Thursday, November 27, 2008

Stoopid Bloody Thanksgiving Post

Last night, Thanksgiving Eve, I was in a funk--otherwise known as depressed and feeling sorry for myself--so I decided to do what some people have often suggested: Make a gratitude list.

I gotta say, just thinking about doing it made me feel even more depressed and sorry for myself. Stoopid bloody cheerful people . . .

However, this morning a Big Gratitude came to me: I am grateful that there are people in my life who tolerate me, even going so far as to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving and invite me over for some grub. So, that's big. Thanks, all you guys out there! You know who you are, unless I forgot to mention it . . .

Concerning my writing, it's been difficult, of late, to feel either good about it or grateful for what I have accomplished, what with Everything In The Known Universe tanking. Basically, life has become a giant Going Out of Business Sale, with no buyers.

However, when I really, really, really think about it, I am glad that I managed, if imperfectly, to produce a few books that someone thought worthy of publication, and I am grateful that a few people have actually read and enjoyed them.

I am also happy to realize--however improbable the odds are of actually pulling it off--that I need to re-create myself as a writer. Both to shake up the creative juices and to greet the new publishing world that is emerging. A monumental task, I know.

But I spend way too much time on the surface of things, worried and anxious and doing exactly nothing. Sometimes there is no help for that, but other times I'm just too lazy or too distracted to pull on my spelunking boots and snap on my head lamp, too tired to grab my shovel and start the descent.

That is the hard work of being an artist--getting to the core of things to find just what it is you need to understand, just what it is you need to express in your work. It's not an easy trip, and it's one that often has little material reward. I believe it is essential, though, to satisfy the soul. Mine, at least.

So my goal is to continue, despite all odds, to dig down and write write write. If that is a paltry Thanksgiving message, so be it. It's what I've got.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Today, Though

I need to take my own advice. In the last entry I wrote about the journey between center and surface, and how maybe the voyage to and from is what feeds the artist's soul. At the time, I was enjoying a visit to the center, and feeling renewed.

Of course, it immediately followed that I have spent every day since not only on the surface but blasted against it. Core? What's that? I'm all hard edges and distance and misery.

This current dislocation is caused by the things in life that gnaw at you, which you have no control over. We all have these things, of course. Mine just seem, of late, to be twenty feet tall and really, really mean. Of course I cringe. It's expected.

It follows that when I am in a place like this, I cannot write.

So I read a couple of cherry, professional writing blogs today. It helped, a little. Nothing like a little cheery professionalism to perk one up, and I've been in need of perking. I am often not cheery or terribly professional, so sometimes I need a lesson.

Today, though, I am a bad student. I am still stuck to the surface, miserably. I end up here again and again and again. Why why why why why why why?

Tomorrow's lesson: Figure this out.

P.S. It's tomorrow. Yesterday my Internet connection went out, and I was unable to post the above blog. I have still not figured anything out . . . I am doomed!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I have been MIA for a couple of weeks. Another aimless drifting off into space. Which is probably a good reason I am not an astronaut.

When one re-surfaces into one's life (the drifting stopped, at least momentarily) the familiar always looks refreshingly new, as if someone had slapped a fresh coat of paint on everything while you were gone. I feel a little like that today. And, in fact, my front door really did just get a fresh coat of paint this very morning, so how timely is that?

In this pleasant little spot of renewal, I am trying to shake off some unhappiness's that have been weighing me down for a long time. These are things related to the practical aspects of life, such as housework (see previous post) and paychecks and being visible and the general not-knowing when the giant meteor is going to hit earth and exterminate us all in a puff of dust. (Hmm. Dust again. See previous post.)

I am only good at one thing, which is writing. I am not excellent at it, of course, or I would be rich and famous, or at least I would be one of the people saved in a disaster movie, right? If I was also good-looking, that is . . .

No, I am merely good at what I do--but I still really want to do it. So maybe there are some things I have to shrug off, some issues I have to ignore, to get back to the core. From which I will eventually drift again, but maybe it is the motion iself, the movement back and forth between surface and center that is so important to the creative spirit. Sometimes it might even be called drifting.