Writing Process

So I sit and stare at the blank page. My eyes blink because the brightness setting on my screen is too bright. Then I’m distracted by the turtle swimming in its tank next to my laptop, and how the log in the tank kind of looks like a devil’s skull. I stare for a moment at the tank and then…What was I saying?

That’s right! I type a few words on the screen, then immediately erase them. I lean down beside me and pet my dog, Fletch. He looks curious, but confused. Yeah, me too buddy. Can’t seem to get in a groove today. I rewrite the words I erased earlier. For some reason, they don’t sound so bad anymore. This, I count as progress. Time to get something to drink.

All we have is water, but that doesn’t stop me from standing in front of the open refrigerator for ten minutes anyway. Maybe I’ll have a snack too, but that hummus looks like a Chia pet. So I think I’m going to shut the fridge and ignore it for a few more days to see if it starts to look like an interesting shape, like maybe a dog, or a car, or the Millennium Falcon. I realize I’ve set my hopes too high, but at least I’m thinking now, with my bottle of Smart water (gotta start somewhere) and a possibly toxic new life form developing in the fridge.

Back at my laptop, I erase those words again. Yep, they kinda sucked, and, anyway, nobody wants to read a story about a teacher who rides his bicycle ten miles one way to work everyday because he’s about 95 pounds overweight. So, he kind of looks like Baby Hughie if Baby Hughie weren’t a chicken and rode bikes and wore a helmet shaped like a clone trooper helmet, because, you know, a 300 pound guy riding a bicycle doesn’t stand out enough already. Right?

Time to get serious…about dinner. I go straight to freezer, but I only stand there for 5 minutes because any longer starts to melt the ice cream. I grab a frozen chicken cordon bleu and pop it in the oven. Set the timer to 20 minutes and…back to the laptop. The screen is still a blank white page (with all due respect to Mumford & Sons). So I stare some more. This, of course, is pointless. Nobody wins a staring contest with a laptop, unless you cheat and change the sleep settings.

I type a few more words, and some of them make sense and have a certain rhythm. But the rest? Sheesh! What am I thinking with this writing idea. I may as well stand on a corner and say “Blah, blah, blah, bodonkadonk” to everyone who walks by for all the sense I’m making here. I mean, Ernest Hemingway once said that the perfect gift a writer could have would be a built-in, shock proof shit detector because all the great writer’s have one. I’m gonna write a classic here some day because my shit detector’s buzzing all over the place. Every time I start writing that thing goes off, and I gotta reset it and rewrite and it’s just this cycle where I write, and then there’s the detector going off, and okay, I’m gonna start over. Again. Because I can’t write anything else.

About this time Fletch barks a little because it’s raining outside and the thunder gives him the creeps. So I reach down and pat him again, even though Cesar Millan would be disappointed because that just reinforces the behavior. I don’t want him to be afraid during a storm, but sometimes I gotta show a little love.

Then I hear the timer go off on the oven and get my chicken cordon bleu. I can’t write and eat at the same time. So I take a break, calm myself, and settle in for a vintage episode of Star Trek, the original not those knock-offs they had in the 90s. This episode takes place early in the series when the writers were still trying to figure out that Vulcan no emotion thing. I mean, if Spock controls his emotions so well, why does he smile when he touches that plant? Maybe it tickled him. I don’t know. And isn’t it amazing how much the young Leonard Nimoy looks like Zachary Quinto? Nice casting there, J.J. I eat the cordon bleu and watch the last 35 minutes of my Star Trek episode. I’d say I didn’t see that ending coming, but it’s Star Trek. Kirk always finds a way.

Refreshed and full, I sit back down and start typing again. Hmmm. I think I’m gonna take a picture of that devil’s skull looking log and send it to a friend. Except, I take the picture, and it just doesn’t quite look right. I send it anyway, but with a short explanation of why my friend should be creeped out by it.

Now that’s over with, I can write a few words on that blank white page…Like I said, I can write a few more words on that blank white page…Like I said…Inspiration!

“I stopped and watched you while you brushed your hair on the couch, watching NBA TV like you do every morning. Your hands slid easily through the soft threads of your hair. You’re still beautiful. And I’m taken completely by your strawberry hair, your hazel eyes, and the smile that spreads across your face and lights any room you’re in. In 18 years, you’ve grown youthful, stunning. I still can’t take my eyes off of you. I stepped back from the room before you noticed me. When I caught my own reflection in the hallway mirror (bzzz), I noticed the hair in my ears (Bzzzzzz) and how bushy my eyebrows were, how my eyes had dimmed over the years (BZZZZZZZZZZZZ!). Oh, blah, blah, blah, bodonkadonk!” Stupid shit detector.

I’m going to bed. Maybe I’ll start my classic tomorrow.