Grim, unproductive days for this writer. Happy times otherwise; good times, noodle salad. But no writing, nothing. Can't even be inspired to fill in a blank Word page. ZERO desire to work on the novella. Less than zero desire to work on Book II of the fantasy epic. It'll never get either of them done at this rate.
There's been so much going on lately. Both the wife and daughter had birthdays last week, as did my stepmother. My brother's birthday was the week before. My dad & stepmom's anniversary, the same week. My brother-in-law and his wife had their first child that week. One of my wife's stepsisters had a baby last week, 2 months premature (little girl weighs 1 pound). Then Adrienne had Lasik surgery on her good eye yesterday; still kind of waiting for her vision to really clear up, although she drove to work today without her glasses for the first time, EVER. That's a really big deal for her. Tomorrow, one of my off days, my brother and I are helping my mom finish putting skirting around her trailer, which she had moved earlier in the summer.
I have no creative energy, unless it is to give some thought to future arrangements in the yard, or to organize new displays of my Star Wars collection. Is this what being a writer is like? Getting no work done, and feeling bad about it most of my waking hours? How do I get past this? How do I get back to the "salad days" of writing, before my daughter was born, before we bought the house, before three dogs and two cats and a tank of fish and relatives lurking about and a video rental business to manage? I miss the feeling of finishing a troublesome chapter, of being able to talk about finishing a troublesome chapter, even of lying awake at night wondering how the hell my characters are going to get from point D to point E. I miss just talking about it with other writers. But there's no one in this small Mississippi town I can really talk to about it. There are no real novelists here; one old man I know writes novellas of "local color" that cater mainly to the locals, but he is old, fairly well-to-do and has little to no interest in sharing in the struggles of a young-ish writer of Fantasy fiction.
I've tried rereading Tolkien to jumpstart my creative battery, to little effect. So, I am going to try and get hold of some Gardner again, including a book I only recently discovered on Amazon: On the Moral Novel or something to that effect. If that doesn't do it, I don't know what will. Aside from my various petty material collections, and my daughter, I don't know that I will leave any other lasting ("lasting" being a bit relative) legacy. Not that having a legacy is that important to me, per se, but I guess simply for once I want to finish something big that I started. Too many times in my life I've left things unfinished -- relationships, graduate school, jobs, little hobbies that spring up like lightning-sparked fires in the wilderness, only to get doused by a passing thunderstorm a few days later.
I'm such a self-important bastard sometimes. Maybe I've thought about this business too much; maybe there's not enough mystery in it for me any more. Too much thinking about anything can lead to a deadly boredom, I suppose. Have I wrung the last drop of good stuff from this writing business, sucked the last bit of marrow out of the bone of this art? I tend to do that with things I am passionate about. Perhaps I've ruined it for myself for ever.
I will write some more on The Woodreeve's Tale before I return to these pages, at least. I have to get something done.