I am sitting here on this quite lovely Sunday afternoon playing with words and not writing them. It is, as I’m sure any writer knows, much easier to play word games than to write a string of those same words into a sentence and then a paragraph to hopefully become a whole page of words worthy of a reader to read. You can call this procrastination or habit or lack of inspiration, but that’s what I’ve been doing since I got home from a wonderful aquafit class and delightful brunch with good friends. Maybe that’s my fill of what I can accomplish for this day. Hardly worthy of a contribution to the world.
I do love the process of writing and creating when the words flow out of me and onto this screen almost magically. I’m sometimes surprised when I read over what I’ve written and feel good about it. This especially is true when I look at my bookshelf and there sit whole books I’ve written. Where did all those words come from? Was that before I signed up with Lumosity to get my brain working? Has all that brain gaming actually made me less sharp or just eaten up my creativity with the amount of time I spend playing Word Bubbles? Just the name should be enough to discourage me from spending so much time playing the game. It sounds like a bottle of champagne without the buzz.
Maybe what I need is a new writing project and not just my once-a-week blog. Something to sink my false teeth into and start grappling with themes and plots and character development. But where and why and what? My first two books the “what” was more or less provided. The first book grew out of research from my Masters Degree, and the second, from a shoebox of letters I wrote to mom. This time I have to come up with something new, something interesting, something fun to write about that will keep me away from those bubbles.
Maybe I could look no further that the sidewalk below me. There must be hundreds of stories just walking down my new street — stories that I don’t know anything about so I could make up whole life sagas with just the click of a few keys. Sitting here now on my balcony, I can see through the glass walls to the sidewalk below, undetected in my spying by the constant stream of pedestrians going to and fro. Just think of it, it would be a sort of Rear Window in words. I could make up whole dramas about the woman with the ugly dog, the tall guy with the penetrating, unsmiling eyes, the kid on the bicycle that has white wheels that don’t get dirty and the skinny guy with the Boston Celtic shirt — number 11 — coming into the building or maybe, closer to home, the fellow playing the banjo on the balcony above me. I’ve never written fiction — well Mediterranean Journey was a slightly fictionalized version of my time in Europe but only slightly. It might be fun to give myself permission to just make it all up. It’s definitely something to think about, th? But, you know, if I’m serous about this, I better start collecting my cast of characters now before winter forces me and them back inside where I, at least, may just waste away more time with those bubbles.