Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Yesterday's Plan Collapsed

The idea to write summaries of the three parts of the book was a good one. Just not for me. I could not feel even a smidgen of authenticity when I tried it. So I dumped that plan and started writing another piece of the manuscript, an important piece of background that has to be included.

Thud. I ground away on that for 2 hours, and then got hugely lost again. I laid flat on the living room floor and tried to get my bearings. Then I went to curl up in bed and think/pray/rethink.

Something that is an overwhelming obstacle for me in the writing of this book (as in, it leads to panic attacks and debilitates me physically now and then) is the multi-tasking of it. I have never been a multi-tasker. I describe myself as a dog with a food bowl and a water bowl and I can eat from one and drink from the other. The end. That's what my brain is capable of. I can handle the complexity of, say, having the TV on while answering emails, but it has to be on really low volume.

So, I have a story I'm trying to tell, covering 50 or so years, winding in and out of itself with flashbacks, and it completely freezes me in panic about three times a week. I do what I can to calm myself and just write another small chunk at a time. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't.

Yesterday it didn't work because (and this catches me off guard every time, which seems ridiculous) my grief over my dad hit me freshly amid the confusion. Suddenly it wasn't about figuring out the writing; it was about the gut punch of missing him, and realizing that this book is my way of trying to work it out.

I also take the book with me to bed, in my brain, whether I want to or not. On the most difficult nights, I get up to use the bathroom in the wee hours (ha) and then can't turn off the book and go back to sleep. It is a mental version of herding cats, and several times a week, day and night, I run into a forest where one of them has sprinted, to lure it out with a bag of Pounce treats. Cats almost never fall for that.


  • At 1:53 PM, Blogger Jerry said…

    If you're having trouble with your muse, you're probably not drinking enough.

  • At 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Herding cats. I like it.

    I tried once to make friends with grief. Turns out we don't get along so well. For instance, I prefer to see my friends approaching me with open arms and a smile. Grief likes to do the asshattery-at-two-in-the-morning bit, with the doorbell ringing and running away.


  • At 1:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Also I forgot to sign my initials. *sigh* lz

  • At 4:44 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Not a big fan of grief, especially because it hangs around too long and then tells its friends where I live.


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