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My Favorite Punctuation Mark June 3, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Nature.

448px-Alice_05a-1116x1492I’ve been a life long smoker . . .

I started smoking in the womb, courtesy of mom, got accustomed to that subtle nicotine buzz, and never stopped.

Well, that’s not entirely true.

I have stopped, a time or two, once for five years, but I always return to the smoking section ~ an area of the planet that is growing smaller and smaller, due to government regulations designed to enhance the public welfare.

Of course, if the government cared about our welfare, it wouldn’t be taxing cigarettes, it’d be tackling real problems like global warming and greed and animal abuse and poverty and . . .

Last year, I quit smoking for ten days.  In part due to a HUGE spike in the cost of cigarettes.  When we moved to Florida in January 2009, a carton of cigarettes cost $28.  A short 7 months (and ten tax hikes) later, that exact same carton cost $48!

Due to the astronomically high tax hikes imposed on the smoking public, I started toying with the idea of quitting.  Instead of buying a carton, I bought a pack of cigarettes.  With various and sundry taxes, including the recently imposed “sin tax,” one pack of “discount” cigarettes cost $5.77 ~ equivalent to the price I paid for an entire carton of cigarettes in college!

That decided it . . . I quit!

Anyway, going without cigarettes for ten days wasn’t hard.  I didn’t turn into a raving lunatic or experience severe withdrawal symptoms.  My husband assured me that I was no bitchier than per my norm.  Nonetheless, I missed my not-so-healthy-habit, especially when writing.

Turns out that smoking a cigarette is my favorite punctuation mark.

When I finish writing something, after I’ve dotted  the “i’s” and crossed the “t’s,” after I’ve run a quick spell check and checked for Evil Adverbs, I take a break from my keyboard and head outside for some “life balance” ~ with an adult beverage in one hand, and a smoke in the other.

(Okay, I admit it, I have two favorite punctuation marks . . . so do lots of writers.)

After ten days of chewing Nicolette (instead of lighting up a cigarette) to punctuate my writing sessions, I decided that writing is simply less fun when I’m not smoking.

For one thing, you aren’t supposed to drink while chewing Nicolette . . . so instead of a drink in one hand, and a smoke in the other, I just had a wad of foul-tasting gum in my mouth.

It’s just not the same thing.

In time, I’m certain I could replace my favorite punctuation marks with something far healthier . . . a walk on the beach, a bike ride around the neighborhood, or a pack of gummi bears under the bed . . . but, for now, you’ll find me in the smoking section just outside my back door maintaining my life balance.

Aah . . . that’s better!


Quote:  The tools I need for my work are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky. ~ William Faulkner

Related posts:  The Spark of Creativity * A Sucky Habit (The Lair of the Silver Fox) * A Writer’s Life For Me * Eavesdropping on the Rooftop Literati * The Power Of Awesome * Austen & Dickens Had It Easy * Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland * It’s In The Mail . . . 


1. Joanne - June 3, 2010

Absolutely no judgements here… My “spirits” are soaring knowing that we are free-will creatures who live each with our own choices in life… If those punctuation marks help you to produce the material you get, then why stop…?

Now, my own confession is that I myself was addicted to second-hand smoke… It has always been nostalgic for me to be around a smoker — outdoors only — as it brings back my most treasured memories of being in Germany as a young non-smoking, 17-year-old writer journalizing experiences as a cultural exchange student in 1973.

Maybe part of it is the glamorous images we grew up with of the eccentric classic writers of our day — smoke in one hand and a glass of spirits in the other… Who knows…? But I’m glad those punctuation marks don’t deter us from our lives in the hereafter… They just might help get us there quicker 😀

nrhatch - June 3, 2010

Man . . .

I would have enjoyed being the smoker in Germany exchanging observations on life (and side stream smoke) with “a young non-smoking, 17-year-old writer journalizing experiences as a cultural exchange student in 1973.”

What a life you’ve led . . . or been led to. : )

I just got a “clean bill of health” from my doctor last week! Yay!

So, I shall continue to indulge in my healthy (and not so healthy) habits for a bit longer. Look at George Burns ~ he smoked and drank and outlived his doctors!

2. theonlycin - June 4, 2010

*Blows a smoke ring and ponders yet another thing in common*

nrhatch - June 4, 2010

I don’t drink or smoke much these days . . . but I’m not inclined to stop. : )


3. TEMPTATION « The only Cin - June 4, 2010
4. Adeeyoyo - June 4, 2010

I know exactly what you mean by your heading! It was my favourite punctuation mark too! It is almost a year since I stopped, and I actually didn’t try, it just happened. But now that I have succeeded in stopping, there’s no way I’ll start again. I only got really tempted about a month or so after I stopped, and even now there are times that I know if I had access to any I wouldn’t be able to resist. The craving certainly doesn’t ever go away. 17 June 2010 will be my first anniversary!

nrhatch - June 4, 2010

Congratulations. You may be surprised, the cravings tend to diminish over time until they become nothing more than a dull curiousity ~ “I wonder what it would be like?”

I restarted (after 5 years) for reasons unrelated to overwhelming craving. : )

Good Luck!

5. The Silver Fox - June 4, 2010

As I age, certain habits become intolerable to me, while others are either outgrown, or dropped on account of logic. Yet there are are strange comforts in those I’ve not yet forsaken!

Thanks for visiting mine!

nrhatch - June 4, 2010

So true.

I think I’ll quit smoking, when politicians stop allowing big business to kill off the planet one tree, one bird, one seal, one whale, one dolphin at a time. : )

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