Thursday, June 16, 2005

Up to no good

I know, I know. I promised greatness (that was three weeks ago.) And I promised promtale (that was probably two months ago.) What can I say? I'm suffering from the worst case of writer's block I think I've ever had. Or, rather, I'm suffering from a fairly bad case of writer's block which, when combined with my absolute burnt-outedness and my million little to-dos*, morphs into a problem of seemingly fantastic proportions.

My eyelids are heavy, and I have that jittery feeling that usually occurs between Diet Cherry Coke #4 and Diet Cherry Coke #5 (I've only had two today, thank you very much. I'm on a budget. But I've still got the shakes, darn it.) I've got a few entries started, and while showering I cook up all these wonderfully crafted metaphors and beautifully parallel sentences. But every time I sit down at my laptop the motivation plummets.

I think I'm trying too hard to extend the whole "Dallas, I'm cheating on you with Chicago" metaphor. I know I can't write about Chicago. I don't know why I can't, but I can't. So I'm hung up on that idea, and probably won't write again until I churn out something I'm at least remotely satisfied with. Until then... lists.

Like this one:

Things to write about
1. The Safety Town Bloodbath of Irony, Cleveland, OH, circa 1987
2. The 18-wheeler slash freshman year of high school debacle
3. Chicago as Urban (wait, what's the masculine for "mistress?") Oh:

[From]Usage Note: English has no shortage of terms for women whose behavior is viewed as licentious, but it is difficult to come up with a list of comparable terms used of men. One researcher, Julia Penelope, stopped counting after she reached 220 such labels for women, both current and historical, but managed to locate only 20 names for promiscuous men. Curiously, many of the negative terms used for women derive from words that once had neutral or even positive associations. For instance, the word mistress, now mainly used to refer to a woman who is involved in an extramarital sexual relationship, originally served simply as a neutral counterpart to mister or master.

Ah, another roadblock. This is going to get harder before it gets easier, I have a feeling...

* I've started up with the listing again. I clean out my bag every night and find all these little scraps of paper covered in my all-caps scrawl, always in black Sharpie fine point. I must add "invest in a notebook" to my next list.