It is almost two weeks into December, and this morning, I finished up the project at work that has consumed my time and sapped my life energy since the first week of December.
I am sitting down to a desk that has collected a thin layer of dust (to be fair, it doesn't take long at all for things to collect dust when you're in the Panhandle of Texas), and trying to remember how I was able to sit at this crazy computing device and make words happen. I know I did it--on an almost daily basis, nonetheless. It wasn't even that long ago.
But tonight, the music is wrong, the dogs outside are barking too loud, the coffee doesn't taste right, my computer seems to be running even slower than usual.
None of that should matter. And really, it doesn't. The music is the same music I've listened to before, the annoying dogs are only as annoying as they always are, and the coffee and the computer are both fine. The problem in this equation is me.
November is over; my mission to sit down and crank out at least 50,000 words was successful; my brain is telling me it's okay to flop down on the couch and go into zombie mode until next year.
I'm not okay with that, though. Because I still have a pretty steady flow of ideas. I know from previous experience that as I refuse to come in and write them down, they'll grow sparse, until I have trouble even thinking up the simplest story.
Right now, I still have writer's eye: I look around, and I don't just see the world, but rather the world as it could be, if only there was a suspicious pool of liquid over there, or a muffled noise from inside that building, or if instead of laughing a fake laugh at the customer, the cashier snapped and began chasing people through the store with two and a half pounds of frozen bacon.
I assume most of my writer friends (and a lot of friends who don't do much writing, but should) have this same kind of perception. This slightly skewed, "but what if" kind of vision.
Sure, that pile of leaves over there is only there because the wind pushed it against the fence...but what if there was a vampire hobo, he spends his nights begging for blood, and then tucks himself under leaves or piles of garbage during the day, because he can't afford a coffin of his own?
I pass by trees, and they look like eroded statues of people cursed; I pass through a patch of fog and imagine it as a morbidly obese ghost that ate so much he can't hold his form together; the neighbors' asshole dogs bark and I hear...well, with that one, I pretty much just hear those asshole dogs barking--there's nothing inspirational about those little jerks, and I wish that hobo vampire would get off his ass and drain them, already.
My point is, right now, my imagination is still working. But I can feel it getting out of shape, feel it starting to get lazy and sloppy. The words are more difficult to find than they were a few weeks ago. And instead of letting my fingers bounce across the keys like they know what they're doing, I pause every sentence or so, unsure of what's going to happen next.
And it will only get worse, if I let it.
So I'm not going to let it. I've been waking up and walking on a treadmill in the morning (more on that later, I'm sure), because I need to get in some sort of shape before it's way past too late. And damned if I'm gonna go through that and not take the time to exercise my mind, too.
Anyway, welcome to December, Strangelanders.
Sorry I'm late.