* I’ve dulled my hand at blogging, it seems. Self-exiled from all social media in order to finish my novel and accomplish other tasks, I decided it would be all right to keep “bloggeneringing” because it requires writing that was a bit lengthier, more thoughtful, and challenging. So lengthy, thoughtful, and challenging, my muse treated it as if she were attempting the King Pigeon pose.

“Wr-wr-write? Extended entries? I can’t be done! It shan’t be done! It negan’t be done!” she shrilly shrieked.


Then I recalled that during my Live Journal days I usual wrote in short bursts: longer than a tweet, shorter than a Facebook post.


* Like Sinistar, I live. When I handed off my passwords for Facebook, Twitter, and the rest to my friend Kathy, life didn’t stop. I’m still raising two lovely kids with my wife (no, really, they are quite lovely; the loveliest things ever), still punching the clock in the morning and evening, and still frittering away what little free time I have on writing, art projects, and my son’s increasingly esoteric requests (“Daddy, can you make me a ray gun that shoots a blue laser that makes elephant beans furious?” He didn’t actually say that, but sometimes the box cars in his train of thought are filled with oddities. I suspect Phineas and Ferb and Mythbusters have been strangely altered through his mind filter).

The baby girl sleeps longer during the night, but still wakes up at about 4 a.m. mewling for formula, striking the wife and myself with insomnia and, in my case, daytime hallucinations. I occasionally see black cats whipping by in the corner of my eyes. Good thing I rarely drive anywhere these days.

It is a good life, but…

* The novel isn’t finished. I wanted to finish it two weeks after the password hand-off, but certain circumstances whereof I cannot speak without getting ticked have emerged. Also, my writing hours are now confined to 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. during lunchtime and about 9:30 to midnight when all are asleep, and after the dishes are put away, the toys are picked up, the laundry is folded, and so forth. Not having social media to play with has freed up some time, but I still find myself frittering minutes away at this or that site when I should be writing. I’ve made progress, finally exiting a chapter that seemed inescapable and ever-growing, for instance. I’m risking similar literary quicksand in chapter 20 too, but I’ve slogged on, reaching for branch after branch and vine after vine overhead until I yank myself gasping back to dry land.

I recently read an interesting statement from a writer on another blog (I should have written down his name, sorry). He said something like, “Can’t bring yourself to write 1,000 words a day? Write 2,000 instead and edit them later.” Which reflects on a Wm. S. Burroughs quote I frequently drag out to prod myself into action: “The biggest obstacle for any writer is the knowledge of the amount of bad writing he’ll have to do before he creates any good writing.” I have produced a great deal of bad writing lately, I am proud to say.

But it’s not finished, and I’m still tormented (yes, genuine torment!) over the likelihood that the novel will go no further than my printer (or maybe lulu.com). Very well. On the day I write the final word, I’ll print out the entire book (I already printed out section one), photograph myself holding it and post it here, shove it into a large padded envelope, and then stick it on the closet shelf for a month, pretending it is dead. DEAD! For laughs, after I finish the final edit, I may set the first draft on fire in the backyard. CATHARSIS, I WORSHIP THEE.

* More later. maybe.

Author: Mr. Dan Kelly

Chicago writer interested in many things.