scrap of paper here and there whenever she encounters it, much like a songwriter grabs a hook line right out of the chaos. Then she weaves it all together in to something that conveys all subject matter in metaphor maybe mixing in a little double-entendre along the way. Her work reeks of quality, grooming, carefully tooling of each and every word. She had taught me not to hurry too much. She stirs my inner self and causes me to write from deep inside my head and my heart. Reading her crafted pieces only inspires me to make mine better each time. She is truly talented.
These are just a hand-full of the writers who have inspired me here on the Hub and helped me to have fun while I sharing my thoughts. There are many, many, more who well deserve the praise but I must stop here in the interest of some “hubrevity”.
That just about wraps up the big “Nine-Oh!” celebration. Thanks for showing up and thank you for reading my hubs and leaving your comments. Now, if you will excuse me, I have some things I need to write. WB
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