Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Who, What, When, Where, Why & How

It was drummed into my head eons ago, while working on my Author badge in Girl Scouts, that there were five magic words in journalism which all started with "w"— and one pesky one that did not. If your story, essay, book, oeuvre answered them all, you would be a Great Author. Alas, your piece of writing is nothing if it has no style. And most importantly that style should be your style.

This could be a great introduction: Despite wearing a girl scout uniform I have always lived for style. The girl scout uniform was a mere blip; my mother was the Local National Chairwoman after all. My childhood obsessions and foibles may come later. Right now let's just say this is who I am. You may nod your heads if you recognize in yourselves the same obsession that reached from your own wardrobe to dolls, paper dolls, magazines and your aunt's new purse from Bonwit Teller.

Style is not the same as Fashion. We tend to think of fashion as having an expiration date, as being of less substance than style. And one can certainly be stylish without being fashionable. After all, elastic pants are a style. And I don't think it's fair to call outrageously dressed older women stylish. I'm happy you like parading around in a Pierrot outfit and purple hat with fake feather eyelashes. Bravo to you! But you are wearing a costume. This is not who I am. And who, I suspect, you do not want to be either.

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