I don’t have time to blog. I’m supposed to be turning over a finished chapter tonight and while I have pages and pages of notes and outline and pieces, I have yet to shape it into a coherent whole –
it is, instead, an incoherent HOLE, down which I’ve fallen. I’m grappling my way upwards – which does not, alas, mean I am writing. Rather, I am trolling online. Tumblr. Facebook. Etc. All the while writing thousands of versions of an opening sentence. I know better. I know that my inability to get past the first sentence is another of my procrastination techniques. I know that I have never and will never write a first paragraph like this:
What makes Iago evil? some people ask. I never ask.
Another example, one which springs to mind because Mrs. Burstein saw a pygmy rattler in the artichoke garden this morning and has been intractable since: I never ask about snakes. Why should Shalimar attract kraits. Why should a coral snake need two glands of neurotoxic poison to survive while a king snake, so similarly marked, needs none. Where is the Darwinian logic there. You might ask that. I never would, not any more. I recall an incident reported not long ago in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner: two honeymooners, natives f Detroit, found dead in their Scout camper near Boca Raton, a coral snake still coiled in the thermal blanket. Why? Unless you are prepared to take the long view, there is no satisfactory answer to such questions.
That’s from Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays and its beauty, concision, uniqueness of voice, and rhythm is the standard against which I measure all my writing and thus, find myself always having fallen short. I cannot find the opening sentence of this project. So I cannot finish the first chapter. So…I cannot, today, write at all. Even this blog.
Instead, I troll. And do graphics. Like this:
Pray for me.