Tuesday, February 15, 2011

State of the Blog E-mail


Thanks for this personal note from a couple weeks back. I've not been in a very communicative mode, oddly for me, but of course I LOVE (love love) hearing from others.

I can't blame being busy with The Book, as I've not been working on revisions, though I need to: right now it's too much research, too little writing.
I'm a bit disheartened because to make it excellent, I'd need another year or so to spin each chapter into a story, to find more people's stories to flesh out the facts.

I do have a couple more months, in fact, but I'm not highly motivated. Besides general laziness, I wish I could melt my resentment (my old bugbear) about the George Washington book, but that resentment sits and glowers.

I expect every writer finds something external to blame for Not Writing, at some onerous point in the process, when the whole thing has ground to a halt and inertia has set in. I mean, there's always something to hand, eh? And not a little irrelevant something, either, and not imaginary. I mean real, important reasons.
You either write through those, or you don't.
At the moment, I'm not.

Some do, though, as I'm reminded by Wilkie Collins.
I'm on a novel reading kick for the first time in a decade, and last night I started Collins' The Moonstone, which I'd loved when I was a kid.
In the preface, he says that as he was writing it, he suffered the worst crises of his life--his mother was dying and he was in terrible pain.

He suffered from "rheumatic gout", and, he doesn't mention this, but he became addicted to huge doses of opium for the pain.
But, he says, he didn't want to disappoint his readers--the book was being published serially--so he wrote through it.

I'm glad he did, for my sake: it kept me reading until 2 a.m.

Maybe I'll get my writing wind back. I don't actually have much else I need to be doing until I go to Spain ... except get in some kind of physical shape to go to Spain!
Pain is a good motivator.

Motivated by that, bink and I've signed up for a 6 week "get in shape" program at the YWCA. It starts today--we go and get measured by some fancy machine that I expect will discern, correctly, that I spent all weekend eating Oreos and oranges and reading novels.

The Camino. I don't really know what to expect. You're right it could be good, open time to think about life and writing. But I have so much open time in my life, I don't really need that.

Probably I'm most motivated with the desire to get in touch with my BODY again.
It's been quite a while---the turning point was my gallbladder surgery two years ago, which gave me an excuse to not exercise. Right, you're not suppose to exercise much for 6 weeks, but I stretched that out into two years. No exercise, not even sex, just rolling out of bed, walking the 6 inches to the computer, and sitting there blogging, vidding, FBing, e-mailing, surfing, writing for work...

I've loved that! If inactivity didn't cause the body to start to decay, I'd be fine with it, actually. But the ol' bod used its Red Alert system--pain--to remind me that it doesn't really want to decay before it's time.
So, off I go.

I'm really excited about another aspect too:
Did I tell you I (and bink, of course) invited my blog friend Marz (Margaret, of smoothable blog), and she's coming too?
I've enjoyed her brain so much in blog form, I hope we enjoy each other in person too.
Of course it's a bit of a risk, walking for 6 weeks with someone you've never met face to face, but the Camino is incredibly flexible: if any one of us wants a break, however long or short, it's easily arranged---we just walk at different paces until one of us has disappeared over the horizon, and we meet up at the end of the day, or in the next big city, or the airport going home.

I hope you don't mind but I'm going to recycle some of this e-mail on my blog. See, I've been feeling I should write something about NOT blogging but haven't been able to.
When I look back at the 3+ years I spent blogging, I'm AMAZED at how much love and energy I poured into it. Amazed and thrilled. What a great thing to do!
I don't know why I don't want to right now, but I don't.
Maybe next week I will. Or not.
You've been through this, I think---I think many (most?) bloggers eventually hit a lull.

I just want to read novels. Maybe even try my hand at fiction, which I've never been good at.

Well, we shall see.


Madame Berzerka said...

Six inches to the computer? I laughed out loud. As in "LOL". Your dilemma(s) remind me of my mother's phase when she was into biorythms. (As well as reminding me of my own Life & almost everyone else's too.) Biorythms: what I remember: you have 3 of them: emotional, mind, & physical, and they're NEVER (it seemed to me) in sync because they vary in lengths, maybe one day in 1942 they were all aligned in a good way. So when the mind is at its peak, the physical body is falling apart, etc, so one part of self is always struggling to pull the other two parts along in its wake. Yes, like astrology lite. So I'm off now to do everything today that I avoided for last three months, in spite of my inertia. You are not alone, though is that comfort?

Emma J said...

Novel therapy - always good. I finished yesterday *St. Peter's Umbrella* by a Hungarian author. An inadvertent corrective to the tragically heavy history of the Hungarian 12-day Revolution I've been reading lately. And like Moonstone - a story that delights in itself.

Walking therapy - your Camino sounds like just the ticket!

Thanks for sharing this.

Rudyinparis said...

I like this. I have a friend who's very In Touch With Her Body and I was always envious about the confidence with which she would mention her uteurus was aching, or her fallopian tube was cramping (the one on the left), etc. It seemed beyond mysterious to me. Always pretty out of touch with my body. Anyhoo, after a few years of really Paying Attention I'm much better at it. It feels more like a team effort, me and my body, like we're in this thing together, the 2 muskateers, instead of a brain in a jar with a big dusty carcass ties to it. I'm excited for your pilgrimage. Take a break, do what you need, we'll be here.

momo said...

((((Fresca)))) sending virtual hugs and well wishes. I applaud your Y initiative, I deeply empathize with the exasperation that comes when writing is thwarted by gatekeepers.

Anonymous said...

Hey, U! I'm with Momo: F the gatekeepers. (Although they do keep us on our toes creating new dances!) A voice I'm just hearing for the first times lately got me thinkin' about boundaries and margins and marginalizations, etc.
Just got home from bein' at the recently remodeled Nicholson Hall @um to hear Vanessa Paloma talk about the intertwinings of Spanish/Arabic/Hebrew cultural/linguistic realities among the Jews of northern Morocco. Midway through this event a beautiful womyn came in and sat in the chair next to me. She had a warm, sweet smile and seemed receptive to some of my murmuring asides at different points in Paloma's presentation. Then, we were asked to sign the departmental sign-in sheets so they could tally participants for future events. I did the usual visual scanning of the list to see who in the mishpucha's names I recognized, as well as familiar faces. As I passed the clipboard to my left I smiled at the beautiful womyn and noticed she had written a name that resonated somewhat. She also checked out my email name and then leaned toward me and told me she is Fresca's friend! I got happy goosebumps and we hugged and connected for a while/awhile after the presentation was over. (I'm sure you can guess who!) A heartfelt connection at the heartless third best research institution!
Paloma will sing from the Sefardic Moroccan tradition tonight at the Sabes JCC in Mpls. She talked about the permeability of boundaries--however we define them--and the persistence of the most fertile elements of tradition as cultures go underground, merge/emerge/reemerge.
Remember, that even though your published work may get some of its guts wrenched, enough of the important essentials will remain to spark someone, somewhere to think about something differently than they did before. Who knows, maybe until 2 or 3 a. m....
Don't give up... and... toughen up those muscles and tootsies!



Clowncar said...

I consider writer's block to be a natural state. when things flow, it's gravy. but most of the time, it's pulling teeth (there is some analogy there about gravy and toothlessness I won't bother exploring).

@stefalalalala - how was your and Jim's concert? we woulda loved to have been there.

Margaret said...

This makes me think of a Tale of Mere Existence, and this Tale of Mere Existence makes me think of "whatever it takes to keep moving forward":


The word a friend used for a long walk with someone you haven't officially met was "sketchy". I like the word 'cause it captures both the risky and the flexible.

Lill said...

What?? My Fresca blog fix will be disappearing? Surely you mean temporarily. Please reassure me.

Manfred Allseasons said...

Fresca, you must must must write some fiction....!

Fresca said...

Responding one month later, in case anyone checks, just to say I read and appreciate all these comments!

I'm not sure what the future of my bloglife is, but I'm NOT throwing in the towel, just taking a break.
I'm really looking forward to being offline for two whole months on Camino (May-June)!