In which words flow, but not where I need them

The place: The Facebook website thingie.

The time: A moment of weakness (escaping from my manuscript).

The assignment: “Exercise!!! 250-500-100 words (some kind of narrative). No “to be” verbs!”

The inspiration: This great photo….

Sneakers

My jotted whatnot:

Without Sole

Has anyone seen my sneakers? They walked off with my soul, and now I wander the earth, barefoot and in mourning, experiencing a life bereft of meaning.

Who knew shoes could take so much merely through their absence? Those soul-stealing soles completed me. Betrayers!

Tomorrow I have a date with a pair of sandals. In my younger days, I feared them. I thought they would tie me down. Those doubts plague me still.

Enough! No more whining! I shall pick myself up by my bootstraps—

Now where did THEY run off to?

—LLS, June 2014

Placed here for posterity. Now back to real stuff.

Entering creative space (Morning Check-Up for Artists)

Laura Lis Scott:

Time to close the browser.

Originally posted on chrismcmullen:

Writing

Imagination On. Check.

Motivation On. Check.

Quiet On. Check.

Distractions Off. Check.

Comfort Zone On. Check.

Eyes Ready. Check.

Mind Open. Check.

It’s a go.

Take a deep breath.

Creativity blasting off in 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0.

Let those creative juices flow.

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen

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P

P is for Priorities

I haven’t been blogging the A to Z Challenge these past few days because they were blocking me from getting the necessary things done—namely writing my novel, editing Kate‘s novels, and preparing books for publishing (and other life obligations).

PI’ve been blogging for well over a decade, and love it. I’m not stopping blogging altogether. It’s just that, given the day job, trying to wedge in the A to Z Challenge as well was turning out to be a burden. I have to focus on priorities.

So no more A to Z, unless serendipitous Muse comes for a visit. Thank you, everyone who stopped by and commented. I hope to see you again.

K

K is for Keyboard

Regular keyboards give me a pain — a pain in the wrist, specifically. It makes a huge difference when you’re typing a lot for emails, blog posts, proposals, articles … and novels.

I tried a number of keyboards.

Kinesis keyboard photo

The Kinesis Advantage is one of the most radical ergonomic keyboards out there. With scooped-out keyboard forms, it’s designed to conform to typical finger paths, not conventional keyboard grids. However, there’s a very steep learning curve. I didn’t care for it, though, because of the rather long keystrokes. With some hacks, such as swapping key switches and adding rubber rings underneath each key to try to limit they keystroke distance, but this already is a very expensive keyboard (several hundred dollars) so I regretfully had to return it.

 

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic photo

The Microsoft Sculpt keyboard is a lightweight and modern offering from the company that had the most popular ergonomic keyboard in the 1990s. It wasn’t bad, but the Option and Command keys are swapped in position, which would require new less-optimal keystroke habits. In the end, I sent it back primarily for this reason.

 

Goldtouch Go!2 keyboard photo

The Goldtouch Go!2 keyboard does not have curves, but it does have a universal joint in the middle that allows you to angle they left and right halves of the keyboard, and even peak it in the middle, so you can find your own comfort position to avoid things like wrist pronation that can contribute to RSI. I like the quick-action scissor-switch keys, which are most like the keys on Apple keyboards, and don’t require a ton of motion in order to register a keystroke—very important when you don’t want to feel like you’re typing through mud. The keyboard has a switch for Mac and PC layouts. And it folds up, making it portable. Some people may dislike that it’s a USB keyboard, but I don’t mind—one less battery-driven device to worry about.

How I am happy.

The Scream, by Edvard Munch (oil on canvas, 1893)

I is for Iambic Pentameter

ITo what domain should I devote my pen?
To verse where I betray my ignorance?
For I to put these words on blogging, sense
Is strained by hackneyed turns of phrase — what then?
Oh Muse! Betray me not! This dalliance
Is but a metered post occasioned when
The A to Z endeavor strikes again
A block on all my words. And so I hence
State:
I am giving up writing iambic pentameter.
Trochee troubles set up by dactyl frustrations.
And lines get tangled up in dull calculations
So my all my metrical feet can all, in the end, fit inside there.

D is for Dry

DSometimes the cupboard is bare.
Sometimes the tissue is gone.
Sometimes the tank has no gas.
Sometimes the milk is done.

How does one take the end of supply?
Does despair find respite in a good cry?
When the dry well just mocks us
as it breaches our trust,
can we let go of attachments
to wishes
and musts?

C is for Cromulent

CSo often our language can become so bland it feels like it’s been diluted with chicken milk. Or expelled from one’s dupa. It’s enough to make you schmerf.

Supposably, with a blurp of inspiration, language can be epicaltastic and embiggen one’s imagination. “Fantabulous!” people will cry as they bow to your prose.

Irregardless, one must be careful, or risk embodying obnoxity, which may result in ginormous embarrassment and leave friends flustrated. Stresscalation is not a civil option. Orientate oneself to conversate conservatively with other participators.

The best strategery is reluctitude to stretch your vocabulation. Don’t misunderestimate the risks of malspeaking.

And never skonk.

B is for Blocked

BWhat do you do when you’re blocked? I freewrite. That’s what I am doing here. I just keep my fingers going, typing on the keyboard, spitting out words, not stopping for anything. I don’t kow what my next sentence is so I keep typing. Why am I blocked? Why? There are a lot of B topics I could blog about. I could blog about blogging. I could blog about beauty. Or bitchiness. Or bits. Or brandy. Or bugger. Or bollocks—

Don’t the Brits have great swear words? So arcane, so bizarre, so regional. So rude. And yet with their accents they come off as being polite even when they’re describing animal testicles.

It was Writing With Power, by Peter Elbow, where I learned about freewriting and the act of separating the Creator within from the Editor within. You see, if your inner editor is too powerful, too ascendent, then nothing you write will be any good and your editor will have you deleting what you write long before any blue pencil could be brought into action. It’s the separation of the processes that is the key. Writing. Then Editing. Not both at the same time. Otherwise it’s like driving with your foot on the gas and the brake at the same time. Or trying to–never mind, I was going into some bathroom analogy that would be inappropriate for this venue.

Anyway, where was I? I was wondering what to write next. I have no idea so I’ll just keep going if you don’t mind. After all, if you get bored you can just click away. Amazingly foolish, that last sentence, actually asking you to click away. Not very wise of me, is it? But hey. What can I say? I’m freewriting. This is the uncensored truth. Or at least the unedited truth. Or at least the unedited blathering on of someone who was feeling blocked on this letter of the A to Z Challenge.

I mean, when you think about it, I’m in trouble if I have to resort to freewriting on only the second letter of the alphabet. I mean, how hard is B, anyway? It’s not like it’s X or something.

X. That will be a hard one. Most of the X words that come to mind actually use X as a word in some silly, colloquial way, like “X marks the spot” or “X Men,” where X means just a mark on a map indicating a point at the vertex of the two lines, or extraordinary, respectively.

So back to the freewriting. If I get stuck on F I’m not going to be able to go here again. That would be rather redundant, wouldn’t it?

Lest I bore, I’m going to stop bitching about Brits and bits and buggers and go have a glass of brandy, so that I can sit in the comfort of my home and think about all the things I could’ve blogged instead of this.

Bye.