I am a reptile, and I embrace it.
Well, ain’t writer’s block a bitch. Truth is, I don’t like bemoaning it (writer’s block that is) – just go take a look on Twitter for writers that do nothing but talk about “the block” and “the muse” and “the struggle”. But that is also the problem. That terrible, awful website and its ilk that raise the opportunity cost of starting a piece of writing, or continuing a novel or a short story, in exchange for a dopamine hit or the illusion of being informed. The past week and a half I have known that I should have been writing this post instead of partaking in any number of useless low-cost pieces of entertainment, but I have avoided it all the same. And that is totally fine. I’ve been drained from work on some days, and the kids on other days, and life is not, should not, be all about a constant “hustle” from cradle to grave where we must be working on something to be seen as good little productive worker bees. Sometimes, man, you just gotta play Total War: Warhammer II for a few hours. Drop radioactive moon-rock nukes on regiments of proud lizard warriors, maybe killing a few dozen of your own rat-men slaves in the process. It’s all good.
I have not made much more progress on The Thaw. Everyone is still frozen, or moving quite slowly, like dragonflies in amber that is still sticky sap that has not quite hardened (take that Gabaldon!). I wrote some more dialogue for the men of low moral fibre that are marching half of our Gardeners to the Golden Lions stadium. I have not given further thought to the Islanders, nor have any sudden inspirations for later scenes struck me. As they say, it’s been all quiet on the western front folks.
I finished reading The Drawing of the Three, that sure got a lot better by the end of the book. Roland posessing Jack Mort and just wrecking shit to get his hoard of ammunition and Keflex was amazing, and King really turned Detta/Odetta/Susannah around for me as a character, making the whole thing make sense by the end (loved the Pusher connection between the characters). I’m more than halfway through The Waste Lands now, and it has been refreshing to have more of the book set in Roland’s world. Shardik the bear was a stand-out, and I’m happy that Jake came back as a character, though I feel like it could have taken less time to get him through the door marked “The Boy” (some more classic King bloat). Was the Mansion possessed by an entity like It?
Apart from that, I’m just trying to keep it all together like any other man. I fight the part of me that avoids writing each day, knowing in the logical part of my brain that once I start I will not likely stop (as with this post), while the filthy lizard part of my brain would rather check Reddit or Twitter. As they say (again referencing they, clever bunch they are) the devil’s hands are idle playthings. Why can’t the devil finish editing Bottom Feeders for me then?
This post is the latest edition of my Dispatches series. You can find all the posts in the series here.