It is time to get back to work. There are books to be finished and books to be started. Three short stories beckon, as does a play that I think may be pretty good if I get around to writing it. I’m writing a piece for a European magazine and deadline is fast approaching. The problem is, I have misplaced my favorite pen, the dragon one I bought in Hong Kong and was told was Sterling silver, though it wasn’t, of course. Laugh if you must, but right now the lack of a trusted writing implement is an excellent excuse for not writing. There are others, to wit:
- There is going to be an eclipse. The ancients believed it may signal the end of the world. If they are correct, why bother writing?
- I have discarded the old keyboard with the w that stuck. This was probably a serious error in judgement.
- I have moved and too much stuff is still in boxes including, possibly, my favorite pen.
- I am really, really tired. My body hurts. My brain is in neutral and my cancer appears to be acting up.
- English is not my native language.
- I work best in a basement, not on the fourth floor of a mid-rise.
- I have been rereading Larry McMurtry who in his novels maims almost every rule of creative writing. He luxuriates in sentence fragments, points-of-view that change in mid-paragraph, and repetitive dialog. He is a better writer than I will ever be. Plus, his stuff is produced by HBO.
- I have successfully re-assembled my computer system, a Herculean feat. That may be an exaggeration, but a lot of wires were involved, as well as live electricity. Isn’t that enough of an accomplishment for a week?
- The failed cataract operation in my left eye makes my vision on that side very blurry, and who can write blurry?
- I have not restored Pigasus to his inspirational-pig-hanging-from-the-ceiling status. This is causing me anguish.
- I still have not found my favorite pen.
These are all the excuses I can muster at a moment’s notice. If I sweep them aside for the silliness they are, I am left with an underlying feeling that writing has ceased to matter much. In fact, I have a dreadful certainty that most forms of meaningful communication are terminally ill. We have reduced social conversation to Tweets, FB Messages and a host of other electronic signals that have stripped the essence from our exchanges. The writing has suffered as well, with magazines and other publications falling victim to our need for intellectual Cliff Notes.
Tomorrow I will write about how rude we have all become to one another, and how this prefaces a violent revolution, but for now I really should get back to work.