Wednesday, January 30, 2013


There is no focus in my brain today. There is a stack of two books and a magazine beside me, several more in the bedroom, and one in the office. Some of them are sporting chic pastel page markers in the hopes that I'll either take notes or make the dishes therein. It's been windy enough that the chimney has been sighing and the table umbrella that James tied with an old belt after the last windstorm has been wobbling. I intended to start this morning in the arboretum, but I haven't left the house. The dogs are sleeping.

Not leaving the house tends to be a problem for me, because it lets me haunt Facebook and play Skyrim and in general fill up the day with the kind of chores that just keep the house together. The neighborhood feels like an experiment in isolation--how long can you shuffle clothes through the laundry room, a vacuum across the carpet, the dogs in and out of the backyard before your sense of purpose cracks?

I would have liked to walk through the arboretum on this windy afternoon and get out the last of the insomniac cobwebs lingering from a broken sleep out of my head. Instead, I listened to the hyper weather predictions and stayed here. With the stacks of books. That need to be read. Now.

Not happening. There has come to be a tension between my reader and writer selves. Neither believes they are fully compatible with each other. A good novel is enjoyable, but also a rebuke the work I'm doing. A bad novel reminds me that I'm flailing around in this same not-quite-there world and then reinforces the judginess that's already zooming around the writer self like a flock of bees. Zzzzzz. Bees are totally taunting the insomniac part of me as well.

The reader self is perfectly happy with reams of lit crit or fantasy novels, the writer self insists on contemporary romance or urban fantasy because those are genres that sell and disputes the lit crit while simultaneously wishing itself clever enough for that kind of depth.

There isn't much compromise on a day when I'm this easily distracted. I've deleted and rewritten this post several times to no great avail. It's still windy. The chimney is still thumping, the open windows whistling. Something is blowing in, although it is not yet here.

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