I'm home with a cold and reading Dick Francis between cough drops, aspirin, tea and toast. There are times when being slightly under the weather is fun. I don't feel guilty about not working. I'm just relaxing. Wow! I thought I'd forgotten how. (But I mustn't make it a habit.) No fear. My husband will take care of that!
I just finished a big book. At first I felt exhilarated--at last it was finished! But now I feel let down and lethargic. I tried writing a short story, but it was lousy. I wouldn't call this condition "writer's block." It's sort of a close cousin. I'd call it "writer's lag"--or "drag." Has anyone else suffered from this ailment after finishing a book? If so, please let me know and what, if possible, will cure it.
Baseball players are just like writers. They take a nose dive once in awhile, but they come back better than ever! I have faith in them, just as I have faith in those writers who disappear for awhile, but never stop, and come back swinging.
Recovering from drive to and from Indianapolis. Great conference. Great city. Great people. My car/roommates, Caroline Todd and Elena Santangelo, were great, too. My variety of adjectives is not so great. But what do you expect? I'm a writer. We're taught to keep our adjectives to a minimum. Besides, I haven't had much sleep. More later, after I catch up on my sleep.
There are all kinds of fools. The April ones are the least of it. There are the young fools that do foolish things that haunt them for the rest of their lives--like smoking pot or sending nude pictures of themselves over the Internet. But there's no fool like an old fool as some sage said. The fool who lives a life of decorum until eighty and then drives through a supermarket window killing a few people.
But most of us are ordinary fools who bumble along saying and doing foolish things all year long. Often repeating the same foolish things we did the year before.
But most of these things aren't catastrophic, like the supermarket driver. Most of them are a misstep here, a wrong word there, easily forgiven--and we hope--forgotten. Some fools are even funny. I guess that's why the kings kept them around.
Last weekend I toured a submarine-- SS Becuna (c. 1944)--at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, to get material for the WWII spy novel I'm writing. I found out I could never be a submariner. Here are a just a few things they had to put up with:
Close quarters.( I'm talking barely room to turn around and bunks, if you raised your head more than a few inches, you'd smack the bunk above.)
Heat (120 degrees in the boiler room sometimes)
Dampness.( Nothing ever dries completely, from shoes and socks, to shirts and dungarees (alias "jeans" nowadays) The submariners were often called the "Dungaree Navy."
Showers only once a week (if you were lucky.)
Smells: of diesel fumes, oil lubrication, cigarette smoke, paint, sweat, etc.
Being nice to everyone all the time.
Noise of engines throbbing continually
Oh, yes, and...
11. The threat of being attacked at any moment!
When asked what it was like to make a trim dive, one submariner said, "Imagine you're sitting in your living room and suddenly it tilts at a 90 degree angle."
To sum up--submariners are very special people.
Now that I think about it, a submarine and my apartment are very much alike, minus the tilting and the seasickness. Maybe I could have been a submariner after all.
I don't have a TV. Some people think I'm an intellectual snob. That isn't true. The reason I don't have a TV is the same reason I don't buy ice cream or chocolate bars. I have no will power. If I had a TV, I would watch it all the time. I would have no time to read or write.
Last night an electronic accident destroyed all my good resolves.I discovered I can watch TV on the Internet! I was surfing around and suddenly plugged into an episode of CSI--complete with commercials!
...may be interpreted in several ways. First, the literal way--jotting down flashes of genius that come to you in the night, without turning on the light (and that are either illegible or not so ingenious in the morning.) Two--writing a novel in which you don't know the ending until you get there (and sometimes there is no ending when you get there.) Three--writing a book without knowing if it will be published, a common predicament during these recession times. And fourth--publishing a book, but not knowing if it will sell. Every writer has experienced that one!
Darkness is all around us. But there is still one ray of light--the writing itself. Doing it for the love of it. Then writing in the dark can become like "Dancing in the Dark."
I just made a great discovery! A book that tells you in simple language how to promote your book online. The title is PLUG YOUR BOOK, by Steve Weber, Weber Books. It's available on Amazon and at most bookstores. I recommend it to all writers, but especially to those who have a new book out.
According to a prominent toxicologist who spoke at a Sisters in Crime meeting recently, the poison choice of the year is ethylene glycol. It has a sweet taste and can be added to most drinks without detection. And the favorite victim of the year is--your spouse! Enough information for one night? Cheers!