Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Fault, Dear Brutus, Lies Not In Our Stars...

It’s very early Saturday morning, and I’m getting ready to go to bed. I had a rather unsuccessful writing day today, Friday. Not that I didn’t try. I sat in front of my computer and did my duty with gritted teeth. I typed a lot of words, most of which I’ll either have to take out later or move to a different scene. But I did it, by damn, and I’m hoping I dug out a lot of slag that has a piece or two of gold in it that I can use later.

When I’m on a roll, I can produce several usable pages in a day, but today, there were only one or two paragraphs that I feel confident about.
I never know why one day is better than another when it comes to writing. Why was today so unsatisfactory? Was it because it’s Friday the 13th? More likely it's the stars. Mercury must be retrograde, which is very bad for communications.

Maybe it’s the weather. June in southern Arizona - the humidity is 6% and the temperature is 105 F. There’s so much static electricity in the air that my hair is standing on end of its own accord.

Perhaps it’s because of my sensitive nature. I spent fifteen minutes deleting spam off of my personal web site, and I cannot believe the number of solicitations to view porn. I want to lie upon the couch and press the back of my hand to my forehead until I regain my equilibrium. Just the titles of the sites have given me the vapors.

Maybe it’s Louise Penny. I just finished reading her novel Still Life, and my head is full of her beautiful thoughts and turns of phrase, like the one below, and at the moment I can’t come up with any of my own.

"When does a cucumber become a pickle?" ... At what point does change happen?

Yes, it must be Louise Penny’s fault, or the weather, or the stars. It certainly can't be my fault, because I did everything required of me, and yet I couldn't produce anything brilliant, or excellent, or particularly adequate.

Oddly, my fellow author Hannah Dennison and I were just discussing bad writing days recently. Write, write, write, I said, whether you’re doing well or not, because the gods love the effort and will eventually intervene, and it’ll make a believer out of you. Oh, how often my faith is tested.

But what else can one to do? Tomorrow morning I’ll get up, invoke the gods and pray for intervention, sit myself down at the computer, and write.

1 comment:

Hannah Dennison said...

You are completely right about Mercury being retrograde! It turns direct on June 19th!!
Donis ... I have clung to your advice to write-write-write all day today. Only tomorrow will I know if there is anything worth salvaging. It's so comforting to know I'm not alone down the goldmine!