I’ve been stifled. My thoughts have been so full of static the past couple of weeks that I’ve been unable to come up with a single creative sentence or idea. I went on a music-buying binge to clear away some of the cobwebs, and it did jump-start some scene ideas for my Daughter of Time series (which will be my focus after book 3 is Meratis is out in the world), but that’s about it.
Stagnation is brutal. Honesty: It always throws me into a depression that’s difficult to climb out of. I want to give up writing because I start to doubt I’ll ever wade out of the mire.
I’m pretty sure I haven’t written anything solid since the beginning of April when I tried to start Evenlight and half-way through realised everything I’d written was filler. So I scrapped it. 50,000 words. I already posted about that. But I haven’t been able to try anything since then.
For my birthday last week, my wonderful family loaded me up with new journals. I love journals. Journals and Chapters gift cards are the safest presents anyone can ever give me. This year they made me feel guilty. I had nothing to write in them. They would sit unused and forgotten in a desk drawer.
NO! I refused to let that happen. So I gave myself a challenge. Every day for at least 30 days (longer if I can manage it), I mean to fill one page. A short story, a scene, a dialogue exchange. Something inspiring from my day to turn into fiction. Evensong started as a flash fiction piece, so who knows what might be shaken lose with such a task.
To keep myself motivated, I’ve decided to share one of those entries a week on my blog. They won’t all be good. The won’t all make sense, but I still mean to pull my favourite from the week.
So here we go. Week 1. A short store I called “Cake”
The chocolate pastry sat dead centre on the plate, powered sugar and chocolate sauce shaken and poured over iced and ceramic surfaces. A precise dollop of whipped cream waited on the side, topped by a ripe strawberry sliced down the middle. The presentation was perfect. Strategic. Not a sprinkle of sugar out of place.
I smiled with warm pride.
As it was a special occasion, I carried the plate myself, pushing through the swinging doors of the kitchen in my clean white uniform and hat. A smile pasted on my face as I imagined the reaction of the customer when the first bite was tasted.
Never mind the words that had been exchanged the week before. Never mind the termination notice still sitting on my desk in the back room.
All that mattered was this moment.
I set down the plate. “Bon appetit.”
The restaurant owner took a critical bite.
I continued to smile, waiting for the arsenic to kick in.