Attendance has been sporadic in this space lately and if there's one thing worse than a blank blog it's a post on why the blog is blank. Last time I did that, I became Ground Zero for the Lovelorn, which is a tag with which I am increasingly uncomfortable. I've been getting in some writing. I've been getting in some fun. I've been getting in some poker. And, finally, after three arduous months, I'm starting to get my shit back together.
Something I promised myself in the immediate aftermath of The Troubles was that I would use this life-altering episode to make some important changes in my life. The range of these changes is pretty wide, like G-Rob's starting hands wide, and I right away identified and jumped into trying to rectify some problems with the way I was conducting my life. As an individuial. As a father. I bought books....
(Quick literary aside to facty and whomever else--April?--recommended "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." I enjoyed it. Finished it in a day. But maybe we could recommend a book that DOESN'T have a wife cheating on a husband in it? Why don't you send me a DVD of "Unfaithful" for my birthday?)
Boy, did I buy books and I am SO not a self-help book guy. But I had to "Survive Infidelity" and "Get Healthy in Middle Age" and "Date Chicks That Are Way Hotter Than You" and "Find Peace Through Meditation" and "Learn to Speak the Five Love Languages" and "Parent Effectively With Your Ex" and "Get Laid in Los Angeles on Pennies a Day" and "Resist the Urge to Maim Douchebags."
I did want to turn this into something positive for myself. I did want it to knock me out of the mundane path I'd trod lately. The problem, I found, was generating the motivation to get on with it. Not only could I not locate that spurring gene, I spent many nights simply doing nothing, going to bed feeling sorry for myself, waking up feeling guilty for wasting this free time I should be filling with positive tasks.
Inch by inch, I'm starting to pull out of it. In retrospect, I made too big a list. You should see this thing. Tolstoy would be proud of its length and breadth. So I just began with one thing. So far, so good. And some of the other stuff is starting to come back.
The writing is sporadic. It's too personal right now and what I have in mind for my next project, while personal, is not so goddamn heavy-handed. I'm sick of talking about feelings. I want people to laugh.
In November, I undertook National Novel Writing Month for the first time. And while I finished, I didn't exactly partake in the spirit of the competition. I didn't write every day. I didn't block out X hours a day for the journey, didn't tighten up the discipline, my lack of which I see as my biggest failing as a "writer." And so it has been the last two months. I've been unable (unwilling?) to write, even as I KNOW I need to, even as I believe it is the key to my future. Furthermore, I spend too much time in self-flaggelation mode over that fact. But the truth remains: I'm stuck.
That novel I began for NaNo is somewhere close to the end of the second act. There are a good 30,000 words left to finish the story. I never will, though. Not because I lack discipline, but because the book was about X. Not literally, but definitely metaphorically. It was a journey that ended in redemption and X was that redemption. In my mind, in my head. And I just got to the tipping point in the story where "she" would appear and save our protagonist.
So, you see, the project is dead. There's an irony here in that one of the things X said to me on her way out the door, one of the assaults on my abilitiy as a husband, was "You never write to me any more." Which is the furthest thing from the truth. In Stephen King's "On Writing," he talks about the Imaginary Reader, that person for whom you write. For me, since the day I met her acquaintance, that person has been X.
Even though I will never finish that particular project, there's some good shit there and in the last week, I've been reading through it, pulling out sections that I particularly like and re-working them, possibly to fit in the new story.
Last night, as I lay in bed, I ran a scene in my head. Unlike usual, I didn't stop there. I got up, wrote it down, and looked at it this morning. It sucks. But it has potential. The idea is there. Just like it is with what I want to write next. Time to execute.
I moneyed again in the Paradise $10 Special Re-Buy last night. That's 5 of 7. And you're still not playing? Okay, more for me.