Distractions


Hardly any writing output for the past few days. Too many distractions. That, and a feeling of having been kicked in the side. I think I must have pulled a muscle shifting logs. All I know is that it hurts enough to interfere with my breathing. Being ill on Tuesday didn’t help, the feeling of being bunged up and hardly being able to see out of my left eye. Every time I coughed was like being punched in the ribs. Still a little creaky.

Began Thursday with long, rambling conversation with Angie about psychology and what I call ‘behavioural response loops’ which many substitute for real thought and awareness. The way a loss of conscious thought whole days (and for some, lives) can disappear into a kind of mental fog without significant action. Days plagued by unnecessary trivia caused by people who ‘forgot’. The feeling of being stalled because others haven’t done their bit. Nothing that can’t be fixed, of course, but nothing that shouldn’t have been broken in the first place. This has been the defining characteristic of the past week.

Daughter is currently going through one of her noisy phases, breaking into raucous song when I would rather have quiet to work. There are also passports to be renewed and a thousand other things getting in the way of sustained effort on the manuscript front. Especially on the run up to Christmas. I’ve never been much of a ‘festive’ person, and while I don’t mind doing grown up stuff, tend to baulk at being expected to get all happy clappy at the behest of others. It’s not something that sits well with me. Too artificial, too forced. Partying for the sake of it was something I left behind at seventeen.

To break the creative impasse, I’ve been doing readings to camera to put up on YouTube. Not bad, but I’d never noticed before that I have a slight stammer. Not much, just the odd stumble over some simple words and phrases, but despite my drama training my verbal glitch shows up whenever I try to read a little too quickly. Thinking about it, I’ve never been all that comfortable in my own skin, and tend to do much better when I read ‘In Character’. Perhaps I need to develop a ‘reader’ character and let him take over when I want to speak in public.

Friday night we took the evening off to go and see ‘Puss in Boots‘ at the movies. A good chuckle raised me out of my immediate fugue state, and as such I can thoroughly recommend the film. The cat specific and ‘fairytale’ gags are pretty good, the DreamWorks animation superb as always, and the 3D exceptional. Worth seeing twice. One for the DVD collection.

There’s also a music lesson to book. Perhaps a session of almost reducing some poor guitar teacher to tears at my lack of talent might help.

These past few days have taught me that some days you just to write off as too much trouble to get your head down properly.

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Martyn K Jones

A writer who first trained as an Electrical Engineer, then fulfilled various roles within the computing industry. First published in 'SuperBike' magazine, 1978 under the pseudonym Harry Matthews. Since then has written and had published a wide variety of work; from PR copy in trade magazines to supernatural short stories and the occasional satirical article. Emigrated to Canada in 2007. Became a Canadian Citizen December 2014. Now branching out as a serious science fiction novelist.

Categories General musings