I have only a handful of regular readers. Those of you who have checked these pages from time to time have probably noticed my published work is speculative fiction and poetry. Yet, very little fiction and poetry has been written in the past several years and any new information in my bibliography is from stuff that has been percolating through submission/acceptance/publication, which sometimes takes years.
Where did the fiction go? Where did the poetry go? I'm not sure. When I sit down to read, I don't often read fiction. I still read poetry now and again, but not the way I used to, like opening a brand new pint of ice cream and admiring the smooth expanse of potential before digging in to excavate the chunks. The last 40 books I've purchased have primarily been psychology and eastern philosophy. Recently, I had a conversation with a loved one, which boiled down to "put up or shut up" about this writing or going back to school thing. When I thought about writing fiction, I would just seize up and despair. What do you mean, write a story? How long has it been since I've even read a story? Can I even remember how to put words on a page that develop a character, plot, theme, on and on? Writing is a story is becoming as scary as the thought of composing a piece of music or producing a film, arts so esoteric to me as to seem magical. You wave a conductor's baton around, recite a few words, and the music just comes, right? You wake up one morning knowing what the bridge sounds like, your feet tapping out changes in tempo and key signature. For all I know, composing music has something to do with sacrificial lambs or burned bacon offerings.
You might also have noticed the long silence here on this blog. What to write about if I'm not writing? This blog is ostensibly about Stuff I've Written, and even more about Stuff I've Published That I Want Someone to Buy and Read. Therefore: silence. Silencio. After the "put up or shut up" conversation, I gave myself permission to write whatever I wanted. I could grab a random page from Wikipedia, think about whatever non-fiction book I'm devouring at the time, and just write. No one's going to buy this blog stuff, but that's not the point. The point is the juice that has all of a sudden started to flow. I write what feels like millions of words a year in text messages and e-mails. I talk all day, millions of words flowing out to mingle with the rest of the world. Maybe I can build a net for some of those words, and put them here.
Maybe I'll shred the paper journals again, and start over. Blank page. Clean slate.
I'm 38 years old, and I'm reading a book called, "How to Be an Adult."
Well, hell. Might as well start now.