Ok, I’m stuck. I’m stuck in a place that requires making a short story work and another place that will finish a chapter in a novel. Is it the holiday season? Or is it something about winter? Could it be cabin fever?
Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it’s just what happens when you focus on something so much that you realize you’ve forgotten to do simple tasks like make red beans and rice for supper, fix a pot of soup for lunch, clean the catbox and change the water in the bowl, and do laundry.
That might be it. Whatever the reason is for getting stuck, it just happens.
In one novel currently underway, I cranked out 2 full chapters in 1989 and then came to a screeching halt, because I had no idea where it was going.
In the short story where I’m stuck for words, the continuity has to work or the story does not hold up.
In the other novel, chapter 2 has two parts. One part is finished, and the other part now takes its place, just as you see a movie cut from one scene to another, and these two parts take place several thousand miles apart, with different weather systems in place.
Oh, you think you’re confused? Try this: right in the middle of a nice dinner, one of the characters gets up out of his chair and starts telling me what happened. So do I go turn on my computer and start writing down his narrative? Or do I wait until I’m done with dinner, put the dishes in the sink to wash later, and then go write up that narrative?
Well, this IS the Christmas season. It’s time to not be quite so intense. Capricorn rules the sky right now, and we just passed the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, when the Earth’s axis moves to 0 degrees Capricorn, while the Frost Giants stand ready to overpower humanity with their bitter winds and freezing gales.
We hang holly on the mantelpiece (if we have one) or the door, because holly is what was used to keep the Frost Giants at bay. We burn the yule log to indicate the passing of another 12 months and wait for the sun to put in longer hours in the sky. We read old stories and legends and myths about winter following fall, and spring following winter, and wonder if winter will ever end.
And then some scientist will try to explain that it’s all due to climate change, which takes the romance out of it and destroys the imaginative stories and songs that make the season a lot more fun.
So my wish for this Christmas and for the New Year 2014 is that Imagination is allowed to rear her silly, giggly, frizzy head without being stifled or scorned or analyzed, and that she’ll have a crown of holly branches on her head, and a red robe with white trim and fluffy slippers on her feet, while she sits by my imaginary fireside reading someting I wrote and sipping hot cocoa with chocolate shavings, or hot apple cider with a slice of lemon.
Merry Christmas and a Happy and very Prosperous New Year 2014.