…and we’re back.
Sorry for the extended break, I just needed a little time to recharge my batteries and relearn what sleep meant. Still working on that one. It is interesting, though, how doing a regular activity, just in terms of regularly coming up with tiny little snippets for public consumption can be so consuming of the individual. There comes a point where it’s not exactly writer’s block, but that you start second-guessing what you’re writing about. You start going back and editing everything, over and again, constantly trying to make it “right” and not coming up with anything.
So, although it is possible to churn out 500+ words every day like clockwork, somewhere down the line, it appears as though the “spark” and “drive” falters. In my case, it usually wants to recreate itself in another form. The ideas don’t stop, they just want to express themselves in other ways — be it different reviews, different creative outlets, different media. It’s almost as if my imagination has an imagination of its own and while I’m working on one thing, it dreams up something else, and soon the rest of the mind follows. This might be one of the reasons why artists often seem like flakes. Following their muse.
Due to it, I’ve learned not to make promises about my creative work any more. I’ve given up explaining my grandiose ideas, because more often than not, I’ll get into it and then come up with another shiny bauble to catch my attention. I’ve got an amazing attention span, but my ability to become distracted is about as high as a crow’s. Mind you, I’ve also found that if you give me a deadline, I tend to work non-stop in the final week, tirelessly striving to get a project done, just give me a litre of Coke, ample variety of music and let me go. I find it interesting that I work better under the crunch than with all the time in the world.
I’ve been trying to come up with something to write for today for the better part of an hour now. I knew that I wanted to write something about things past, given that today is Remembrance Day, but most of what I was coming up with was incredibly saccharine and twee and I kept deleting it.
I mean, I could write something about the current military situation abroad, but that seems kind of disrespectful to me. I could write something about the two world wars, especially given that they’re falling out of the collective memory and images are starting to be formed instead by the glossy Hollywood versions, but again, not really the point of today.
So, I thought about my grandparents. Both of my grandfathers, long since passed, fought in War World II. My grandfather on my Dad’s side with the Air Force (here in Canada, doing something with radio communications, I believe) and my grandfather on my Mom’s side fighting with the ground troops over in Europe. I never really talked to either of them about it, since it was an incredibly touchy subject — my Mom’s Dad was wounded by a piece of shrapnel, incredibly lucky to be alive.
Then I came across the link that preceded this post. Photos of an old NYC subway station, and it got me thinking about a few other lost relics, even of just the recent past. The pictures reminded me of my love for old radio serials, of all things, I think probably because of today and thinking of my grandfathers.
See, when I was younger, travelling to my grandparents’ cottage on Lake Erie, my grandfather inspired in me a love for literature, the pulps, the old adventure serials, b-movies and such. And I was reminded of a birthday gift, a collection of the old The Shadow radio serials — a random collection, including at least one complete story from Orson Welles, but mainly it was Bret Morrison material. I hadn’t asked for it, I don’t even think I was actively talking about it at the time, but it was just one of those gifts that is innately right. I’ve still got it, somewhere in storage, along with CDs of other old time radio dramas (I think The Whistler is one of the more interesting ones, Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds radio broadcast truly is amazing, and numerous collections of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) — I’ve long since transferred many of them over to MP3s and expanded my collection, but I still listen to them from time to time. I’ve even gone to purchase numerous modern radioplays that the BBC still puts out (like the Doctor Who ones) or the excellent Lovecraft adaptations done by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society and their “Dark Adventure Radio Theatre”. Personally, I love Shadow Over Innsmouth the most, but they’re all good. I highly recommend picking up the boxed set.
I guess that as much as we march forward into the future, of our iPhones, netbooks, and tweets, we still owe it to our cultural history to look back and remember all of the little things that otherwise might be forgotten. To remember where we came from in order to see where we are going.
It’s 5:30 in the morning.
I like the quiet. The darkness. It allows me time to reflect, contemplate, think. Granted, I’ve been awake since a little past three — headache is still there, but nowhere near as potent as it was during the day and I don’t feel quite as exhausted as I was before. I suppose that twenty hours of sleep will do that for you. — and allowed myself numerous distractions before getting here.
I checked my e-mail (interesting pictures of hooded apparel that I’m considering ordering, a note from my mother wondering what I want for Christmas — need to respond to that one, but I can’t think of anything I truly want —, random information about new people who have started following me here and elsewhere, an invitation to a philosophy lecture later today), checked my Twitter feed (many people posting about Tina Fey, Obama’s trip through Jakarta, Wil Wheaton’s on Big Bang Theory on Thursday on CBS, and, of course, elation over the return of Conan O’Brien), checked Facebook (more of the same from Twitter, invitations to events on the other side of the continent, more people I don’t know “friending” me — oh well, that’s why I have both a public and a private profile — and invitations to play Farmville — people are still playing that?), checked CNN.com (“It looks like you’re from Canada. Would you like to make international your default edition?” No every time. Pictures of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald — great now I’ll have the Gordon Lightfoot song stuck in my head all day —, more on Obama’s tour, the price of texting…), checked ixanhascheezburger.com (OMGIZFULLAROFLBBQ), made myself a hot chocolate concoction (impressive since I have no hot chocolate), read a little more from the He Is Legend anthology celebrating Richard Matheson, and then checked some comics news sites and the stream from my main blog.
Main distraction and procrastination over. Time to actually write today’s diatribe in some sort of timely manner.
Played game of minesweeper. Advanced game. 99 mines. Completed successfully in 141 seconds — still nowhere near my record. 63 seconds. I came close once, but I don’t think I’ve been paying attention. Just another distraction.
Went back to Twitter. First tweet from Writer’s Digest, linking to an article about a writing challenge. Love poetry — meh. But another link about writing everything down, regardless of quality. A stream without editing. Kind of like what I initially intended with this blog. Seems the universe is speaking to me.
Open Tumblr — tell myself I’ll get to the dashboard later — start writing everything down…