Misplaced Ruminations

[This is a timed writing exercise I had to do for some job I didn’t really want. It was an hour, and I took about fifty-two minutes to write it and only another six to proof-read so it’s a little bland, but whatever.]

In the long history of literature there have been many writers of great affability and talent, lovers of others who despite the beauty they create remain somewhat distant from the joy of it. Andrew Whiting, author of the autobiography Ruminations of the Misplaced, is another one of these writers, following in the eloquent steps of Fitzgerald, the snappy tire tracks of Kerouac, and the genuinely humanistic skips of Vonnegut. Born in New Hampshire and raised in New England until just after his eleventh birthday, Whiting follows in the area’s rich literary history, invoking numerous memories from his childhood playing in small stick-strewn forests, snowplow-provided banks for igloos, and frozen lakes. These stories are admittedly innocent and juvenile, but Whiting always manages to add thoughtful and fresh insights while keeping the reader entranced with his flowing style of personal yet musical prose.

Whiting’s childhood in New Hampshire soon gives way, however, to an adolescence in Southern California, showing the first signs of the “misplaced” moniker from the title. We see in this part of the book his first inclinations toward being a writer, told in a relatable but illuminating recitation of his first weeks of school in Huntington Beach. A shy and sensitive but very bright boy, we begin to see the author’s mind arise as he relates the longing for companionship in a new place, describing his attempts to mitigate his loneliness by weaving long stories out of his vocabulary homework. While rather sad, he never loses his sense of appreciation for life and we get to watch as several of his closest friendships eventually grow out of his timidity and cleverness.

But as he reaches his adulthood, a move once again misplaces the author, this time to Houston, Texas, where we find a new batch of stories, and where the reader finds a compelling description of a young writer in his cocoon state. Here we find all sorts of endeavors and mishaps, misguided decisions and new tales that reveal an interesting and likeable young man slightly unsure of his direction in life, who drops out of and returns to school, finds his life’s passion after exploring numerous other avenues, and becomes a well-rounded, self-assured poet and person.

Ruminations of the Misplaced is a writer’s book, full of lovely prose and pensive considerations about life, death, family, romance, fate, friendship and passion. But it is also a reader’s book that is never tedious or inflated, mixing enough funny anecdotes and observations into even the saddest parts to keep the experience wholly enjoyable. Whiting shows with this effort that he is a highly gifted writer who seems likely to become one of the greats.

[After rereading this I reassure you I was hopefully mostly kidding when I wrote this.]


About andrewwhiting

A sentimental and sarcastic poet, lover of language, traveling and nature (not a fan of the Oxford comma).
This entry was posted in Analytical, Bomb-ass Eloquent Shit, Essay, Personal Essay, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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