Friday, January 07, 2005

Ms. Lori Eat World

I haven't completed a short story since September of '04. I haven't attempted the novel that's been badgering me for almost two years now. I am afraid to write anything that I might love.

I'll bet you're all thinking "Writer's block!" aren't you? But you would be wrong. It's my computer that is the culprit. My computer. The one who will not play nice, whose word processor will invariably shut down on me in the middle of a story, thus decimating every last new thought. It doesn't care that I spent hours bleeding through my fingertips, meticulously putting flesh to bone, thought to imaginary brain, planting seeds and conjuring love, hate, and every other emotion in between, carefully choosing just the right word, phrase, punctuation mark to make it all come alive. My computer murders my people as easily as one would flick a light switch; my computer takes my blood like a fucking vampire, my spirit, even. And it just doesn't care.

I have hundreds of thousands of things to say, dozens of worlds begging for creation, character after character that haunt me day and night. I sense it all, can practically taste the words, smell the air, feel the clothing, hair and skin. I hear the voices clearly, and lately, they've been screaming.

Dramatic, huh? Why, I'll give you dramatic! Let me put it this way: I've needed to write words, befriend my characters, move into their neighborhoods, breathe the air that surrounds them, since I was eight years old. Not wanted, needed. When I don't fulfill that need, I get a little bit loopy, scatterbrained, moodier than usual. I have been known to become violently irrational, agitated by the least little remark, crying over nothing, laughing at inappropriate times.

Yeah, I'm crazy, but even more so now. I feel like ripping my own face off. Because I can't write what I might fall in love with for fear of it being murdered.

Oh, I try every now and then, and was successful in September -- wrote a 4,000 plus word story within days, without incident, and it was heavenly despite the constant fear that subtly shrouded the creative process. But since then, everything I start is lost to the vampire, so my attempts are becoming fewer and farther between.

I can't write longhand -- physiological reasons that I won't go into here -- and I can't use a bastard typewriter (tried that for years, and I was thisclose to actually going ahead and ripping my entire face off). I haven't the money for a new computer, haven't a clue as to what may be wrong with it, am not able to bother with professional help. Believe me, if you knew what I go through just to acquire ink and paper for my printer...

My writing is not top priority in this reality, in this space I occupy. I'm not bringing four figures into the household on a regular, monthly basis, so I am relegated to the bottom of the heap of bills and obligations.

You who may be writers will understand when I say that writing is unbelievably hard work, demeaning work, at times. Respect is but a dream, one realized by perhaps 5% of us. Who else but writers would work so damn hard for so little? Who else would take the constant rejection and neglect for the occasional pat on the head, a kind word from a reader, a paltry check that wouldn't cover the mortgage payment? Nobody, that's who. Those nobody elses don't get our obsession, do they? They can't possibly fathom how close to heaven we fly when our work is validated, recognized, there in print for all to see. But even validation doesn't compare to the feeling of finishing a piece that dances, does The Hustle and spins on its back like a B-boy rolling on X. Whether anybody else reads it or not, it's finished, and it's all ours. A piece of ourselves, our souls made tangible...There's nothing like that feeling, for me, at least. And I miss it so much.

So. I am lost, just like my words. And, really, nobody cares but me, which, I will tell you without fear of appearing like the loopy nut bone I am, is the loneliest feeling in the whole world.

Addendum: After I posted this, I went downstairs to check on Mr. Butler, and to my horror, found that he was covered in blue marker. And I mean head to toe. He says, "Mommy! See? I'm blue!"
To which I replied, "HAWHAWHAWhahahahahahahahHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"


At 1:21 PM, Blogger purpleelephant said...

You hang on in there girl! I love reading your blog mainly because your style of writing is so great.
I've got a tempremental, crap computer too. You have my sympathy!

At 1:22 PM, Blogger Jeni said...

They've got some killer deals on computers now. Ever thought about putting a new one in layaway somewhere? Or maybe you should put a paypal button on your site and those of us that appreciate your writing can donate to help you scrap up enough to buy a new system.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger P.J.Backman said...

Jeni is SOOOO right. You totally need to put up a "Get Ms. Lori a new lappy-top" PayPal link. We, your collected and adoring fans would be all up in PayPal's grill with a rush to enable your muse. ;)

DO it!

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Alexis said...

Big Hugs Ms. Lori - we're all here for you. Do what P.J. says with the Paypal button - and call Dell - they even gave me credit!xx

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Awwww. You guys made me weep. Well, not weep, exactly, but my lips trembled a bit.

Actually, I can't do the Paypal thing. Not me. Cool if other people do it (I've even contributed a couple of times), but it really isn't my style.

I'll just continue whining like the little toddler I am until Lady Luck decides it's high time for Ms. Lori to receive some o' her sweet, sweet sugah.

At 8:23 PM, Blogger G-Man said...

Hey you! You have a captivating power with me:) Your kind words left at my blog one day lifted my spirits. And here, in your little space on the electric highway, you have touched many with your creative and energetic gift of thought and word. You, at least to me, have become quite special (not a stalker, I assure you)

At 8:24 PM, Blogger W. Olivia said...

*hugs* I know for sure I'd miss it if you never wrote another word. Remember, I'm the one who dragged my old shambles of a compy to you and yelled at you to begin, love.

Word can sometimes be rather bitchy. I know I had a programming error in mine that made loading it a non-occurance for a while. I finally gave in and looked for the reason and solved the problem. Next time I'm over drinking up your beer, I'll take a gander at it in Safe Mode.

Until then, have you tried AbiWord? It's a neat little program I used when my Word was being naughty. No cost to download and it's fully compatible with Word documents.

Keep thinking of the words, keep dreaming of the finish. Those of us who love you count on those stories you create!

At 1:40 AM, Blogger puglet said...

Your blog may not be the outlet you seek now, but as a reader this is how your writing reaches me, and for that i am VERY thankful!


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