Creative fuzziness and beach fantasies

That sounded a lot better in my head than it did in the title bar, but I don’t feel like going back at this point. Laziness wins this round.

Right. So I’m at a particularly frustrating point of stagnation where no new story ideas are really appearing in the murky, soupy goo that is my imagination, but present projects have halted to some degree. I’m continuing to work at them, but I’m also a particular kind of drained that doesn’t want to let up. This is a rare and luxurious time that I am grateful I’m not writing on a deadline or being depended upon by publishers (except for the short Five Nights At Freddy’s piece I need to write after this, which I actually forgot about for a moment there). It’s like turning on the television only to find static on every channel. More easily to relate to: it’s like turning on the television and having a million channels, but nothing to watch. I do have three boxes of Story Cubes (Story Cubes, Story Cubes Actions, and Story Cubes Voyages) that I may start making use of if this dry spell persists. On the plus side, I have returned to writing in my journal. That must count for something, probably.

I’m painfully aware that the best solutions for creative block of any sorts is to keep pushing yourself and creating new content, but that has gotten to be a bit of a monumental task on top of everything else (I’ve been marathon-cleaning my apartment, for instance). I don’t feel particularly guilty for hitting a dry spell and not feeling hugely motivated to fix it so much as I feel frustrated that my brain has chosen to go all soft and empty on me when it did. It’s obviously my brain’s fault, that’s the take-home point here. I really should give the Story Cubes a try, too, so maybe tomorrow will be the day I do exactly that.

As for now, however, I am already thinking fondly of my upcoming trip to the Outer Banks with my family. My mother and stepfather will be renewing their vows this summer, and instead of going on the Alaskan cruise they’ve wanted to go on since the honeymoon they never had they have decided a trip to the beach is in order. Make no mistake: I may be outrageously pale and not fond of the outdoors. Alternatively, I do love going for nighttime walks along the beach, having a private pool where I’m not as self-conscious about being a small hippopotamus, and being in the company of my family in a beach house (where privacy and hiding are both plausible when that company grows tiresome). There will be much reading and writing, too, but also plenty of winding down and enjoying the occasional alcoholic beverage (with or without tiny umbrellas).

Keeping all of that in mind: I still harbor a weird, mostly-irrational fear of the ocean, as I recall one vacation that happened after a hurricane. There were bazillions of jellyfish washed up on the shore and drifting about in the shallow water, and I was convinced they would kill me if I got too close. I never claimed to be a particularly smart person, people.

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Forty

Four days until I’m officially on vacation. It’s so close I can practically feel the waves of awesomeness generated by the crowds at Intervention washing over me. Naturally, I have to do some road to Intervention and Chicago posts because I am really damn excited about next week. The promise of great times with terrific people is just overwhelming.

I’ve got a couple pretty rough ideas where I’d like to go with these posts (tomorrow’s post is my 200th post, by the way; how time does fly). As always, there’s some element of doing things as I feel like it and hoping they turn out okay.

Day Forty – A road trip is only as good as its driving music

Not only am I traveling to Rockville, Maryland, with my good friend (and brother-type person) Jason, but I’ll also be making the trip to Chicago to see his new, very first bought-for-himself-like-a-responsible-adult house. And what kind of writer would I be if I didn’t appreciate the journey as much as the planned destinations? These trips need to be absolutely amazing. Especially the one to Chicago, as that will be the furthest I’ve ever driven. Ever.

I am tremendously fond of all varieties of music, though I still have aversion to rap and country. I hate to admit it, but the CD in my car has gotten quite stale. I can’t possibly drive from Carnegie (the starting point after this upcoming weekend) to Chicago without at least some new tunes to drive by. It’s also the easiest part of preparing for my trip. Clothes and stuff can wait, but picking music so I have CDs ready in time? That’s important stuff.

What kind of music makes for a good road trip, though? When Jason travels, I know he likes to listen to audio books. I’ve tried that, but it just doesn’t feel right. Also, I’m far too easily distracted. Traveling to a new place while trying to focus on a story is probably a recipe for disaster (and also worthy of note is that audiobooks are really goddamn expensive, but that’s spoken like someone who has no concept of money or money-management). Generally speaking, I prefer energetic music. However, to keep some level of balance, I also enjoy some more peaceful music. To avoid falling asleep, the tracks are arranged in a way that makes for jarring transitions.

But what music should these vacations have? Two years ago, Jason and my Intervention soundtrack included Gangnam Style, so nothing is really off-limits. I mean, almost nothing. I’ve been really considering getting (getting, picking up, etc, are all ways of saying buying on iTunes, by the way) some stuff by St. Vincent. So You Think You Can Dance has all sorts of wonderful music, but I’m afraid I’d start trying to do some sort of flailing version of the dances associated with those songs on the show. I’m only half-joking there.

Suggest music, people! I have until Thursday night to burn CDs. As part of my travel journal, I’ll post the playlists that ended up keeping me company along the way.

Sixty days remaining.