I was sitting here wondering what I could write about, when it dawned on me – slowly, and through a lot of clouds – that what I needed to write about was not writing. I have been acutely conscious that since sometime in, um, possibly January (in other words, all of this year) I have not been writing much. This last month, almost nothing at all. I’ve griped about it here on the blog off and on, and about a month ago gave it up because I knew that writing wasn’t going to come easy, or be a priority, while we were moving.
I’d completely underestimated how much house hunting, the stresses concomitant with waiting on loan approval, inspections, appraisals, closings, postponement of closing, postponement again… it took a toll on us all. The First Reader was exhausted, although this week he seems to finally be feeling better. He’s a rock, but the house hunting and loan process was getting on his last nerve. His modus operandi in life is ‘don’t owe anyone nuthin’ and sinking money into a house that is a huge debt (relatively, since he has no other debts) was a big stressor for him. Him being stressed stressed me. Our relationship is very much equal yoked – as I told him the other day, my world revolves around him, like the earth around the sun, but I don’t feel like I need to demand all his attention, and he doesn’t need all of mine. Anyway… no, actually, that’s not off topic. It’s all part of my writer’s brain, and what makes me tick. Also, what makes it into my fiction. There’s a reason that I wrote Lom and Bella in Pixie Noir as low-key romance, no drama. They had enough drama surrounding them and threatening them, they didn’t need to create it between themselves! I drew a lot of their relationship from my own. Petty relationship shit I can find on facebook if I ever need to write it. I don’t need to live it.
What surprised me yesterday was the sudden craving to write. It was impossible. I opened the document when I finally had time to sit down around eight in the evening, and stared at it soddenly. I’d been on the go for something like sixteen hours at that point, including a small amount of moving, and the brain was stirring amorphously. Unfortunately, formless desires to write do not translate well into words, so after a while I closed the file and went to bed, since I had to be up before five in the morning and I really wanted something approaching eight hours of sleep (didn’t happen, but…). I wasn’t expecting to be bit by the muse in the middle of all this chaos. I’m barely keeping up with work as what I’m doing day to day, heck, even hour to hour, is changed on me. Then, outside work, I’ve got the kids, and the move, and… I can’t think straight. In the middle of all this, the Muse comes calling?
I’m about to look my Muse in the eyes, and say, “Look, you drive the kid to her college orientation session, and the other kid to her dental appointment, and don’t forget that the other kid really wants me to pick up googly eyes from the store, needs them by Friday. Then the other kid needs dropped off for band competition, and that kid needs new pants, again. How many kids do I have? Oh, and while you’re at it, install the hitch on my car and run a few loads over to the new house? kthanxbai!” Then maybe I could write. Since that’s not happening, I’ll just have to seize spare moments and try writing then.
I have a perverse brain. No, no, not like th… ok, maybe like that. But that’s between the First Reader and I. My particular perversion is that I write best while surrounded by chaos. Some people need utter silence. Shut up in a cell walled in with rocks, they could pound the keyboard until they had it out. Other people need music, and a door between them and the world. Me? I once wrote a chapter of Dragon Noir while sitting in the main convention hall at LTUE. I’d been up in a nice, peaceful hotel room but Noooo… the muse wanted it rowdy. Mix up work pulling me in one direction, the house situation pulling me in another, and suddenly at the bottom of this whirlpool of chaos, there’s my Muse. Sitting there playing with story ideas.
Dammit, muse! Why can’t you be more normal?