Friday, August 12, 2011


Shhhhhh! I hear something. It’s coming from . . . Oh no! It’s coming from inside me. From my mouth. It’s the gnashing of teeth. Know why? ‘Cause it finally happened. To me. Some people say writer’s block is a myth. I now know they’re wrong. It does indeed happen. But to me?  To moi?  The idea hamster? Say it isn’t so.
            “It isn’t so.”
             Dang it!  It’s still here. The void. The grey, stinking abyss. I’d use puce ‘cause it’s such an ugly word and hue, but really, puce is too colorful a modifier for the state of Suckedrydia.
            Drop something in. I dare you. You’ll never hear it hit bottom. No ping. No doink. Panenda.
            I’ve got nothing this week. To write. My brain has been exposed to that gizmo the dentist uses to dry out your mouth. What’s that thing sound like?  Schluusshhh? Vithhhhhh? You tell me. I can’t make a decision right now. I’m stressed. Stressed, I say!
            When the panic first started pinching my toe webbing (That’s where it started, for me any way.), I flipped through my orchid-colored, Barnes and Noble writing journal with silver cursive phrases on the cover. Sorted through scraps with sentences scrawled (I know. The alliteration is killing you, isn’t it?). I searched my folder of story ideas. Nada. Squat. Panenda. There it is again. Panenda. Is that how you spell nothing in Italian?  That’s how it sounded whenever the word exited my came-over-on-the-boat-grandma-in-law’s mouth. Her thin, mouse tail-colored mouth. I’m not even gonna Google Translate it ‘cause I’m cranky. I don’t like this blockage. At all. Creative constipation inhales my joie d’vivre. Not gonna Spell Check that either. Living large today. Taking risks. That I am.
Blame. I think I’m overstimulated. There’s this, that, and the other thing vying for my brain’s capacity. “Pick me!”  “No, me!” My writing area seems to be surrounded by the seagulls from Finding Nemo--“Mine!” “Mine!” “Mine!” Wouldn’t you know, the minute I get them to hush, the Jeopardy theme song starts.
            And another thing, I’m not a competent multi-tasker. I can’t even listen to music when I type. One issue at a time, people, world!  Worries. Coming. Going. Sick. Sad. It’s all in a blender on level ten. Screeeeee!
Escape. If I close my eyes and utter something in another language, when I open them, will I be in that country? That would be cool. I’ll . . . pick . . . Belize. In one hand I’ll clutch a tropical drink with an aqua mini-parasol. In the other, I’ll have an orange mocha latte with whipped cream. One drink to relax, the other to keep from passing out. I’ll recline on a hand-woven (silk, not cotton) hammock between two Mimosa trees. Don’t you dare tell me they’re not indigenous to Belize. I. Don't. Care.

Breathe. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Slower. You have that fight or flight respiration going on. In, two, three. Out, two, three. Repeat. And again.
            Chant. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
            Trust. Really I should. You always come through. It’s just that by Wednesday, sometimes Tuesday, I start to get damp body parts, except for my mouth. And tachycardia (I confess. I did Spell Check that one.). At the thought that I might be done. No more stories. My tale tank sucked dry. Forever.
            Pray. Please God?  Pretty please? A little breath of life down here. You, the ultimate Creator. Stand over me. I don’t care if I almost smother in your temple-filling vestments. Cup your hands around your mouth (Do you have hands?  Do you have a mouth? I know I’m made in your image but maybe it’s the inside of me that looks like the outside of you.) and spit. I’m totally fine with being spat on ‘cause it'd be holy spit. Creative juices for sure. There’d be enough stories in one drop for me to write one a day for eternity. Now that’s my idea of heaven.
            But wait! Look there. At the screen. Check out all the words. Those gorgeous letters strung together. I kiss my pointer finger and pounce it on each one. Get tired of that and rest my palm in the middle of the page instead. I drop my head back. Grin.         
            Thank you so much, sir! For rescuing me. From the grey stinking abyss I named Suckedrydia. What with all the weeping and teeth-gnashing, I’m guessing it’s a whole lot like h-e-double-toothpicks.


writingdianet said...

Well, I finally got around to Googling the mystery word--panenda. Seems it doesn't even exist. Guess Nana made it up.

What about you? Ever suffered with writer's block? Tell me all about it. What color was yours? How long did it last? How did you cure it?

Janet, said...

With a post like this, I don't think you are suffering from writer's block. Yes, I do suffer from it. But, eventually something seeks into my brain and I write.

writingdianet said...

I had it all week, Janet. It was awful! This post is what broke it loose. As I told someone else, writing about the disease was the cure. I'll remember that for future reference!

Sherri said...

Diane, I told you I'd visit your blog - and here I am. How pretty it is! I love your pictures and love the boss story!

When I get writer's block I stop trying to write and go read something. It's the most relaxing thing for me and it helps my brain unlock so I can get started again. :)


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