Today I hit a wall. A writing wall. It was probably because I spent the last seventy-two hours in front of a computer. I thought with all this time off I could accomplish great feats of writing, maybe even finish a book. But instead I have accomplished very little on the book front. I have left far too many status updates on Facebook and read far too many articles and books and blogs and theology (though I could never get too much theology.) I even read a, I think they call them, Paranormal Romance short story which I typically would never read.
Today was going to be the day all that changed. I have gotten over the initial shock of radiation and isolation. I can be out in public just long enough to order breakfast out at my favorite coffee shop and eat it in the one chair that gets sunshine on the patio in the morning with everyone else a safe twenty feet away eating inside. My computer was charged. My chart notes were out ready to be cross-referenced for trip details.
I could write nothing. I sat for over an hour writing nothing. I considered an early morning drink. considered writing in a new section of the book.
I gave up. No sense wasting good sunshine doing nothing.After a quick run and a shower I took off in my car, camera in hand to fill the well.
I once read The Artist's Way. Not much I remember except the concept of filling the well. Artists need a reserve of creative capital in order to create. If we draw and draw and draw out, eventually that well runs dry. It's a good practice to regularly do things that will put the creative capital back in. Usually, for me, this means sunshine, a good lunch outside, a dose of nature, and enough silence to let my brain run free, unencumbered by chapters to plot and scenes to write and dialog to remember.
First stop was an open patch of land for a hike. Not more than fifteen feet in, I saw a guy sitting shirtless in a beach chair, soaking up the sun. Now that's what I need to be doing, but with my shirt on. So I gave up my hike, found an open field up on the left and sat. The bands on my brain began to loosen. I shot some pictures of small stuff nearby, a technique I'd been wanting to play with but hadn't found the time.
Hunger jumped into my thought stream, so I was off to obtain another fish taco in some more sunshine. The knots in my brain started to untie themselves. Finally I had found a way around one of the biggest problems of my work in progress, trying to make my villain(ess?) not completely evil, because they say a villain must have some redeeming qualities and also because she isn't really all that bad. With that problem solved the other ideas began to flow. Lucky for me I had my notebook and pen I carry to jot down these ideas before they run away.
Ice cream was now a must and a chance to work out on paper what had been swirling in my head. Now I am off to resume my role in reality; pick up the kids, clean the house, toss the food containers and silverware I'd been collecting from breakfast, lunch and ice cream into my radioactive trash pile, take the kids to the pool to play at least ten feet from me and watch them enjoy another seventy-seven degree January day in sunny San Diego.
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