The Experimental Memoir Day 14

There are times when it is just hard to write. For blogging, there are times when the ideas are few and far between. It can be compounded by having too many other things on the plate or just being plain too tired. Yet with blogging, I can usually pull something out of the air to write about. This hybrid experimental memoir using a blogging form becomes much more difficult. I need to write 1,667 words a day to not fall behind. Half way through the month, I’ve fallen about four days behind. Then, there is the issue of trying to remember what I’ve already written. How much have I written about the challenges of writing? I think I did that earlier on.

When writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month, I’ve had a clear sense of the plot and an outline that I worked from. I could see which elements I’ve used already and have a sense of when the next element should be introduced. Yet there has always been a nagging fear of running out of plot before the fifty thousand words are achieved. I don’t have as clear a plan for this effort.

Yes, there are certain ideas that I want to introduce, but I want to introduce them at certain times, so I have the worry about running out of plot at multiple points. Will I have enough material to get me to my trip to Las Vegas. Will I have enough material to get me to Thanksgiving Day? When do I introduce some of my philosophical or psychological ramblings.

Today is one of those days. I am exhausted. Perhaps it is for no apparent reason other than the knowledge that I will have to get up early tomorrow morning to catch a plane. Perhaps it is because of the amount of things that I did today at work. I’ve always found that days right before I leave on a trip or vacation, I get a lot done in the days leading up to the trip or vacation. There is time spent making sure that tasks that I regularly do get taken care of while I’m gone. Then, there are the tasks that really need to get wrapped up before I go. It often seems like there is always more work than there is time to get the work done.

This becomes more of an issue when the day is full of meetings, and I had my share of meetings today as well.

So, I glance around the room as I look for energy and ideas. On the desk next to me is a coffee mug from the weekend. Over the weekend, a friend tweeted asking if people had specific coffee mugs that they save for specific days; the leisurely Saturday morning coffee mug. I actually have two.

There is a brown ceramic coffee mug that I received as a gift when I worked in the high school library about thirty five years ago. It has been with me ever since. Once, I believe it was when I was living on the sailboat, it fell and a chip came out of the lip. Other than that, it has survived, and I believe everyone in the house recognizes it as a special mug of mine, one that I use on the weekends, and others shouldn’t really use.

Another mug that has gained a similar importance is a ‘Great Moustaches’ coffee mug that Miranda got me for Christmas one year. Around the side are depictions of fourteen different moustaches. On the bottom it says that it is from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild and it has a legend saying which moustache is which, covering a wide array of characters.

I have mixed feelings about placing great importance on an object. I remember a Zen story about an important tea cup that a novice breaks. I remember telling my daughters not to be so attached to things that they can’t share them. Yet there is something special about having an object that links back to special moments.

There are assorted dirty dishes around the work area. Small plates that had held a dessert or large bowls that had held morning oatmeal. There are the accoutrements of an office, a stable remover and an electric pencil sharpener. There are innumerable papers lying around.

There is also a red box with two baoding balls. I received these Chinese Medicine Balls years ago from the therapist that I went to see when my first marriage fell apart. I use them at random times to unwind, or sometimes to procrastinate as I wait for words to come. There is also various paraphernalia from assorted political campaigns.

I pause to look around. It appears that this will be another day of falling further behind, but it is also good to have written enough to have the day not be a complete wash.

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