Sunday, March 3, 2013

This Quotidian Life

It’s the Wednesday before this blog goes live. I’m sitting in my office trying to dream up an idea for the post. So far, I’ve managed to drink an entire pot of coffee. I’ve examined the tiny spot on my nail and wondered if it’s a symptom of some strange disease that will eventually result in finger amputation or a deficiency in my diet that will cause rickets. I’ve watched the mail truck stop by the mailbox before driving on.
            I’ve begun the post with two different topics, deciding each time that I was on the wrong track. In both cases, I wrote out a paragraph, crossed it out, wrote another and then crumpled the paper and aimed for the waste basket by the window. I missed both shots. If I decide this current musing is waste-basket worthy, I’ll get a third shot. It’s a high percentage shot over the printer. I’ll probably miss it as well.
            What I’m telling you is that I have nothing. No ideas. Nada.  The absolute and unequivocal irony here is that if I were writing fiction this wouldn’t be a problem. I have more ideas for books and novellas than I have hours and days and weeks to shape them into stories. Honestly, I have a notebook full of ideas. At least twenty story starters incubate in a file as short paragraphs,  single pages or a single line , just waiting for my pen to catch up with them.
            Readers will sometimes ask me where I get my ideas. The simple answer is that ideas are everywhere. I can’t go through a day without tripping over at least one story premise.
            And yet. When it comes to blogging I’m a basket case.  I’m staring into a terrible big black hole. A psychologist would probably have a field day examining my blog dysfunction.
            I think I know the cause. The fact of the matter is that writing or reading about my real life is about as interesting as watching paint dry. Take today, for instance. The weather is what’s commonly known in my part of the world as a ‘wintery mix’. Wintery mix sounds nice, like something yummy you’d serve in a bowl at a cocktail party. But wintery mix is not yummy. Wintery mix  is snow and sleet and cold rain. The snow banks have turned to mush. There are deep puddles which soak feet in ice water if you’re not careful where you step. It means staying indoors, in my little office and watching the mail truck splash as it goes from box to box in my neighborhood.
            If I write about my life today, here’s what it would contain. A gallon of coffee.  Slush and puddles. And a blog post that isn’t going to write itself.  


Available from Champagne Books: 

Coming in July 2013:


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Well expressed. Although all of our lives are interesting to us, they are not always interesting to others, and we have enough pride not to "share."

I'm glad you did. Now I don't have to worry that you are oh for three.

Veronica Helen Hart said...

You are not alone. Not meant to be a creepy comment to make you paranoid, but an empathetic one. I stare at the blank page when it comes to blogging as well. I don't know how some people write a daily one, much less a monthly one. Usually I come up with something, but, like you, I have more ideas in my "story book" than in the non-existent blog book.

Ute Carbone said...

I'm so glad to know I'm not alone. I didn't have to take that third shot after all, Julie, but I've got another blog post due this week, so I'm sure I'll get lots of chances to score points! :)

Nikki said...

You're far from alone, Ute. I can dash off 1500 words of fiction in the time it takes me to write 150 words in a blog. Note that I don't claim they're good words.

Here's my wintry mix--chocolate covered popcorn, a mug of tea, and a really good book.

Ute Carbone said...

That sounds much, much better than the wintry mix we had last week, Nikki!

TKToppin said...

I SO ditto that. I got an upcoming post and my mind is utter blankness. Literally. ;P

Big Mike said...


"Doctor heal thyself" jumped into my brain on this one. I apply the same technique in blogging I do in stories, and its what you eluded to. While I'm waiting on my wife (yeah, like the song I do that a lot) I watch people go back and forth, listen in on conversations from the adjacent tables, etc. Gives me a ton of ideas for blog posts, and stories. Case in point, got one coming up on Alice and Wonderland and its relationship to story development. That can from listening to a dad trying to explain the meaning of the story to his son (boy was that a hoot). just let your mind wonder to other possibilities once the spark is ignited.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Ute Carbone said...

I'll give it a try, Mike. Seems that, for me at least, it's a whole lot easier to make stuff up!