This isn’t new; writers tell lies better known as stories, but one is as prevalent as it is denied, donning different masks, feeding on and transmuted by and into the very beasts we create them to be. The lie, then, takes on many forms, borne out of weakness, yours, with a propensity for its regenerative root. Grotesque in nature, and so surely deformed in spine, they keep themselves just out of reach from each of us that none can touch any. Yet, they migrate and make home in all our senses, if we allow them. A beast, beasts!! I tell you! What are these gargantuan monsters that rip from us the veins that nourish us, plucking each one, the contents from which spill, not onto the page as we would like, but into the ether to never be remotely supplicated. Several pincers into our presence, and fangs piercing our reasoning, they are shadows into our every day. Alive in us but blind to us, they creep to tap us on the left shoulder –never the right, in the minutes birthed to us by plan or by chance. The beasts arch to give a final blow, and the tick, tick, ticks echo into artifacts as grisly gnashers pry into more seconds, and gasping for a near pinch of breath, we rupture their entrails, the lies into the shreds that soon coalesce into now. Right now to write now. There is only now in writing. Anything else is a lie.
There is always a sense of randomness in writing that lives in every line, inherent in that whole pantster (write by the seat of your pants) faction. Surely, if you’re a Twitter addict, like yours truly, you’ve read some very wild things, or spun a few ‘ah, heck, tweet it’ lines yourself, *ahem*. There is value in it, of course. After a long, too long, break (can I get away with calling it a sabbatical?) from blogging, of meandering through various projects online and off –and a lot of off, which accounts for my little on, the allurement of words only strengthens. The value is in derrière-in-chair to piece together the jumble of words from thoughts to, almost, music in the mishmash of lines into stories. The very best thrill is not awaiting that inspired jump of ‘find a scrap piece of paper, quick!’ kind of moment, but the everyday ‘I wonder what’ll show up?’ kind. The very best writing is rooted in the randomness we allow –for, isn’t that life, too? Write more, seize more, and surprise yourself.
A day shy of the end of this year’s Nanowrimo contest, and I have to admit that November, with all the near-to-year-end activities, and a few surprises that took precedence, that my l’il wrimo is pouting itself dusty on an e-shelf.
It’s fair to say that I’ll be a cheery cheerleader in congratulating all the local writers at the month-end “Oh My God, It’s Over” party. While I did manage a fairly good outline, a strategic plus, I got walloped with other pressing (a leaning pun –sorry) projects, that wrimo writing got shoved to the sidelines.
Even with all the planning and ‘calendarizing’, November couldn’t be a crueller month to try to squeeze Nano into. December’s a write-off (what’s with all these puns coming to mind?), and so the soonest my l’il wrimo will get any attention is January.
Because, let’s be honest, Christmas, and parties, and eating…well, who will have time to write?
Big fat lie, right?
Any time is a good time to write, and so I do. It’s called tweeting.
That’s the reality some days –okay, a lot of days–of how much I am able to write. Tweets. So, I’m grateful for that. But, like any other writer, my excuses to not write are several kilometres long (not miles, I’m in Canada, eh, and not ‘er’ at the end, we do it the French way).
Back to the keyboard, and back to stirring up a little guilt in with my tea as I face December in making January my November.
Congrats to everyone who crossed the 50K finish line!!
As a late night connoisseur of almost expired milk and distinctly stale Cheerios (but only on this night. I wrote that to sound all fancy), and I’ll just interject here and now to say that the following has nothing to do with writing, except that I’m writing this, but that’s about it, I have observed something tonight, or it occurred to me as I embarked on the less than crunchy state of the contents of the bowl before me, and to interject again to note that, yes, I am aware that this is a rather long sentence, but being that I come from a Linguistics background you can rest assured that I have taken into account that all clauses are appropriately and grammatically correct, and push it a bit and say syntactically, since we are talking about a sentence, and jump back to the issue at hand, and that is that the dishwasher is not a cupboard.
In my house, the dishwasher has been a substitute cupboard for nearly the last two days. This has come to my attention since this is unusual in my house –not completely unfamiliar, just unusual. When the dishes are dirty, the box under the counter is a dishwasher. It becomes a cupboard only when the dishes, once clean, sit in there without them being put away in a reasonable amount of time to prevent it from becoming a storage facility of eating utensils. So, if we’re crossing into greying boundaries here, and surely for the sake of argument we are, the state in which the dishwasher becomes a cupboard hinges on the factor of time. Exactly how long must the clean dishes sit untended, abandoned by their owners, prevented from nesting in their home, the cupboard?
Also, at what point does the dishwasher cease existing as its utilitarian definition to become some intangible morphed definition of something else? A particular something else. This is a key question. Pay attention. There’ll be a test at the end. Both the dishwasher and the cupboard are similar in that they hold dishes. They both store dishes for a finite amount of time before being emptied and restocked. Aside from the water and soap, by all intents and purposes, a dishwasher is really not that much different than a cupboard –and I’m not helping myself here by my stated title, am I.
Okay, starting again.
As in anything, it’s perspective. We retrieve a clean dish from the cupboard to be used immediately for the point of getting soiled. We withdraw the item from the space it is stored, the cupboard. So far so good. Now, the dishwasher, however, is that temporary place for dishes, a stepping stone if you will, for the intended destination of the cupboard, its proper holding place. Now if we pull a dish for the purpose of using it, meaning getting it soiled, from the dishwasher, we have pretty much altered the laws of the universe.
We like our defined boundaries. A dishwasher is a dishwasher, not just by its intended purpose, but by the finite amount of time dishes sit waiting to be cleaned, get cleaned, and then, like a whimpering dog, waits to be dealt with. No, at this point, that reasonable amount of time has yet to be determined. Being a fairly wobbly variable, sort of like a dealing with potentials in quantum physics, it’s out there.
The dishes are still sitting there because it’s a late night, and it’s been a busy day, and, and, and…I really don’t feel like being maid at the moment. The dishes, though clean, don’t care that they’re there. Again, it’s only perspective. I care. Well, not this minute. Not now.
So I suppose it comes down to this. The dishwasher is not intended to be a cupboard. I know. It’s a sad, sad life.
I had another piece I was working on. It’s not here. It’s saved in draft. I’m not happy with it. It will not be birthed until I’m happy with it. I’m venting.
I had another piece and it’s part-way done. I had another book. It’s part-way done. I had another article. It’s part-way done. Hmm. Seems a pattern here.
And this, writers know, is what happens more often than we’d like, and definitely more often than we’ll admit to.
Yet, is there a positive to having several incomplete projects? We’re a creative bunch, if easily distracted, so that can be lumped in with being adaptable and flexible, or maybe that’s just a nice way of saying –where was I going with this? Right, distracted. No, easily adaptable. We’re also fiercely patient in as much as we’re type A personalities with our work. Perfectionist’s syndrome. Or maybe that’s just masking our inferiority complex. Our baby! Our baby! It’s hard to give birth.
The birthing is moving your mouse pointer to the right and clicking ‘Publish’. It’s a fairly nondescript button. Truly, a harmless blue button, at least here on my screen. It calls, doesn’t it?, what, with its font larger than practically anything else on the entire page, and much bigger than the Save Draft button that’s a third of the size above it.
I think it’s staring at me.
No, no, no!!! I’m screaming. I’m not done yet!!!
If it had arms and a face, Blue Button would be crossing its arms at me now with that look of “Oh, really? And I suppose you’re complaining about that now, are you? You writers. All the same. Such a whiney bunch. Humph.”
It’s good to be in a continually productive stage. It feels good, right? It feels, oh, I don’t know, productive. And better that than saying that you don’t have anything going on right now when someone asks. Saying that just makes you look like a dweeb. If writing is your sole occupation (what? are you crazy?), then it looks even worse. Someone out of job can hoist up this temporary stage by calling it being ‘in between jobs”. Still lacklustre, but better than nothing. There’s not even a semi-cool phrase for someone who’s in between books.
Like I said, we’re a creative bunch. So when productivity wanes, or creativity grabs our attention to something else, this flexible and adaptable group could make a name for that, or just go back and finish their last project.
What inspires you
To write to scribe
What moves your Source
Down your arm
Past fingertips to
What ails you
Keeps you confined
Down avenues of unknowns
What conspires you
No better excuse, actually, than something like JuNoWriMo to motivate you to write, this blog being no exception. With just a couple of hours, and counting down!, until it officially begins for west coasties, I will join 126 others who have signed on for thirty days of writing bliss –okay, let’s be honest. It likely won’t be all blissful, now will it?
Fueled with a bit of sugar, and the mental peace of a cleared desk, and having the laptop warmed up, which just means it’s plugged in and charging, I have in front of me my grocery list of chapters. Details? Okay, I’m a hybrid on this one. What would they call that, anyway? Ouline-Pantster? O-P? P-O? Pants-Out? Whoops!
Yes, I outlined. I’m a pantster by nature, at least I think I am, so outlining for a proposed 50,000 word chunk in the coming weeks is down in its simplest form –because, hey, anything more just seems daunting and this writer is less likely to approach it without some amount of self-induced frustration. You really don’t want to witness that.
If you’re a JuNo participant, congrats for braving the sign-up, and making the commitment to all your pages ahead. Even if you don’t cross the finish line, you still get cheers from me for even starting. It beats out all those who say they want to write a book and never do it.
To your success!