options and alternatives

Supermarket shelf advertising "Free from: Choice"

Yesterday I talked about choosing what to read at a Live Lit event. There are hundreds of pieces of writing to choose from in my files, and such decisions are made even more difficult by the fact that some pieces exist in several different forms.

Not only is there an almost infinite chain of drafts and re-drafts preserved from the writing process – and all too often not properly labelled, so I end up wondering which is meant to be the final version; there are also versions resulting from adjustments made to what I thought was a polished piece, when I need to cut a few lines or words so it complies with competition rules, or adjust the length to suit the time allotted for a reading slot. And, as I showed with yesterday’s fairy tale, the same idea may occasionally be shaped into different final forms such as a short story and a poem.

At times, then, even when an open mike event has a specific theme, the options are numerous and decisions are difficult. Which is probably why my attention was caught by the sign in supermarket the other day.

After giving it some though, I reckon a world “free from choice” might be simpler, but I don’t think I’d like it very much.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

2 thoughts on “options and alternatives”

  1. ..and once you start looking, such things are everywhere. I recently read ‘…a lovely cottage within commuting distance to the M40’ Because everyone wants to commute to the M40!! Well.. traffic cops maybe…!


    1. I’ve just been reading about “a large body of evidence” on the subject of obesity.
      I understand individuals making mistakes (and depending on the context, mistakes may not matter much) but professional copy writers and journalists should know better.
      I guess I hanker for the days when there wasn’t a frantic rush to get the news posted online and when there was a sub-editor who checked stories for homophones and inappropriate juxtapositions. (And when they actually employed professionals to provide content instead of relying on enthusiastic amateurs.)
      Supermarkets offer rich pickings, though, from the “8 items or less” bugbear, to all those co-operative meat pies etc., to the numerous signs telling us that “the manager’s special”.


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