Archive for the ‘Writer’s Block’ Category

This Dark And Quiet Night

March 3, 2013 10 comments


It’s dark outside. It’s late and the snow is softly falling. My son is watching basketball and my daughter has a friend sleeping over. Giggles echo up from the furthest corners of the house; one of my all-time, favorite sounds. Life is good, even though the week was fickle and unsettling. Actually, it was me that was unsettled it seemed, at some point, every day. Things just never quite fell into place. The flow of the week’s current pulled in unfamiliar, unsteady directions. Our usual groove was littered with bumps and unexpected twists. My patience seemed to wear thinner and thinner as each day passed. By week’s end I felt a slight rumbling within, leaving me with an unwanted feeling of restlessness.

Usually I have some kind of a thought or an “aha!” moment during the week that presents itself as the topic for what I’m going to write about in my once-a-week post. That never came. All week I had nothing but a blank page surrounded by frustration in my head. You can’t force words to paper. They come when they’re ready. And for me, they’re not always what I expect them to be. By Saturday afternoon my page was still empty and my thoughts too scattered. I couldn’t string together a sentence let alone a few paragraphs even though I felt the gnawing. Too persistent to ignore, something was there, tugging at me. I just couldn’t find it.

Maybe I didn’t want to.

Not until I sat down this evening, at this late hour watching the snow fall quietly and steadily leaving behind a fresh, clean coat of white; beautiful, untouched white, did it occur to me….

Two weeks ago Diane, the parole officer assigned to our case called asking if I would speak on her Impact Panel again this March. Yes, I said. Ever since she started the panel two years ago and every time she’s assembled it since then I’ve said yes.

I always say yes.

How could I say no? I owe it to her, to them, to my kids, to me. To me.

It helps me continue to put things into perspective, a little better, each time.

Yes Diane, of course I’ll speak.

When I hung up, I did what I do and I buried the call. Deep. I Sent it to the very back of my head and tucked it away. I went back to work, too busy to think about all that stuff, again. Besides, I’ve moved and moved on. Haven’t I? I let it sit and stew until today, until it began to wrestle its way to the surface while I tried to squelch it down with my scattered thoughts and blank page.

Now here I am at the eleventh hour thinking about it, writing about it, as it breaks free demanding to be heard on this dark and quiet night.


July 29, 2012 5 comments

It’s official. I’m stumped!

Well, kind of. There’s actually a trillion things looming around in my head that are bursting to get out. The problem is, I just can’t seem to choose one thing. I guess you could say I have What-chya-ma-call-it; not quite writer’s-block but more like writer’s-overload; you know, What-chya-ma-call-it. Yep, that’s what I got. I’m not lacking in content as much as I’m lacking in focus and I can’t really tell if that’s on purpose or not. There are dozens of childhood stories still to be told but they require much more than an hour or two of writing. It would be an injustice to try to retell any one of them now, at the eleventh hour. There are those events and situations too, that I am trying to figure out how to put into words and there are the thoughts I am trying to come to terms with, those that teeter on the fence of whether to be put into words or not. There are things that are too personal for a post and things that are simply not interesting enough. So here I am. It’s well after my regular publishing hour. It’s late, late, late on a Saturday night and I’ve got What-chya-ma-call-it!

The fact that it’s after midnight and one of my smoke or carbon monoxide detectors (I’m not sure which it is) is consistently sounding off at 3-minute intervals, isn’t helping my concentration either. That’s right, since around 10pm this evening, a high-pitched chirping sound has been erupting from a small, round, white alarm affixed to the ceiling in my daughter’s bedroom, every-three-minutes. This unit is one of about a half-dozen attached to a home alarm system that I don’t understand. At all. It’s not as simple as swapping out a battery (I wish it was) and I can’t find the manual for it. At one point, after getting on a ladder and pushing a few buttons, the entire system begin to blare and the mono-toned voice of a mechanical woman came out of nowhere and began shouting the word, “FIRE!– FIRE! –FIRE!”, over and over again. Alarmed? Yes. I was.

How I managed to stop that, I have no idea. But I did and soon after the chirping began again.

It’s also summer time and my head is in enjoying the extra time I get to spend with my kids and not so much in formulating a composition with some kind of heart-felt meaning attached to it. That feels too heavy right now. Whatever it is, writer’s-block, writer’s-overload or What-chya-ma-call-it, I think I’m going to sit with the chaos in my head for a few days and wait for the stories to settle.

Besides, if I can’t figure out how to stop this chirping, I’m may end up either ripping this alarm-thing-y out of the ceiling, or pulling my hair out of my head, strand-by-strand, tonight.

There’s a black, a white and a red wire. No battery. Chirping.

Any thoughts?

What do you do when you get What-chya-ma-call-it?

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