Addendum: For the first time, I’m revising one of my blog posts. It struck me a few hours after writing this post (now cut drastically) that I’ve had a tough year. If I’m a little down, well, okay. Well, not really okay, but all-righty then. I do know that I haven’t accomplished much fiction this year. I’m heartsick about this, true, and I’ve been up-and-down all year, but am I certifiably depressed? Maybe not. Maybe it’s just a mid-life crisis. I can live with that. For now.
I’m here, but not here. Writing, but not really. Keeping it together, but barely. Fighting off the gray weight takes a lot of energy. I only have so much energy to go around, so when I’m struggling mightily on that front, I, simply put, write less.
Excess brain noise fouls me up at times like this. So, when I’m sitting at my computer, page open, character ready to do her thing, somehow…I’m not sure. I have a harder time sinking into the fictional world. Each. Word. Is. Like. This. In the background, my brain-gears grind in an endless, annoying, disillusioned mutter. You know when your computer churns away on a task (you know what I’m talking about if you own a PC that’s got a virus or two or two dozen lurking within it) and slows way down? It’s like that. Kind of.
So what do I do? I keep up with as many of my writing habits as possible while dropping tasks such as housecleaning. I turn on the computer first thing in the morning. I take my laptop to coffeehouses. I think about the current project as I’m drifting to sleep and when I wake up. I remind myself that I’m a good writer and that whatever problems I’m encountering with plot or characterization or internal logic or point of view is as normal as can be, not a sign that I’m never going to get published.
(Okay, that’s more like it. Pisser of a life juncture — especially with regards to my writing progress — but I’ll hold off announcing that I’m certifiably depressed until some other time.)
Before dog ownership, I knew, just knew, I was a person who:
1. would never own a lap dog, and
2. would never, EVER own a shivery lap dog.
Goes to show. Pulled out Luna’s spiffy new coat this morning because the chill is officially on around here. Silly Spaniel or Sporty Spaniel? I can’t decide.
(Later – it’s official: She’s not Sporty Spaniel. The sight of the coat excited her when I pulled it out for her evening walk. However, once dressed, she jumped onto the couch for more sleep. I hereby change my choices to Silly Spaniel or Stylista Spaniel — or Slacker Spaniel.)
The chilly weather compelled a new pet behavior. First time the cat and dog have snoozed in proximity to each other. Cat’s still the alpha, of course, but at least they’re not engaging in space-heater turf wars. (Gotta buy something other than a bath mat for them to lie on though.)
Okay, back to work now…or would that be a cozy bubble bath instead? And, if bubble bath, can I say I worked if I read one of my research books while soaking?
Autumn makes her mark. The leaves turn, and the breeze blows the golden ones off the quaking aspen outside my window.
Do you ever come up with a great story title? But no story to go along with it, yet you know a story’s lurking beneath the title? Or is this only me?
For the last three years the fall season has popped a title into my head. A title for a short with no story attached to it yet. I like this title for some reason. Hopefully its story will come to me one of these years.
The title? “The Season of Dead Squirrels”.
Might come off macabre, but it’s not meant to be. It feels sad to me, a little poignant. Melancholy. I don’t know what it is about the helter-skelter squirrels at this time of year, gathering and hiding their nuts and not taking care with traffic.
I picture a woman in a tidy little mid-century ranch in the hilly neighborhood three minutes east of me. It’s an autumnal story, literally and metaphorically. That’s all I know so far.
A simple day today. Here are a couple more images.
The adjacent property. Sometimes I forget that I live within the Portland city limits.
Wanna guess which of my pets is the alpha?