Bizzt, mid sentence. Darkness. Split second later. Crash, wall shaking. Heart pounding. Adrenalin rush. Have not moved that fast in years. Ouch, what have I pulled. Call the ambulance. No wait, he is fine. White Prado is not. Power pole is not. Neighbours wall is still standing. Entire neighbourhood is out in the street like rats escaping a disturbed nest.
Fast forward and I am having a quiet iced latte at the neighbourhood coffee shop. Veins in my hands look like I’ve been pumping iron and I’m still hyped from half an hour ago but I am finally breathing slowly. From what the tow truck driver (how the hell did he get here so fast?) said, it seems like the driver was not concentrating (checking his cell maybe?) and clipped the curb with the monstrous wheels of his employers white Toyota Prado, climbed the pavement and nicked a power pole just enough to jar the street light clean off the top, knock the cover off the transformer and blackout our street. Oh god, noooh! It then looks like he swerved and clipped an ancient jacaranda tree before smashing the front of the SUV into our immediate neighbours wall. The driver is fine, shaken and perhaps a little stirred but ok – he is gonna have a good case of whiplash in the morning and is probably now without employment but thats a different story entirely. My layman’s hunch tells me the Prado came off third best, pole and wall winning this battle easily. I figure it’s front suspension is shot on both sides and by the angle of the wheels and sunken look I’d guess the front axle is not a happy camper. As I was leaving, I saw a particularly frazzled man drive up and rush to the scene – I figure he is the owner and is now having a pretty shitty Thursday.
Heres to hoping the rest of us in the street don’t end up having a pretty shitty week while we wait for the ‘unbelievably efficient’ power company to repair the damage. Not their fault for once but I don’t have any illusions of having a home cooked meal tonight or tomorrow or even Monday next week. I can hope to be pleasantly surprised but that’s not for realists. Hmm… takeout for supper and it looks like I am going to have to go buy one of those portable generators anyway. Murphy is a particularly sadistic bastard sometimes.
On the positive side, it’s given me something to write about. I have been struggling to write anything on my novel for almost a month and my blog posts have been a little insipid to say the least. I just cannot seem to get into anything and it’s seriously depressing. I messed around with some world-building in Jan and in hindsight I think that was a very bad thing to do. I was having fun but I got out of the habit of regular writing and now I am struggling to get back into it. In an attempt to keep things moving I have been trying to build some of the mythology of the world – still world-building but at least I have to write the legends etc. in prose of some sort. Not sure it’s helping though.
I think I may need to fish my favourite books off the dusty shelf and re-read them. I always seem to want to write after reading something that I like. I realised yesterday that I had not actually read a novel in a while… plenty of articles, magazines and maybe a short story or two but no novel. Not sure why I have not been reading. I think I am in a weird space right now. Odd.
Also been listening to podcasts – I like listening to published authors trials, tribulations, secrets and hard learnt wisdom. Makes me feel less useless when I realise that even very successful authors started out having the same doubts and struggles I am currently fighting with. The latest one I listened to was from the Nerdist Writers Panel and one of the participants said something that really touched a nerve with me. It’s entirely logical but I had simply not thought of it. He (wish I could figure out which one was speaking) suggested that most of us, especially those who start writing later in life, have built up a set of skills in alternative non-writing fields and when we write, we somehow expect that our writing will be on the same level as our previous ‘skill/work’. Entirely illogical really but it is definitely something I had not realised before. I doubt very much that my writing is on a par with my skill in running a business, creating web technology, deploying IP voice systems or developing a shiny new product to sell – I did those for over two decades 8 hours a day – how the hell am I meant to compare that with writing that I have only actively been doing for less than 3 hours a day on and off for the last 18 odd months. I believe it’s why our internal critics are so powerful and how easily we can become so disillusioned with our writing. Especially early on in the game. Everyone says, and I have learnt to agree, that writing is a skill that must be practised and perfected and comparing it to the high level of non-writing skill we have attained over many years of working is just asking for depression to make it’s home just behind your heart.
There is hope for me yet. Not sure how much, but it’s there at the back of the sock drawer keeping that lonely polka dot single sock company.
ps. Wish the WordPress iPad app was better. Not nearly as easy to layout a post as the browser interface – especially for adding links and media.