Tag Archives: writing

Just Some Notes I Made

22 Oct

My gorgeous and talented friend Leigh gave me a little notebook that I keep in my purse. I use it to write down titles of books and movies I come across, grocery lists, and random bits of conversation that I want to remember. I was just going through it and found some random notes with absolutely no context AT ALL.

  • Interpretive cave tap isn’t something just everyone can pull off.
  • It’s not like you can soft-shoe in a cave.
  • That’s a go-to-hell Mennonite shed with nice shangles.
  • She’s common as pig tracks.
  • “Think of it as reupholstering. Your face is like a sofa. Every twenty years or  so it gets worn from too many people sitting on it.” (Note: I believe that might be from an Elizabeth Berg novel.)
  • Definitely use grommets.
  • Tell him how the cow ate the cabbage.
  • Then I am a liar and you are a pretty little girl.
  • Plow behind a willing mule.
  • Gassy goblins
  • “I’m not your cleaning-up monkey.”
  • “I think in this case the point IS mute because you aren’t listening to me.”
  • The one about how he beats his meat to make his chili
  • Snot-slinging drunk
  • Drunk as Moody’s goose


I think that’s a novel right there.

Blocked, Blocked, Blocked

1 Oct

I’ve had sort of writer’s block recently. Okay, less a block and more…okay, you know how Han Solo was in that carbonite? And he looks like he’s all AAAAAHHHH!!!? In this analogy my brain is Solo stuck in an interminable, noiseless AAAAAHHH!!! I don’t even sit down to write and get ink constipation. I don’t even make it to the “sit down to write” part. I make it to the part where I think about sitting down and then realize I’ve nothing engrossing to say and no enthralling way to say it. So I stomp around a while, check email, read a few articles, realize I don’t know exactly what ear wax is made of and look that up (60% keratin, 12-20% saturated and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids, and 6-9% cholesterol according to Wikipedia), and then come to the undeniable conclusion that I will never write again.

This is where a fainting couch would come in handy. Or perhaps a hair shirt.

Instead of just sucking it up, sitting down, and pounding something out, I torture myself. The sensible, grown up thing to do would be to write sentences. Any sentences. The wall is blue. I should have used another brand of paint. Is that a bug? How much would my family care if they ate saltines and mustard for dinner tonight? I like mustard. Rational Brain knows if she sits down and just starts with a few warm-up sentences, Emotional Brain will slink out of her room, put down her copy of Being And Nothingness, and eventually chime in with a few good points. But Rational Brain is sort of a wuss and Emotional Brain is sort of a bully. Somewhere in the middle of Rational Brain’s list-making and Emotional Brain’s existential angst, I decide to give up and torture myself by watching multiple episodes of 30 Rock, The West Wing, and The Wire. It’s dialogue waterboarding.

I don’t want to go into a whole thing here about Sorkinese or the Tracy Jordan patois or the McNulty/Omar dynamic. These are three very different shows, but all are musicals. Listen to them with your eyes closed. They got rhythm. Maybe they don’t got daisies and starlight, but they got music. I would sell my soul at the crossroads to be able to write with that kind of dexterity. And therein lies the rub. In order to every have a tiny prayer of a chance to write like that, you know what I gotta do? Keep writing.

While banging my head on my desk is, indeed, both rhythmic and satisfying, it is not an aid to good writing. Or, for that matter, bad writing. Because I have a blog, I don’t really have to worry about marketable. I just write whatever drivel pops into my wee brain. This is a good thing, because I don’t think I could write about vampires, werewolves, or BDSM.

HANG ON! Let me write this down. Two shapeshifters meet at a bondage club…