Say Anything

I’d chalk it up to this whole mercury-in-retrograde thing, but there has to be more to it than that.  My entire life feels like it’s swirling out of control, and I can’t stop it.  I can’t write, I can’t think straight, things are going wrong all around me.  It’s like there’s a tornado going on, and I’m standing in the middle of the vortex—untouched—and I can’t grab any of it. 

I’m determined that I’m going to write SOMETHING, even if it’s only here, just for the sake of putting two coherent words together.  I know where I want Gabriel’s Angel to go next, and I’m on page 77 (because I went back and fixed a few things; the WIP actually stops at page 84) but lately I can’t think of the next word.  I’d go back to Worlds Apart, but I can’t focus on that either.  I’ve misplaced things in the house that aren’t reappearing, and I can’t relax. 

Maybe this is that midlife thing I’ve heard about.  It’s like the intermission in a very long (hopefully at least 80 year) play, when people get up and mill around and stretch their legs before they go back to the job at hand.  The problem is, I’m a very focused person.  If I have a task in front of me and I’ve sunk my teeth into it, it’s hard to say, “Okay, break time.”  I want to keep going ’til it’s done, and right now, it’s as if the Universe doesn’t want me to do that.  Very hard to do battle with the Universe, but at the moment I don’t have a lot of choice in the matter.

So here I am, trying to write whatever comes to mind, until the 2nd Act begins.

Suddenly I’m reminded of one of John’s favorite poems:

Here I sit,

Brokenhearted.

Tried to sh*t

But only farted.

Salvation

It hasn’t been a fun week, and I’ve been kind of tired, but through it all, I’ve been writing as much as possible, every chance I get. 

Yesterday I got a rejection from an agency I queried 6 months ago.  I’d debated querying them again, just because I wasn’t entirely sure they’d gotten the query in the first place.  Apparently they did, and they didn’t like it.  Wonderful. 

A few other things stepped on my toes, but I was determined not to drink to numb myself against what bothered me.  Even yesterday, after the rejection came in, my first thought was a vodka and lemonade, but I decided not to.  Instead I was determined to focus on keeping the story moving.

This morning I had another Deus Ex iPod experience again, starting with Elvis Costello’s “Every Day I Write the Book”, and a couple of Van Halen songs that kept my spirits up on the way to work.  Every chance I got, I kept at it, until I made some changes that will probably cut 30 pages from the 70 I have now, but I think the story’s getting stronger.  A few times, I’ve hit on points where I sat back and thought, “Hey, that means something.” 

It occurred to me tonight, between working in the garden, helping Alex in the bath (he’s a little upset that we’ve limited his Mr. Softee visits, but I don’t have $14 a week to spend on ice cream), and making dinner, that it’s the writing that saved me.  I haven’t had a drink besides straight lemonade since last week.  I didn’t even meet John at Steppy’s on Friday night, because I’d rather write than drink.  When I drink, my Muse relaxes too and conks out cold, and I don’t write another word.  Lately, though, I’ll tolerate everything else if it means I can keep writing.  If nothing else comes of it, at least I know that writing has saved my liver.  🙂

Something else I noticed, too.  Even when I’m in the worst mood, it’s still all good.  We saw “Star Trek” on Saturday, and after we came home, I went on IMDB to find out who played which characters.  Randy Pausch played a character on the USS Kelvin, early in the movie.  If I’d known he was there, I would’ve looked for him.  I still think The Last Lecture was absolutely fantastic–clear an hour and 15 minutes in your schedule, sit down and watch it–and ironically enough, John just got a copy of it from Readers Digest’s book collection (along with a Nicholas Sparks book, which I won’t be reading because I’m SO not a fan).  I’d love to have John–and pretty much everyone I know–read “The Last Lecture” because it puts life in such a totally clear perspective.

Okay, now to go back to climbing those walls…

Back in Action

I’m back.  The Sheila contest (for my RWA chapter, the Valley Forge Romance Writers; link on the right) ate up the better part of the last month, but we did really well.  The final round has been decided, and the finalist entries are in the hands of some top-notch editors.  I’m looking forward to seeing who wins, because I read a few of the finalist entries (that happens when you read 21 entries) and one or two, I’m pretty sure, will sell before the year is out.  I won’t hint at my favorites, but they’re there and I’m rooting for them.

The last few days have been somewhat trying.  No one’s sick, thankfully, but it’s not fun when you go to your car, all prepared to leave for work, and you find your car was burglarized.  And of all the days, I haven’t left my cell phone in the car in YEARS, but the one night I happened to forget to go get it, that’s the night someone opens my door and helps himself.  That, and my iPod wire was gone, which is somewhat irritating because now I’m at the mercy of whatever’s on the radio, which seems to be mostly commercials. 

I replaced the phone (after shutting off the service, so I don’t get charged for numerous calls to Mexico) with something quite a bit nicer, but I still kinda miss my old red phone.  It was Phillies red, and the new one was out of stock in red so I got plain old silver.  Oh well.  It’s a good phone, and I got a Bluetooth to go with it so I can drive without holding the phone, which is good because the new phone is chrome and heavy.  Maybe I should call the new phone Lining, because there’s a silver lining in every dark cloud. 

This morning, as I was getting ready for work, the theme from Rocky came on my iPod, and it reminded me of all those middle school (IS 61) band concerts when we played it.  It still gives me goosebumps.  We were damn good.  🙂  But it also reminded me that I was 13 or 14 then.  Now Alex is getting a light shadow on his upper lip.  My youngest is 12 and may be growing a mustache.  My innocent, indulgent teenage years are so far behind me that they’re a blur without my glasses on.  Still, I’m tempted to contact Andrew and Robert on Facebook and ask if they remember their parts from when we were in band.  (Andrew played trombone and Robert played drums.  Me, I was 3rd string clarinet and pretty darn bad at it, if I recall correctly.)

I’ve learned a new way to combat the blues.  When I started feeling down in the dumps the other day, at first I started singing to myself, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” but then I continued on with “High Hopes”.  It really does help.  I don’t want that negative energy around me that comes with being depressed.  It’s not productive and it only engenders more negative energy.  If I’m going to bring positive energy to me, I have to think positive. 

So come on, sing along with me.  🙂

Now to go back and WRITE SOMETHING!