Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Void



Is there a sadder state for an author than being between books?
I think not. I think there is nothing more bored, more vacant and vapid than an author's brain between books.
At least that's how it is for my brain. Maybe mine is exceptionally small to be that way, but it's true.
It's small enough to enjoy a few hours playing Farmville:




Picture this:
there she is, that elderly woman with too many pounds on her frame, sitting in the corner of the couch, her laptop on her knees, and her eyes are straying across the room, out of the window, into the middle distance, into the nowhere of not-writing.
On her headphones, she's listening to Mike Batt's Caravan Song, performed by Barbara Dickson, and images and ideas flit by, too small to be a story, too big to ignore, but her brain is in vacation mode.

Me, that author without a project, I'm that woman: a heart without a purpose, fingers in search of a keyboard, an imagination running wild.
The exhaustion from finishing the last project lingers, but somewhere deep inside, the drive to write is simmering, a small flame, but too close to the well of oil that's creativity to stay small for very long. All it needs to do is reach out one fire finger, and we'll be off, that imagination, my heart, my fingers, and I.

I wonder if there are writers who really feel well between books. Writers who can step back and enjoy what others call "life", that state that happens when you don't write.
But me, I'm not happy. I'm not unhappy, either. I'm just… not.

Last night, lying awake in bed, I heart Jon Stone talk to me.
You know who he is, I'm sure: the hero of my Stone Trilogy, the husband of Naomi, the rock star.
He said, "The heart has two chambers so that you can love more than one thing or person at the same time. If it had only one, I'd never have been able to love my children, because my love for my wife is so overpowering. Yes, you can love more than one thing, and without stealing from it."
Strangely enough, nearly at the same moment, my hubby asked me if I ever got up in the middle of night to write.
Little did he know that just about then I was nearly ready to do that, afraid that this likeness about the chambers of the heart would be forgotten in the morning.

It's true; I came to writing late in life, at the doorstep to the winter of my life. It doesn't change a thing, though. The pull is strong, and enticing enough to make me want to write nearly all the time.
And… I guess I must end the vacation mode soon.

There's only so much Farmville I can take.