Because of weather, depression, and dealing with a wounded automobile, I have been having trouble getting writing done lately. I mean, me, the goof who writes every day and claims to never have writer’s block, is having trouble with being motivated enough the write things.
It is entirely possible that it is due to an improper diet. I mean, I haven’t been eating well this week. Having to squeeze the food budget to be able to pay all the bills this month is a part of the problem. The effect intermittent rain and heat have on my appetite could also be at least partly to blame. I stress eat, and am not always smart enough to depend on peanuts and peanut butter to get me through the problem.
I realize I need to eat protein to aid my brain, and fruits and vegetables so that my diabetes will slow itself down in the process of eating my brain. That process can make you a bit stupid.
I am also quite aware that eating food that has eyeballs and mouths and occasionally cat ears is also a bad idea for dietary propriety. Especially if it can also talk to me. Do non-cartoonists also have this problem?
Eating right with Ramen noodles as seen in the movie Ponyo.
All right, I admit it. My writing problems probably don’t stem from eating cartoon food. Or eating food in a cartoon for that matter, a thing I haven’t tried in real life. But the whole cartoon food allusion has gotten me halfway to 500 words today. So it is worth something. And the real solution to the problem has been to just sit down and clack away at the keyboard, even if the only thing it yields is foofy nonsense. (And I know “foofy” isn’t even a real word, but WordPress counted it anyway.) I managed to write today simply by doing it.
The Rowan Public Library has a storm sewer drain near the parking area on the west side of the building. How do you prevent cars from parking on top of it and risking significant damage to two different things? The librarian’s solution? Make a rock garden around it so that only extremely stupid people would still consider parking there. And what better summer activity than to invite kids and senior citizens to come in and paint the rocks for decoration’s sake.
The goofy spotted frog and the Star Wars rebel flying goose are the rocks that I chose to paint. You can see that I had more fun than I did artistic epiphanies. But that is the thing about art. Bob Ross says that it can bring good things to your heart. And it does even more so when you share it with kids and other people.
So I had a relatively good time just painting rocks for fun and cracking simple, stupid jokes to make little kids laugh.
Mom had fun painting flowers and smiling suns on a rock next to her good friend Annie and Annie’s great grandson. You see them in this picture taken by the little boy’s grandmother.
And my daughter really got invested in the zen experience of putting paint on rocks. She took the longest of anybody to finish her second rock. And, of course, her little dragon-obsessed creation was easily the best one of the day.
If you’ve read any of the crap that Mickey wrote about before on this goofy blog, you probably already suspect that Mickey’s mind does not work like a normal mind. The road map above is just one indicator of the weirdness of the wiring that propels Mickey on the yellow brick road to Oz and back. He just isn’t a normal thinker.
But having a few bats in the old belfry doesn’t prevent the man from having a plan. If you read all of Mickey’s hometown novels, you will discover he hasn’t written them in time order. Main characters in my 2016 novel weren’t even born yet in my 2017 books. If you look at them in chronological order rather than the order written, you will see characters growing and changing over time. A shy kid in one novel grows into a werewolf hunter in the next. A girl who loses her father to suicide in a novel not yet completed, learns how to love again in another novel.
Multiple Mickian stories are totally infected with fairies. The magic little buggers are harder to get rid of than mosquitoes and are far and away more dangerous. And there are disturbing levels of science-fiction-ness radiating through all of the stories. How dare he think like that? In undulating spirals instead of straight lines! He doesn’t even use complete sentences all the time. And they used to let that odd bird teach English to middle school kids.
But there is a method to his utter madness. He started with the simpler stories of growing up and learning about the terrors of kissing girls when you are only twelve. And then he moved on into the darker realms of dealing with death and loss of love, the tragedy of finding true love and losing it again almost as soon as you recognize its reality. Simple moves on to complex. Order is restored with imagination, only to be broken down again and then restored yet again,.
And, of course, we always listen Mr. Gaiman. He is a powerful wizard after all. The Sandman and creator of good dreams. So Mickey will completely ignore the fact that nobody reads his books no matter what he does or says. And he will write another story.
It will be called Sing Sad Songs, and it will be the most complex and difficult story that Mickey has ever written. And it will be glorious. It will also rip Mickey’s heart out. And I will put that ripped-out heart back in place and make Mickey keep writing it, no matter how many times I have to wash, rinse, and repeat. This statement of goals is the very spell that will make that magic happen. So, weird little head-map in hand, here we go on the writer’s journey once again.
Sometimes when my health is poor and too many things are already on my mind, it is hard to think of a subject for the daily essay. I don’t let that stop me. Yes, indeed, I can write with a completely empty head.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not a stupid man. But sometimes life’s demands can empty your mind of idea seeds, and the garden of your mind might be slow in providing new blossoms and palatable fruit. But some people do a lot of writing with empty heads. Some are toxic to read because there is no substance to what they say. And some can spin out a tale or a logic trail that fascinates even though the idea furnaces are initially cold and not ready to cook.
So maybe I have an idea to write about today already.
Maybe I can say something about how I get ideas out of my stupid little head.
But my head is completely empty today.
Oh, well… I already re-blogged something else anyway.
An author can’t resist portraying himself somewhere in his fiction. Even though the entire work of fiction is actually a map of the inside of the author’s self, there will be a character who is the self-portrait of the author buried somewhere within. It may be the first person narrator of the story. Or it may be a background character lurking at the periphery of the plot.
In the ongoing work of fiction that is my family D&D game, that me-character is the wizard in red, Eli Tragedy. Yes, bumbling, doddering, and constantly babbling Eli Tragedy, aged half-elf with a little more than half a wit, is basically me. His two apprentices, Bob and Mickey the Were-rat, are constantly at his side to open doors for him, set off booby traps stupidly before he gets there, and generally demonstrate the level of his teaching ability by their lazy incompetence and general inability to learn anything.
Now, lest you think I might really be exactly like this exaggeratedly foolish fool of a character armed with way too much magical ability and arcane knowledge to be safe wandering around freely in public, let me assure you, we are very different, Eli and I. He’s at least a centimeter taller than I am when he stands up straight. I have, however, aimed more than a few metaphorical fireballs at my own image in the hallway mirror. And I may have burned my own eyebrows off more than once. But Eli’s real purpose is mainly to poke fun at myself and create a few laughs, along with a few D&D style world-ending crisis-es, as when Mickey the Were-rat stole and misused Eli’s magic hat. Dang, those toe-dancing pink rhinoceroses with the nitroglycerin in their over-sized backpacks were heck to herd back into the King’s Royal Zoo!
But now, I am finally ready to admit it. Eli Tragedy is my alter ego. I like the color red. I am fond of random explosions and acts of inexplicable transformation. Eli Tragedy is me. And I promise, I won’t really blow the world up. It is only a role-playing game after all.