I am sitting at my second favorite place in my local library. I keep forgetting that my Numero Uno place — the Science Fiction, Speculation, and Fantasy Room on the third floor — is Closed On Sundays. So, when I got here at 3 — a very late arrival, to be sure — I had to walk around the second floor looking for a vacant chair close enough to a power bar to plug in this aging laptop. Every table, every chair, every power bar was full. I assumed this place, hidden in a nook at the end of the shelves of fiction, would surely have been gobbled up immediately. It’s the only “private” place on the floor thus making it desirable for writers like me who want isolation when writing. But the saints of Blog Writers (or at least this one) must have taken pity on me and found me a seat at this table. It really is a lovely spot. The table sits in front of a big, arched window overlooking a getting-ready-for-winter-but-still-beautiful garden that right now is exquisite in late-afternoon sun and shadow. The table only seats three and the other two guys who were already here are intent on their work so there’s no phone conversations or friends stopping by or bits of music seeping out of too-loud earphones.
Normally, this is a perfect place for me to write — isolated, quiet, a view of the outside and away from the back-and-forth library traffic. So why can’t I, eh? But I can’t. Nothing. Not one little thing that sounds interesting or funny or profound or worth writing is coming into my head today. I feel blank, boring and beyond help. Usually, in a couple of hours, I’m able to focus on my “blog theme” and pull out of my lazy brain my 800 or 1000 or 500 words on Harriet or cats or writing or childhood or whatever I feel inspired to put down. But now, here, nothing. Why? The library environment has never let me down — well there’s always a first time and this is it.
I came with very good intentions. I planned to write the next chapter in the Healing of Harriet Saga. While my readers may not agree, I have really found that writing this story of the drama of poor Harriet as she suffered her way from pre-surgery to surgery to hospital to weeks of hobbling painfully to getting back in the pool today, has put a perspective on this healing process that certainly has helped me to get through the worst of it — or at least, I hope I’ve seen the worst of it. Word-by-word, blog-by-blog I have been slowly bringing myself closer to the final chapter when I can celebrate a Healed Harriet moving about free of cane and pain! (Needless to say, we are so not there yet.) And even as anxious as I am to write “The End” on that saga, today I can’t write about Harriet or our adventures on the subway or getting back in the pool or the unbelievable number of other people out there in this city trying to get around with canes. (I am not alone.) But the next chapter shall have to wait. It’s not going to happen this week! No, those words will not come even here in my word-full local library.
As I, and all other writers know, you just can’t force words out on paper that are not ready to come. All of us know all too well that the muse of writing can be a fickle friend to be sure. So, this November afternoon, I’m just going to let her have her way. I am surrendering to this Bloger’s Block and going home to make soup. Hmm, I sure hope I have more success with that.