It always the same. I get up in the morning and face that blank screen. “Feed me,” it keeps saying. And I keep feeding. Two hundred words one day. Five hundred another. I’ve even written two thousand words on a good nanowrimo day. It’s helpful not to have to start with a blank sheet. To at least have an idea where you’re going.
Then the magic happens. The dragon gets a new hat. The castle has a new prince. The princess is given a new dress. And Cinderella is fitted with a new slipper. Or Jack chops down the beanstalk and the Jolly Green Giant is saved. Hansel and Gretel discover the hidden treasure. It’s in the oven. Or should I say in the microwave. After all, the witch is a very modern witch.
Amazing how the imagination works, isn’t it?
keys on a keyboard
one hundred and one ready
novels in waiting
We don’t do winter in Florida the way states north of us do winter. Unless you’re in the tip top of the peninsula. Then occasionally a real cold spell might sneak up on you. Down here in the Central part of the state where I live, from time to time things turn nippy. Two or three times of the winter season it gets down in the thirties. Then the sun comes out and we’re back in the sixties, seventies and an occasional eighties. Down here the only kind of snow we get are the snowbirds. This week we’re getting the nip in nippy.
a frost on the ground
leafless trees and chilly air
We spend a lot of time in our civilization costuming ourselves. We question every piece of clothes we put on in the morning to go out into the world. Mostly we prefer to remain in our p.j.s and not go out. But here we are, facing the closet and trying to determine what will best fit our mood for the day. And it’s not just women. We guys can be hung-up about what we will wear. We hide it better than they do. And we used to be even worse. When most of us wore ties out into the universe. One thing is for sure. When all is said and done, we’re just clothes hangers for the clothes we wear. And a lot of us are walking billboards, advertising things we aren’t paid to advertise. Think t-shirts.
blue shirt or red one
dressing for the day ahead
which matches the pants
It’s the end of the day. I’ve just finished work. It’s been a long day. The drive home is a monster. All the traffic. It’s almost like all those cars are after me. A guy cuts me off. Another one gives me the finger. Like he doesn’t think I have a gun. I don’t have a gun but I could. It’s one of those “people are just rude” days. Still another car pulls out in front of me. Thank God, my brakes work. Thank God, I had them fixed last week. City traffic can be the worst. I pull into a fast food joint to get some sup. “Cause there isn’t any way I am going to be up to fixing a meal when I get home. Finally I pull into the driveway. Stumble out of my car. Fiddle with my keys. Drop them on the porch. Pick them up and finally slip them into the lock. Open the door and quickly shut it behind me before the world slips into my castle.
shoes off, black socks too
change of clothes and feed the cats
now time to relax
Often successful writers are hit with The Question. You know the one. You’ve probably been asked it a few times yourself. Where do you get your ideas?
Depending on my mood, sometimes I say Jesus, and sometimes I say the Wicked Witch of the West. Most of the time I am just as clueless as the person asking the question.
Mostly the process is as mysterious to we writers as it is to the questioner. My best answer is to look and listen. But that’s not really helpful to the questioner. That’s why we’ve come up with this Muse. How she’ll take a two-by-four and whack us a good one across the side of the head.
I am serious about the listening and the looking. The thing is that we have to respond when we hear something or observe something that does hit us across the side of the head. I once heard Neil Young say that when he gets an idea he has to drop everything and go and work on it. The only time he doesn’t is if there is a family situation. He didn’t say this but I am sure he is afraid of what might happen if he didn’t respond. And usually it’s a most inconvenient time. Like I’m in the shower.
an empty bus bench
underneath a late night moon
an Edward Hopper