Wednesday, August 3, 2011

That Boy Just Ain't Normal

Or as an author recently scribbled inside a book of his that I bought, "dysfunctional is the new normal."

No real need to tie that quote into this post. I thought it was a nifty quote and was looking for a spot to use it.

Then again, aren't all writers (or anyone else who pursues a creative endeavor with a passion unmatched by anything else) deep down just a little bit dysfunctional? I mean, we have to be in order to what we enjoy doing, especially if we want to do it successfully. Right?

Anyways, if ya'll remember my post from two weeks ago, I lamented (or bitched, your choice) about the fact that I might not get any original writing done for this year. That in fact, the only writing that was done by me, was the tweaking and tightening of a few old stories that I had sitting around on my computer. And that the only thing that I had to look forward to was writing a book review for a friend (which I accomplished, thank you very much), and perhaps that book review might jump start my writing.

Well, it's my sad duty to inform everyone that the book review, while it was a joy and a pleasure to write, did not jump start my writing to the degree that I thought it would. While technically, I managed to actually get some writing done last weekend (wrote three pages of a new chapter), it wasn't the book review that did it for me. It was more along the lines of finally taking advantage of the family (except for the wife) not being home, which gave me just enough quiet time to put words to paper then to screen.

I will tell you what actually jump started my writing and made me post a video a week ago: walking. Last Monday, I took a vacation day, and like most days that I decide to take a vacation day, it was gloomy and overcast. Not surprisingly, it put me in a bummer of a mood. I walked to the center that morning, went to the bank and then went to Starbucks (I don't do any of those fancy schmancy drinks and I'm boycotting my local D&D) for a small coffee and a croissant.

I took a seat outside, inhaled some of my coffee, some of the car exhaust and the entire croissant, before continuing on my walk home.

I have mentioned before that I do a lot of thinking when I walk, and that day was no exception. However, what I think about as of late has taken a major turn of the strange. Instead of thinking about a story or a blog post or something like that, I think of short little movie style vignettes featuring me in all kinds of strange unreal life scenarios.

Most of the time, after I get done with my walk, those little vignettes disappear from my conscience the nano-second I open the door and walk into the house. However, this time was a little different, in that the vignette stayed with me, not only after I'd walked into the house, but for the next two days as well. I managed to squeeze out one short paragraph on my afternoon break at work before putting it aside to work on it later at home.

Unfortunately, in my eagerness to get home, I left my file folder of paper with the opening paragraph in it. But I persevered and restarted it again later that evening. I would love to tell you what that little vignette was all about that inspired me to write again, but I think that more than a few people would misinterpret and misread the content if I did. However, I will tell you that its somewhat of a crime drama of sorts, without much of a plot, but in the same vein whenever the e-zine "Thrillers, Chillers & Killers" decides to post a story that has zero plot and zero coherency but people fawn over it just the same.

What makes this latest exercise different from all the rest, is that I'm actually writing this at the same time I'm attempting to complete A Lascivious Limbo. As most of you probably know from reading this blog, I have a tendency not only to write linear but also to write one thing at a time until I'm finished with it, no matter how long it takes me to complete.

Speaking of the aforementioned novel, I believe it will be easier for me to work on and complete, simply because the basic content of this new short story, which I titled "Intravenous", somewhat parallels the main crux of what I have to write for my trunk novel (wake/funeral/suicide). In a strange way, I think the short story and the novel will feed off of each other and hopefully will allow me to finish both.

In any event, its fun to have a story grab my temporal lobes and probe my inner most thoughts and feelings again. I haven't felt that way since I completed Line 21 almost a year ago.


  1. Walking is a great way to loosen up the old brain muscles for myself too. I almost always walk when I'm having plot problems. Or need an idea. Maybe it's just the quiet, alone time.

  2. Good to hear that you are feeling inspired! :-) And if dysfunctional is the new normal, that makes me normal for the first time in my life!

  3. Charles: I think it's mostly the alone and quiet time combined that does the trick for me. I get so little of it now that those two plus hours when I'm out running my Saturday morning errands or just out, I treasure it like there was no tomorrow.

    And I get to experience a little bit of small town life that otherwise is missed during the day-to-day drudgery that is life.

    S.R.: I think we're all a little dysfunctional in some small way. It's what keeps us sane. :D

  4. In the south we say, "He/she ain't right!" It's one of favorite colloquial expressions. :)

    And you really can't beat walking for getting the brain juices going.

  5. Lynn: I briefly thought about using that, but I wasn't too sure it would have the same punch as what I used for the post.

    Although with me, they are interchangeable. :D

    Most definitely, walking gets the brain juices flowing in more ways than you can possibly imagine. :D

  6. Normal is overrated. So is functional :)

    I'd say take a small notebook with you when you go for your walks. My bro the writer carries one with him because he gets random thoughts for story ideas.

  7. R: Normal and functional is highly overrated.

    I sometimes do, mostly if I get a phone call that I have to write something down in conjuction with.

    Glad you stopped by, even if its only just a brief pit stop from the worrys of the day.

  8. Good for you to get a creative notion that you remembered, n writing 2 at once with similar settings.
    Maybe the strong coffee helped. Starbucks is hi-test!

  9. Snaggle: Thanks.

    Yeah, I've found that Starbucks is a bit on the high side, just like their off brand, Seattle's Best.

    I don't think it wakes me up as much as it makes me aware of my surroundings.


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