I have a big brilliant brain, it’s just trapped behind a fog bank obscuring a brick wall façade over a mound of concrete. It’s in there though, I assure you. Every once in awhile you can hear it whimper.
I’ve been struggling with a short story for the better part of two weeks. It was one idea first – a good idea – but alas, it was not the right idea for what I need. A couple of days ago I thought about a phrase I wrote on my hand several weeks prior while I walked home in the dark after work. Incidentally, due to the lack of light, it looked a bit like: TBEE WMMOOWWIZZZYS OREMM, but I knew what it really said.
So today, after half a dozen mini articles written for a online marketing thing that Neil is working on, and several other important tasks completed, a looming deadline shook its ass at me, slapped itself and taunted with a you’ll never make it. I think it was punctuated with a PTHHUBBBBTTT! Think, Nanny nanny boo boo.
I had already switched gears and storylines to the new one carved into the back of my hand in ballpoint, but it was boring. Super boring. A short story needs a hook to pull you into the action right away and I was basically saying, hey man, if you wanna come in and read, that’s cool. I was writing the literary equivalent of Brad Pitt and his honey bear bong in True Romance. Nice, but not really the hook I needed.
I have really struggled with focus today, actually, for several days, it must be said. I had three limp initial story intros and they were certainly kicking my butt. My deadline is the 31st of this month and I had naff all to show so far.
That’s when I made a drink. Oh, hear me out. Two shots of vodka in the juice of a freshly-squeezed lemon, a splash of concentrated fruit juice (made it a lovely translucent pink), and filled with water and ice. In my adherence to being honest with you, I drank up this elixir before supper. (It was at least after 6PM, so not so bad, right.) Halfway down the glass I had 500 words out. Many more before I finished the drink. I’ve thought about it and since I’m not medicated for either my Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or my depression, if I have found a way to penetrate the fortress inside my head then I shouldn’t really knock it. I know the substance abusing writer, artist, singer, dancer, or whatever is a stereotype that often ends tragically, but I can see the logic from here. If a drink as I write keeps the doubting demons at bay, then can it be so bad? I could never write drunk, and I wouldn’t ask anyone to read the results, but a shot of courage in a glass as I start down the path- well… I’m OK with it. Anything to break down those walls.