|You know it's a bad day when I write about my pen!|
I've written at times about the sound my pen makes, I've written about what must be happening to the paper as the fine point rips across it, I've written about the way the pen feels in my hand. I've had a bunch of 'pen days' in my writer's group, though not in a while. Yesterday I wrote about how I lost my pen. I'm very particular about pens, and I really like this particular type. I took it with me in the even I was moved to write while waiting for the Catbird to get done with a school function, but it never got where I was going. It wasn't in my pocket or the car, it wasn't in the house. My conclusion was it slipped off the cover of my notebook and was lost--forever.
Two days later, I saw a silver gleam in the mud when I was backing my car out of the driveway. Yep, it was the pen, and yes, I had run it over. Possibly more than once. The barrel was in fragments, but the cartridge was intact. Fortunately for me, the Catbird is a notorious collector, and she had one of my expired pens saved up for...I don't even know what. I performed a cartridge transplant, and still have a working pen.
Anyway, I wove this story of my pen around a story of the time, some fifteen(!) years ago, I ran over a pack of my wife's cigarettes in a convenience store parking lot. The smokes, freshly bought, fell out of my pocket. I ran them over. The box was slightly dented, but the cigarettes survived.
The story made people laugh. It didn't really get me anywhere. If I had started writing the pen story right away, however, I might have ended up with the basis of a new novel, a usable short story, a revision for an existing work, or maybe even a blog post. The point, though, is there's always something to write about. We have limited time to write, and it can be maddening when the words don't come out the way you want. If you're stuck, write about your pen. Or your keyboard. Or the coffee stains on your shirt. Or your half-awake stumbling to the shower. Chances are good that the act of writing, even if it's not what you want to be writing, will get you going enough. Yeah, I've definitely written this sort of stuff before, so my apologies if it feels like a rerun. I suppose it's good to be reminded of it every once in a while, right?
Meanwhile, by now you've probably seen Amanda Palmer's TED Talks appearance that's taking the world by storm. I can't connect all the dots today, my brain is too addled by illness and ideas, but I've certainly been thinking about it. Go watch it if you haven't already, let it stew. Some day, maybe we'll talk about it here.
And, finally, congrats to Carrie Butler, whose novel, Strength, debuts this week. Carrie will be here for an interview on 3/15. Looking forward to it! See you all soon.