Standing right here…

I currently have twenty-six posts sitting in drafts.

There are a few that are mostly finished, but I have no intention of posting. Things I’ve written that I thought I wanted to dump into the ether, but once it was on the page I no longer felt compelled to press publish. I keep them because it felt better getting it out of my head. It’s the closest thing I have to a private journal these days.

Other posts are disjointed ramblings that happen at all hours of the night*, that don’t sound quite right so they sit until I figure out how to fix them, use pieces in other posts, or delete them completely.

 

Writing feels impossible lately.

 

I post inane shit on Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat to entertain myself, but nothing that actually means anything.

I stare at blinking cursors on blank pages, willing words to come out, but it just doesn’t happen.

My head is not in a good place right now.

A large part of that is the never-ending shit storm in the news—fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, mass shootings, a pile of rotting human excrement masquerading as president determined to destroy people’s lives. I try to limit my news intake for the sake of my sanity, but it’s incredibly difficult to do no matter where you go. It’s everywhere.

These big things I have zero control over drive me to hyper-focus on all the little things happening in my immediate vicinity. Those little things pile up to bigger things and it feels paralyzing and suffocating. Things that should just roll off become impossible to deal with, and I feel absolutely insane because I KNOW how insignificant it all is, but in the moment it feels like the world is caving in.

We’ve been having problems with mice. We’ve caught two, but I’m not convinced that’s the end of it, and I am REALLY FUCKING TIRED of cleaning mouse shit out of my kitchen cupboards.

I had a minor infection up my nose at incision site. It cleared itself up by the time I got into the doctor, but it was a panic-inducing few days. And while the surgeon said everything was a-okay, I still have this paranoia that the lingering soreness in my nose is brewing another infection.

Totaling up all my surgery related bills has come to $6,000 even. It actually cost way more than that, but I hit my deductible. We’re fortunate the expense won’t break us, but it’s still painful.

Writing is not happening lately and it’s really killing my mental state. (In addition to the previously mentioned JFC THE WORLD SUCKS.)

The high 80’s temperatures in the middle of September are really intensifying the Summertime SAD. We had a few days of 60’s and hoodie weather. It’s forecasted to return. But it can’t get here soon enough.

 

GOOD THINGS

Bob bought me a new set of pans. Our existing ones were a wedding gift and we’ve only been using them since we moved into our house, but the finish is wearing badly and some of them are warping. The new ones are heavier construction and [reportedly] better quality.

We have a four-day weekend coming up. Bob had some vacation time to use and our anniversary is next week. We’ll be lounging around the house doing what we do best…nothing.

I got a new computer mouse and it has fancy lights that cycle through a rainbow of colors. Rainbows make everything better.

Bob bought me new Chucks for my surgery. They’re bright blue and technically part of the Converse Pride Collection, so they have rainbow soles and laces. (Rainbows make everything better.) It wasn’t so much a gift for having surgery, but surviving the multitude of panic attacks brought on by scheduling/planning/et al. said surgery. See also: I am incredibly spoiled.

I CAN BREATHE THROUGH MY NOSE.

 

It’s incredibly telling—and sad—that they automatically send a financial assistance application with the bill.

 

* Trust me, they’re different from the disjointed ramblings that happen at all hours of the night that actually get posted.

Melting over time…

Oh hey, it’s August.

July was fully centered on surgery and recovery and staring blankly at various points in front of me because I didn’t have the energy for much else. Aside from whining about it on Twitter. I did A LOT of whining about it on Twitter.

Nothing new there.

So.

Stuff.

And things…

1.) I may or may not write a lengthy post about septoplasty and bilateral turbinate reduction. I have plenty to say, but…effort. In short, things are still sore if I bump my nose—which is often gaddammit—and I can’t put full pressure behind blowing my nose. But I can breathe clearly and I have no idea how to handle this much oxygen at one time. I am genuinely shocked that I have finally had success with an expensive medical venture. The insurance statements are rolling in and oh my god that’s a lot of dollars, but I won’t have to pay for all of it—just most of it—because I hit my asinine deductible.

2.) I’ve been trying to drink Kombucha. I say trying because it smells like beer, tastes less offensive, and burns the hell out of my stomach. Also it’s ridiculously expensive for a 12-15oz bottle of bacteria. But fermented foodstuffs are rumored to help anxiety. (Mostly social anxiety, but anxiety nonetheless.) Normally I’m highly skeptical of all this current day EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT 100% NATURAL IS EVIL AND GOING TO KILL YOU screeching, but I get a little experimental when it comes to managing my plethora of mental ailments because I’m a glutton for punishment, but I’m not [currently] willing to go back and play the Let’s Try This One Next! game with medication. Again.

3.) We went to my sister’s for Ellie’s birthday last weekend. My baby is 14 and starting high school this year. She’s become a video game and anime geek and Auntie Sara is so proud. But still. HIGH SCHOOL!? (Noah’s going to be in 11th grade and Hunter is starting college. STOP GROWING UP ON ME.)

4.) I’ve been on a Splender and Toad the Wet Sprocket kick recently. Because I like my music at least old enough to drive, apparently. Listening to Toad really makes me miss 90’s alternative. And watching those Splender videos looks like James Cruz has barely aged in damn near 20 years. WHAT THE HELL, JAMES? (Seriously, how old is he? We saw him play with Gavin DeGraw and I would have guessed he was younger than me, but Splender formed in 1990, which would likely put him at least mid-40’s and he has to have some sort of youth serum.) (Also, I had no idea he was even in Splender until recently and I’m still inexplicably boggled I didn’t know this. I’d almost go as far as saying I was shook. But I’m thirty-seven years old, so no. I wasn’t a hardcore Splender fan by any means. Mostly I remember Waymon Boone and his platinum blonde hair. But still. What the hell, James?) Maybe it’s bass players. Benj Gershman hasn’t aged in the history of O.A.R. either. Then again, none of those guys seem to have aged much. What the hell, boys?

This is my brain and welcome to it.

ANYWAY.

5.) I feel like this fortune cookie is a metaphor for something…

As I sit here beating my head against the wall over potential changes in a story project.

Caught in a one-way street…

I didn’t make a single post in the month of May and we’re already approaching the end of June.

Generally in the long stretches between posts, I start, revisit, abandon, and/or delete half a dozen drafts trying to come up with something to write that doesn’t make me want to bang my head against the wall.

This time around…

I don’t think I even really opened WordPress.

I’ve barely been writing anything.

I started this post over a week ago and this is as far as I’ve gotten.

I’m stuck in this weird paralysis with writing as of late. I can’t quite pinpoint what’s causing it, other than a complete lack of inspiration. (Okay, that and the horrifying state of the world. URGH.) I spend a large portion of every day staring at a blinking cursor in Word, but very few words end up on the page. And what I have written is just garbage. FNEH.

 

Listing…

1.) My nose surgery is scheduled for July 10th. I don’t have a time yet, as they don’t give you that information until a couple days before. I have a pre-op appointment on the 3rd and a post-op on the 14th. The anxiety is already high and it will spike exponentially when the time arrives, but it’s scheduled. And I only had one bad panic attack in the process. There’s a part of me that worries that I’m going to go through this and it’s not going to solve anything—as is my track record with just about ANYTHING health related—but I’m trying to remain realistically optimistic that I’ll be able to breathe properly through my nose when all is said and done.

2.) The new Stormblood expansion for Final Fantasy XIV is out. Bob is on vacation this week to play. This is what we do for vacation. We stay home and play video games. We don’t need fancy (stressful, exhausting, expensive) trips. Avoiding people from the comfort of our home for an entire week is our ideal getaway. (Though FFXIV is an MMO so there is actually interaction with real people while playing. They’re just on the other side of the computer screen.) More than anything, I just love having Bob all to myself for a week.

3.) Andy Grammer put out a new song. Ryan Star put out a new song. These things make me happy.

4.) Savage Garden’s I Want You video recently popped up on Youtube recommendations and then I followed the trail and ended up on their Affirmation video and was pummeled by a nostalgia freight train. That was the first concert I saw as an adult and it pretty well cemented my deep-rooted love for live music.

5.) This is a picture of an itty-bitty-teeny-tiny frog. We went to the in-laws for father’s day and there were literally dozens of these tiny little frogs hopping around the yard. So, so TINY. This little guy could sit on my thumbnail with room to spare. He was so tiny he kept stumbling on the rough surface of the patio as he hopped around. I wanted to keep them all.

(Spell check wants to change itty to titty and that amuses me because I am twelve.)

Setting it off again…

Oh hey.

It’s Sunday night insomnia.

How’s business?

 

I had my annual physical and walked out with orders for blood work, a mammogram, a CT scan of my sinuses, and a referral to an ENT doctor.

Blood work showed I have really low iron and need supplements, but this may be a factor in the monthly headaches that render me utterly useless for three days. Though I won’t know for a few more weeks if the added iron will have any effect. Here’s hoping.

I’m not concerned about the mammogram, as it’s now just a part of the annual fun because family history dictates the smashing of boobs under age 40. It hurts like a sonofabitch, but the whole appointment takes ten minutes and somehow having a strange woman handling my naked boobs is pretty low on the stress and anxiety scale for me. Go figure.

The CT scan and ENT doctor told me that my sinuses and ears are 100% normal, but I have a deviated septum. This is (most likely) the cause of my decades long struggle with sinus problems. Now I get to decide if and when I want to have surgery to correct the problem and have the possibility of being able to breathe properly through my nose for the first time…ever? I’ve decided the if—yes I will—but I need to figure out the when. Which means scheduling the surgery. Which means anxiety. Because surgery. And phone calls. And ME.

The ENT doctor told me most people don’t even know how they ended up with a deviated septum—some are born with it, some are the result of injury. I told him my theory and he told me I was probably right. Pretty much every single year in gym class I took a basketball to the face (and usually a volleyball too) because I went to school with a whole herd of assholes. I really don’t miss those people.

During the ENT appointment, for the hell of it I brought up the gaddamn Phantom Smoke Stench. I really didn’t expect an answer, but he actually called it by name—Phantosmia—and told me that since I had the MRI and EEGs that reported my brain is 100% normal, it’s a sensory issue that there is no fix for. Most people only experience it for a short amount of time—not years like I’ve been dealing with—usually after illness or injury. Maybe someday I won’t smell it anymore. But I won’t hold my breath. (Because I’ll be able to breathe properly through my nose! I hope. I really hope.)

Life. Cripes.

 

My nose angles to the right and my nostrils are very lopsided and there are EIGHT light bulbs in my bathroom and that is highly unnecessary.

All the mess we’re in…

Writing is hard.

Yes, we’re on this again.

It’s two-something in the morning as I write this and I’m not even close to being tired enough to go to bed. Which is great because I have an appointment at 10:15 and I’ll be good and exhausted for that. I had a surge of bad anxiety hit right before bedtime and…here we sit.

The obnoxious thing about it, is it was mostly innocuous nonsense that spiked the anxiety in the first place. But once I went to bed and tried to sleep, I lasted about an hour before I couldn’t stand to stay put any longer. So I got up and made tea, and I’ve been staring at a computer screen doing nothing productive since.

Par for the course.

Anyhoo.

Writing.

…) I’ve been trapped in the manic phase of the writing cycle for quite some time. I jump from project to project, unable to focus on any one thing long enough to make an impact. I read things I’ve written and think, “This doesn’t suck. Why am I not working on this one?” And then I jump to another folder because attention spans are for schmucks.

…) Basil finally seemed to run out of Tyler ideas and then decided to just piss right off. Because he’s an asshole. I suppose I only have myself to blame for conjuring a muse that’s a damn gremlin.

What?

…) I’ve been mulling over a new idea for the past…week?…or so. Though I don’t think I can really call it a new idea, as it really just pulls pieces of existing plotlines to cobble together a slightly different path for essentially the same group of characters. (Perhaps Basil’s well hasn’t run completely dry just yet.) I’ve felt hesitant to actually work on it, because it’s really just another iteration of the thing I’ve been stabbing at for well over a year at this point. Is this one going to actually work? Only one way to find out I suppose, but it’s difficult to get past the paralysis currently blocking my path.

…) There are two stories I actually really want to be working on. One…we all know which one. The other…has issues. I know what the issues are. I just don’t know how to fix them. I’ve tried to shoehorn half a dozen different subplots into it, only to throw them out after realizing none of them fit. It already has Tyler in it, as this was actually the very first Tyler disaster to hit the page. Part of me is beginning to wonder (and by beginning I mean yes, definitely) if Tyler is actually the problem in all of this. But if I’m being honest he’s actually the most interesting character of them all. By comparison at least. Hannah and Joel, as they currently exist, are just really, mind numbingly boring.

…) So where does that leave me? Here, I suppose. Writing this nonsense instead of the stuff I really want to be working on.

This is my brain and welcome to it.

From the time he learned to talk, it was difficult to get a word in edgewise. He was a social creature, always in the middle of the fray. He never had difficulty making friends or charming every last adult to cross his path. Now rapidly approaching his fifteenth birthday, he was practically mute. He rarely looked her in the eye. It was nearly impossible to get him to smile.

Part of her wanted to attribute it to broody teenage independence, but her gut told her it was so much more than that. His anxiety seemed to spike a lot more frequently and he was often agitated with no discernable triggers. He didn’t strike her as being depressed. Experiences with her youngest brother had given her a pretty solid reference point for identifying the signs. There was plenty of melancholy, but he seemed more annoyed than anything. When she prodded him for answers, he claimed he was fine—if he said anything at all—and more often than not, just rolled his eyes when she expressed her concern.

They’d always had a close and candid relationship. He’d always been able to talk to her about anything, no matter how awkward or upsetting it might be. Now he didn’t want to talk to her about even the most innocuous subjects. Change was inevitable she knew, but the changes he’d gone through were so completely out of character, they’d left her reeling. She had a theory or two, but she wasn’t sure if she was reading too much into things, so desperate for answers, or if the truth really was staring her right in the face, just waiting for her to speak first.

She felt helpless and clueless, in a constant state of worry that she was missing something obvious or doing something wrong. After nearly fifteen years, she thought she’d have more figured out when it came to parenting, but clearly that wasn’t the case. It was absolutely paralyzing. She knew it was futile to keep beating herself up over her struggle to communicate with her son. It wasn’t doing either one of them any good. However, she’d never been very adept at taking her own advice.


Yes. Hello. I realize you should be writing, but I would like some snacks.

What?

Always the same…

There is a never-ending shitstorm of bad news from an administration hellbent on destroying people’s lives.

Anyone with a single shred of basic human decency can see it.

There is a loud consensus as of late that if you’re not publicly screeching about what’s going on in the world, you’re contributing to the problem. If you’re not filling your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/[insert social media platform of choice] feeds with outrage, you are helping the opposition.

Silence equals compliance.

I’ve done more than my fair share of screaming into the void with everyone else, though I make a conscious effort not to. It’s not doing anybody any actual good, and it’s just not nearly as cathartic as it once was. (see: the entirety of my livejournal) The stuff I do put out isn’t anything constructive, it’s just that things have reached a breaking point and [literally] screaming at my computer screen (alone, in my house) can only relieve so much stress. Does posting an angry tirade on Twitter really help? No. Not really. But it happens. Because sometimes I don’t know what else to do. We all have our coping methods. Meltdowns on public forums are part of my deal. I can count on one hand the number of people who actually see what I post on a given platform. I’m not influencing anybody over here. Nor do I have any desire to. I’m just trying to survive on a daily basis, just like everyone else.

Words are in short supply as of late.

I keep opening WordPress, staring at it, and closing the tab without writing anything.

I want to write about ANYTHING other that what’s going on in the world as of late, but it’s difficult to focus on anything but. I don’t have anything useful to contribute to the conversation. Screaming into the void is just adding to the endless noise. And while venting can be healthy and cathartic, it’s not what I want to expend my already limited amount of mental energy on. I spend plenty of time talking to Bob about all of it, I don’t want to spend even more writing about it too. (Yet, this post is still happening. Whatever.)

I’ve started and abandoned so many posts about other things recently. None of them make it very far before I just don’t have the energy to continue. So I close the tab and try to find something else to focus on, but focus is not happening either.

It’s that time of the year. February and March hit almost as hard as the summertime SAD slump. It’s not fun, but it’s not new, and once I finally manage to identify it, I can better find ways to cope until it passes.

Because it will pass.

Everything sucks in the meantime, but IT WILL PASS.

Between the lines…

I keep opening up WordPress and staring at my dashboard thinking I need to write something, but mostly I just hear a lot of screaming inside my head. This is because I usually just read the latest headline regarding a certain deranged, blaze orange, narcissistic game show host who’s about to be given free reign over nuclear weapons and all his willfully ignorant and deranged cult followers.

But I don’t want to talk about that.

Instead, listing…

1.) I’ve been listening to the same music on repeat. This isn’t exactly a new thing, but my sanity is at critical mass regarding the aforementioned Shit I Don’t Want To Talk About and I need to maintain some semblance of calm in my bad addled brain. Nothing achieves that quite like listening to music I love ad nauseam. Right now we’ve got O.A.R., Andy Grammer, Eric Hutchinson, and Ingram Hill in heavy rotation. They are good for the soul.

2.) The Christmas tree still stands in the living room, in part because I am a procrastinator, and in part because I don’t want to put away the lights. I want to keep the lights up year round. I don’t need the tree or the ornaments, just the lights. I wonder if I could convince Robert to let me hang some in the loft…

3.) Basil seems to have expended all of his Tyler pipe dreams. Which is a bit of a blessing and relief, but he’s also being obnoxiously quiet on ideas in general. Because of course he is. There is no in between with him. Because he’s an asshole. But we’ve been over this.

4.) I’ve come to the conclusion that there is really only one story in the active list that is truly viable in its current state. As in, it has a definitive start and end point, and a clear plot in the middle. I’ve been beating my head against the wall over it for over a decade at this point (or half a decade as it currently exists) but it’s the one I should really be focusing on. Perhaps I should be listening to the Ben & Marina soundtrack on repeat for inspiration.

5.) I have a long list of house projects I need to get done but my focus is shot. (No–no, more than usual.) They are mostly small things that would take little time to complete, and having it done would make a lot of other things so much easier, but…ech… (see list item number one)

6.) Costco stopped selling Sobe vitamin water so we switched to the Vitamin Water brand. It’s taken some adjustment because we are creatures of habit and resistant to change. Something so insignificant shouldn’t cause such a disturbance, but we’re great like that. The orange flavor tastes like watered down Tang. Watered down Tang reminds me of the Farm. That was always pretty much the only available beverage for YEARS because well water wasn’t suitable for drinking. Christmas this year had me feeling a little wistful about the Farm. The family is gearing up to sell it now that both my grandparents are gone and it feels really weird to know that I’m probably never going to see the place again. I didn’t spend nearly as much time there as a lot of my cousins (or even my siblings) but it’s always been THERE and it won’t be long before it’s gone. (Or under new ownership, that is.)

7.) Life. It’s weirdly exhausting.

A Year in Review…2016…

Another year.

Another recap.

2017 is the Year of the Rooster.

2011…The House…
2012…Denver and Andy Grammer…
2013…If it Ain’t One Thing…
2014…The Phantom Smoke Stench…
2015…WTF Day Is It…

2016 was The Year of…The Whole Gaddamn World is on Fire…

Seriously. It’s been a year. Oh ye gods.

It’s a common (proven?) theory that things always get worse before they get better. But how much worse do things have to get before the corner is turned? 2016 was awful in so many ways for so many people and everyone is ready for it to just be DONE. Though that was the consensus at the end of 2015 as well, with the belief that 2016 had to be better and it turned out so much worse. Will 2017 continue the trend? Or will we finally get that turn around so many so desperately need? I don’t pride myself in the least on being a perpetual pessimist. But it is difficult to see things any other way when so many people are in so much pain.

Here’s hoping 2017 brings about positive change, even if it takes the whole year to get it.

1.) Where did you ring in 2016?
We marathoned the entirety of Breaking Bad over our Christmas break and finished it out on NYE.

2.) What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
I died my hair blue. I liked it but it was short-lived, and it’s way too much work to maintain.

3.) Did you keep your new year’s resolutions and will you make more for next year?
Dead horses and all that.

4.) Did anyone close to you get engaged or married?
My cousin was supposed to get married in October, but they cancelled the whole thing two weeks before the date without explanation. (Though they are still together.)

5.) Did anyone close to you become pregnant or give birth?
One of my cousins welcomed his second baby the same week our grandma died.

6.) Did anyone close to you die?
My grandma died in February. She was 99, six months shy of her 100th birthday. Now Bob and I no longer have any surviving grandparents.

7.) How did you earn your keep?
I am a housewife, dammit. (Not even close.)

8.) What countries places did you visit?
We didn’t go anywhere this year. We are okay with this.

9.) What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
A decent sleep schedule.

10.) What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
There are a lot of depressing and tragic dates associated with this year. I’m picking a happy one.
September 30th, seeing Andy Grammer and Gavin DeGraw play live.

11.) What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I survived. It has been a rough year for many reasons. But I survived.

12.) What was your biggest failure?
I didn’t get as much stuff done as I wanted to.

13.) Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a mystery plague in the middle of summer that lasted a full week and took another couple months for my system to fully rebound.

14.) Did you ever encounter the police?
I should change this question to “Did anyone crash into one of your cars?” because that is the only reason we ever encounter the police. No police this time, but Bob did get a new bumper from a bad driver. (It was minor. Everyone is fine.)

15.) What was the best thing you bought?
Concert tickets to see Andy Grammer and Gavin DeGraw.

16.) Where did most of your money go?
House stuff, car repairs, and medical bills.

17.) What did you get really excited about?
New music and live music. Bob got really excited about Final Fantasy XV.

18.) Compared to this time last year, are you…
…happier or sadder? Angrier. Read the news.
…thinner or fatter? Thinner, somehow.
…richer or poorer? Richer, I suppose. Bob got a new job.

19.) What do you wish you’d done more of?
Cleaning and organizing, as usual.

20.) What do you wish you’d done less of?
Reading the news and crying.

21.) How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Eve with my family. Christmas Day with Bob’s.

22.) What are your short and long term goals for 2017?
Short Term: Annual appointments.
Long Term: Organize my iTunes library and rip all the CDs I don’t have in digital format yet.

23.) What was your favorite TV program?
We watched the first season of Mr. Robot. It was pretty good, if a little Tyler Durden-ish.

24.) What were your favorite books of the year?
I didn’t finish anything that was particularly memorable this year. I really need to read more books.

25.) What was your favorite music from this year?
O.A.R., Gavin DeGraw, and Nine Days all put out new music that got heavy play.

26.) What song will always remind you of 2016?
She Sets the City on Fire by Gavin DeGraw. Because the switch flipped on Sir GDG.

27.) What were your favorite films of the year?
We watched a lot of movies. I’ll say Lazer Team. Because Rooster Teeth. Or Rogue One. Because Star Wars.

28.) What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I turned 37. What.
It was a Saturday. I had a headache. We ordered Chinese food for dinner and died my hair blue.

29.) What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A different election result. JFC.

30.) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Pajamas and hoodies every single day.

31.) What kept you sane?
Bob and music. Always.

32.) Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
O.A.R. and Andy Grammer are still front and center and the switch flipped on Gavin DeGraw.

33.) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
Some people just want to watch the world burn. And just when you think the flames might be getting a little lower, somebody hucks another 55 gallon drum of gasoline onto the heap.

One eye on the clock…

Sleep has been an elusive little bastard lately.

Though that detail seems a little irrelevant at this moment. I started writing this in the middle of the night, but now I’m editing it in the middle of the afternoon. Because I am efficient like that.

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve started and deleted this post in the last twenty-four hours. (More like forty-eight at this point.) In part because I’ve been in a foul mood and everything just comes out as a bunch of bitching and whining. In part because I don’t have any real clear idea of what I even want to write about. I just feel like I need to write something here, so I keep hacking and slashing at this draft, hoping something worth saving* will manifest on the screen.

I average about one post a month around these parts.

I used to write more.

Sometimes I still do.

It’s certainly not for lack of trying. I open up blank drafts (or existing ones) all the time. But I generally stare at the blinking cursor for an indeterminate amount of time, before closing it out and return to tabbing between Twitter and Word.

I suppose if all else fails, I could easily ramble on for a few hundred (or thousand) words about whatever story project I’ve been beating myself about the head over. There’s no shortage of commentary in that department. But the true challenge with that idea, is writing something that actually makes sense. My thought process when working through ideas (and their multitude of details and problems) is so disjointed. When I write about it here, I put a hell of a lot of effort into making sure it makes sense, so when I come back to it somewhere down the line (because I always do) I have at least some idea of what the hell I was talking about.

My biggest issue tends to be that everything sounds so damn cryptic, even though it isn’t meant to be. Like I’m protecting my ideas from getting spoiled or stolen, so I have to be super careful about what I say. I have no intentions or delusions of publishing this stuff I’m writing, so keeping details under lock and key isn’t a high priority concern at this point. I just want to finish something for me. Bonus points if I don’t absolutely hate it.

But really, there are only so many posts I can spit out in a row of incessant babbling about stories before even I’m just JFC SHUT UP ABOUT IT ALREADY.

I annoy myself.

I haven’t made much progress on any one story as of late. I’ve been jabbing at a lot of different ones, and maybe if I combined all that I’ve written into one place, it would add up to a lot, but on a single project? Not so much. I keep revisiting the same ideas, trying to figure out what the block is preventing progress. A lot of it is lack of a proper timeline. Narrative is always a bitch. And some are just vacant in the overall plot department. I’ve designed half a dozen floor plans in the past couple weeks, but the stories they’re intended for have barely moved.

And then there’s the ever-helpful** BASIL and his relentless WHATIF campaign.

What if you combined these two lackluster ideas to make one much more interesting story? Wait–wait, what if you added in this third plotline? Hold on, what if you took that one idea and wedged it into this story that’s super boring? You’d have to pretty much rewrite everything you have written, but it could work. Hey, this story doesn’t have Tyler in it. We need to shoehorn him in there somewhere. Let’s take this story from ten years ago and update it with a complete cast overhaul and major plot changes and Tyler. Wait—hear me out—what if…

STAAAHP.

Though I am considering one of those. Taking an idea that falls a little short on its own and combining it with one that’s far too boring—even for me—and potentially making something else entirely. It would require a hell of a lot of rewrites to make it work. It would change A LOT with the dynamic of the characters. (It already has Tyler, but it would add some pieces to his story that are currently lacking.)

I just don’t know if it’s actually a feasible idea, or if I’m just grasping at straws on a story that really isn’t salvageable. I’m not ready to let it roll over and die just yet. I’m convinced there is a way to fix it. I just don’t know if THIS is it. It would really change a lot with the dynamic of the characters, and I don’t know if I actually like what those changes would be.

Worst case scenario, I try making the changes and it’s a colossal failure. But then I would know, instead of constantly wondering about Basil’s latest whatif, and not getting any writing done because I’m too distracted by that one thing.

If I take my time figuring out what needs to be changed with the existing material, it could work. The story as is, is lacking conflict. This would add some. But I don’t know if it would feel like it’s a natural part of the story, or if it would feel like I just crammed it in there as an afterthought just to make conflict where there really is none. I could be just making everything far more convoluted than it needs to be.

Which…is really every story I’ve ever written.

Oof.

 

* I stared at that line for far too long, thinking it seemed weird, until I finally realized that it’s the title of Gavin DeGraw’s latest album. Despite my penchant for using song lyrics as post titles, that was completely unintentional.

** Not at all helpful. Seriously. Not at all.