And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Out on the plains we gave him hell

This morning's fog was a tricksy one. Around the house there wasn't any. However, Orwell is the high spot of the local area. Once I left the village it was like driving into night. If night was a dark wall of mist.

By the time I reached Pymatuning Lake, the mist had retreated, and broken into areas of light and dark patches. Clearly the top of the mist was like a cumulous cloud hugging the ground. Visibility on the lake's glassy waters went about a hundred yards across the water, with maybe 30 or going up. The light dimmed on the causeway and islands loomed in shadows out there. It was the kind of atmosphere where you expect to see the lake monster's long neck gracefully arching out of the water.

Into work and the buzzsaw.

Last night I sat looking at a blank computer screen (okay, a blank window on the computer, but you know what I mean) for about twenty minutes waiting for the words forming in my head to line up and pour out my fingers. It wasn't so much writer's block, I know what I need to write and what I want to write, it just wouldn't flow out from the head. Sometimes I get parts of a story that the editors inside my eyes say, "you shouldn't say that" or "that's just mean" or "people will think you're weird because you put that to paper." Those are the gremlins as they gibber. There's also rust along the channels.

It bothered me. And obviously my brain struggled with it overnight because I woke up with the answer right in front of me. My guilt stack. I haven't been reading fiction lately. There's been way too much job related (search and research), economics, edumacational and political stuff. So I just found out that wearing headphones at work is not considered a no-no. Also, for the first time in what feels like ages, there's a fiction book in my briefcase ("Zoe's Tale" by Scalzi, if you need to know, I've been in the middle of it since Viable Paradise). Writers are first readers. If the first rule of Write Club is "everybody must write" (thank you Tobias), one of the top five would be "writers are readers."

So here's hoping I get back into it. And just as a "we're talking about it" kind of thing. I really want to get the edits to this book done soon. Because I have a bunch of books lined up to help me through the next one ("Post-rapture Industries" - or Inferno Redux). Christopher Moore's "Fool", the humorous anthology I got from Random Michelle, and a few more. And then once I'm through with that, I have a tome of Glen Cook's just waiting for when I'm ready to get back to "A Company of Ravens" (the novel that kicked my ass so many years ago, I feel it itching in the farther recesses of my mind).

With that, here's a political link. I'll need to keep reading the edumacational stuff, and I'll keep on the politics stuff (because I feel we're approaching a watershed moment that will culminate in the 2012 presidential election, which, BTW, the campaigns have already begun - and it's a moment that I think will be exceptionally painful for a lot of people - the process, not the outcome).

To that end, one link.

You know, you expect this kind of behavior from people trying to punk Conservapedia, not from one of the founders of the thing. My guess is that this really started as a "but you don't have anything against the other scientific 'theories'" conversation regarding evolution. And Andy took that concept, and ran to the ridiculous goal post with it. Touchdown. Whackaloon quotient goes up, again.


sheila, who is not lurking today, said...

This may seem an odd question, but do you strictly read books the old fashioned way, or do you also enjoy books on tape? I was thinking that you could read with your ears while driving, but perhaps that might be too distracting.

I'm a visual type, but some people are auditory learners and feel the spoken word versions have an extra zing that the written works lack. (I, for one, am not among them. I'm firmly in the "in one ear and out the other" camp, although I enjoy an occasional poetry reading.)

Steve Buchheit said...

Sheila, oh yes, I have a great library of audio books. Currently listening to Christopher Moore's "Fool". That was the point of me asking if wearing headphones was allowed. Since much of the books I like aren't completely work safe given some definitions of such. I also don't want to bother by cohorts and I want to hear the book.

And it wouldn't do to have a guest pass behind me as the phrase, "heinous fuckery" comes out of the speakers.

sheila, who is not lurking today, said...

Oh, no! That wouldn't do at all! I remember hearing the author interviewed on NPR last year, when I was driving back home from meeting Bette at the Chardon library. Haven't gotten around to reading it yet, but I have certainly not forgotten about the book at all.

Steve Buchheit said...

Well, it was his "A Dirty Job" that got me hooked on the audiobooks to begin with.

Porter said...

Reading is really important to feed your inspiration, but I think there's something in the pull of the tide and the moon cycle, or, perhaps the Perseids meteor shower that is throwing off creativity right now. I am trying to start my next book and am jumping between numerous projects without any one taking hold.
Don't listen to those editors in or outside of your head!! What can possibly be better than weird and shocking?

Steve Buchheit said...

Porter, oh yes. Just that little bit yesterday helped me get moving again.

And there was another one of those lines with the gremlins yammering to censure me. But I should put that in a post.