Empty Words

About three o’clock this afternoon, I got utterly fed up with trying to write, produce, be creative, or, really, do anything else. Instead I got the bike out of the shed and put on some rain proof sweats, grabbed my camera and headed out along the Kinu River. While these hasty pictures can’t really do it justice, the light was beautiful and made the mid-Autumn scenery nothing short of spectacular.

The park, in particular, has been one of the nicer things about having moved to Sakura City. It’s a people park, as opposed to a soccer field, or hanami park, and there’s a nice path, suitable for walking, jogging, or biking, that runs around a small pond and play area. I love the fact that the park is actually being used by families with small children and by middle aged persons with their dogs. So many parks in Japan seem to be empty except for a week in the Spring and another in the Summer; it’s fantastic to see so many people breaking the salary-man / office-lady jobs and actually spend time with their families late in the afternoon on a weekday.

I left the park heading north and bicycled along the river for the better part of an hour. I didn’t bother to count kilometers but I went quite a bit further along the river than I ever had before. So far, in fact, that I had a lot of fun trying to figure out where the main roads were so I could get back home. Getting to the main roads was another bit of fun, involving, as it did, biking through muddy field embankments and unpaved paths along the smaller canals. I’m guessing I only went cross-country for a kilometer or so but the difference in energy expenditure between the fields and pavement was very noticeable.

Normally, after a bike ride or walk, I can come home and jump right onto the keyboard and start pounding out story. Not so today however. Today I made it home and the screen just stared back at me while my fingers couldn’t seem to produce anything coherent, no matter how they engaged the keys. I should amend that – I wasn’t able to produce anything related to “Shudder”. I was able to put together a new idea that’s been floating in my head:

Apparently, the eviction notice had been somewhat terse. It stated that, as long as his supreme holiness was sending his only son back to the realm of the mortals, then he would also be sending all the assorted hosts of Heaven too. The logic, I suppose, being that he may as well have a general house-clearing and get everyone started over or something like that. Whatever its’ reasons, our own master and lord decided that we, too, should be released back to the mortal realm. This time with no lies, no trickery, merely working stiffs who had just a little fore-knowledge of what could happen next. We were to lay low, play it safe, become friends with the monkeys. We should encourage confidences. We should, whenever and where-ever possible, become a knowing older brother or mentor. Subversion was to be key.

As luck would have it, I was able to be released back to terra firma in a human body. Reasonably attractive, I believe, although, even now, I am no judge. Old partnerships had been dissolved and new alliances made during the chaos and I found myself up in the world, looking about and having a chat with a large, sulfur-yellow dog. The dog’s name was Zen. Well, not really, obviously, but his real name was dreadfully hard to pronounce with the thick slab of meat located in my all-too-human mouth.

We looked at each other in companionable misery. We had been stripped of our names, our strength, our powers. We were as humble and meek as the idiotic little lambs we now moved amongst. We had only our collective knowledge, made slightly inaccessible due to Zen’s inablitiy to speak, and our natural intelligence with which to deal with that most unholy of places, Los Angeles.

First things being first, we knew we had to find food, shelter, and some way of acquiring currency.

We had to get jobs.

I’m looking forward to writing more about that, and developing the characters and seeing if there’s a story there. But it’s not “Shudder”.

The problems I’m having writing have left me in a bit of a quagmire recently. “Shudder” is not going well, and, more importantly, it’s not being fun. I don’t feel like quitting, at least not yet, but I don’t like the pressure of having a deadline that is getting ever closer while my word count stays immobile. I’ve tried a lot of the usual break-writer’s-block tricks, like changing writing locations, taking a shower or excercise break, working on other projects, etc. etc. and nothing really seems to be working. There’s something stuck in my head that’s blocking progress and I have no clue, at the moment, as to what it might be.

Other projects, on the other hand, seem to be firing on all cylinders. My endless organizing, filing, and shuffling of papers and memories has actually produced tangible results this month, with the previously blogged “Autoneuroticism” archive book en route from the U.S. and the creation of the cafepress store for “Lazy Moon”. But this book just doesn’t seem to be happening.


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