Ha, yes, still, um, y’know, busy. I’d like to write up something very profound and meaningful, but I’ve only got a tiny window of time here, and so here’s what I’ve got for you: an explanation.
The magma chamber’s filled. The volcano’s clearing its throat, a few phreatic eruptions here and there, harmonic tremors swarming, and let’s just say that it might be time to establish an exclusion zone. In other words, I’ve got ideas bubbling up. Which is why I haven’t even read Pharyngula in days, when I usually read it regularly every night.
A person standing outside looking in to my life just now would be a bit stymied. All they’d see is a woman watching Doctor Who obsessively (finished Series Three, for those who are interested). In between episodes, they’d witness me bouncing around the house talking to the air, breaking out in grins and gasps at seemingly random moments and diving for the nearest implement with which to move words from brain to page. Or scrap of paper. Or whatever’s handy. The cat had better be glad she’s not bald, or she might’ve ended up as a notepad.
Sleep, when it’s possible, happens in a scant handful of hours here or there.
Things that normally would hold my attention go unnoticed. Haven’t read more than a page or two in a book, just a few blog posts here or there, and I’ve even turned off Twitter a few times. That’s extreme, that is. That just doesn’t happen. It’s about this time that a psychiatrist who isn’t in the know might reach for ye olde prescription pad and suggest I get down to the pharmacy straightaway.
Writers, on the other hand, just would look upon all of this, shrug with a little knowing grin, and say, “Inspired, eh?”
Every writer works differently. We’ve all got various ways of kicking the Muse off her chaise lounge, snatching the grapes away and screaming, “Get a move on, you lazy git!” For me, it usually comes after something of a dry spell, when I’ve spent a lot of time doing the busy work – researching bits, building bits of this world or that, or maybe just seeming to ignore everything entirely whilst I read blogs and books and – well, that’s very nearly the whole of what I do in winter when I’m not actively writing, actually. Blogs and books. Email a few friends (hullo, you! Yes, I’ll get there, I promise, I’ll email you again before summer!). For a time, it may seem like I’ll never write another word of fiction ever again in my entire life. I start to question What It’s All About, Really and Am I Actually a Writer? That sort of thing. Inspiration does not come standard. Sometimes, it doesn’t really come at all. I used to freak out over that. Used to panic and despair. These days, I just shrug, say “Huh,” and take the opportunity to do other things. Always feeling vaguely guilty, like I should be over by that chaise lounge giving the Muse a good kick in the arse, like I should be forcing it, but when I try, the Muse just gives me a Look that says my foot-on-arse action isn’t impressing her a bit, and the forced words are, well, forced. Obviously so. Horribly so. And something in me feels like it’s broken. So, when faced with those times when the magma chamber’s emptied and the volcano is dormant, these days, I just sit back and relax.
Because I know something will happen.
Might be a word, in the right place at the right time. Or a couple of completely unrelated events, banging up against each other in my mind and fusing like hydrogen atoms in the sun. Or it could be a book. Maybe a movie that unlocks doors, throwing them wide open.
Or it could be a show.
And then what happens is that I go over and over and over it. It’s not like it’s a choice, not really. It demands my attention, grabs me by the lapels and pulls my face down to its face and screams from less than an inch away, “Listen to me!” And all I can do is watch or read or ruminate over it continually. Look at it from all angles. Some bits will step front and center as the essential ones, and I study them. There’s a reason why they got my attention. There’s a reason why they’ve demanded I put my whole life on hold for them. What is it?
That’s when the harmonic tremors start, and the magma chamber fills, and the volcano prepares to vent the heat of creation all over what had been, until then, a rather nice, quiet, and possibly even scenic life.
Other things get neglected while that goes on. Food, sleep, friends, blogs, books, and quite often the cat, because it only goes on for so long before it’s done, the volcano goes dormant again, and then it’s back to the usual activities until the magma chamber fills again.
Which is all a long way of saying, I’m a little distracted right now, so I might be a bit neglectful. Sorry ’bout that.