Episode II and Doldrums

Watched Attack of the Clones last night. The shininess continues. I still like the Imax version better. Through judicious cutting, there was much less Anakin-whining in it. Despite the myriad flaws in writing, directing, and acting, the Star Wars movies are stunningly beautiful.

I’m in a blue funk. Not sure if it’s the weather, general disequilibrium, or I’m stressed–probably all of the above. I feel like bursting into tears for no reason, and I’m supremely unmotivated. All I want to do is curl up on the couch with Matthew and Hobkin. From both experience and faint memories of abnormal psychology texts at university, I know this will pass. Odds are it will pass soon. But right now, I feel relentlessly melancholy. Been self-medicating with huge quantities of caffeine and Sudafed (because my sinuses continue to be fubared and I find the stimulant in Sudafed pretty damn potent), which seems to keep me functional. But I’m paying a high price in abbreviated attention span, sniffles, and twitches.

Stupid brain.

Writing Stuff:

Continuing to dwell on writing productivity and the mechanisms of creativity (and letting the dormant psychologist in me out for an airing). Came across this 2002 article by Stephen Krashen, “Optimal Levels of Writing Management: A Re-Analysis of Boice (1983),” (regarding Boice’s “Contingency management in writing and the appearance of creative ideas: Implications for the treatment of writing blocks.”) What I found of particular interest is that both Boice’s original study and Krashen’s re-analysis conclude that writing begets creativity, not the other way around. Krashen has even quantified it to “three-quarters of a creative idea per page.”

I’ve noticed this tendency myself, that I might have the start of a story with no real direction or theme in mind, but as I write, ideas and inspiration start coalescing. It’s much less likely for these creative nuggets to plop in my lap when I’m not actively engaged in writing, and if I get stuck and stop writing, I tend to stay stuck unless I force myself to address the page and just hammer on through. I haven’t gone so far as to count how many times inspiration hits per outputted page, though. I’m not exactly sure how I’d go about doing that, and I suspect it would not be beneficial to maintaining flow.

I wonder if creativity works like that with other creative endeavors like painting, sculpting, and musical composition.

Received a care package from Nathan at Scrybe Press: my royalty check, Hobgoblin Boots by Tansy Rayner Roberts, Bounty’s Stepchild by Justin Stanchfield, and the new matte cover version of Ascendancy of Blood. My library of chapbooks continues to grow.

Just in case communications went awry, I queried John Frost, the editor of IROSF to see what the status is on the paperwork for my Cyberpunk article.

No word from Brutarian on a query, which makes me think both my submission and my query have fallen victim to the editor’s notoriously overzealous spam blocker. Also no word from Talebones on two queries. Their server has been rife with “issues” involving email and their forum registration. I have a sinking suspicion that none of my queries got through, and that my submission has been lost in the great beyond. Dammit. Talebones is switching to a new server. I’ll fire off another query as soon as I hear that they’ve migrated to their new platform.

Word count: 500 Again, barely. And I’m reasonably certain they all suck goat toes. Worse, it was 500 words across three different stories so I haven’t accomplished any sort of meaningful chunk out of anything.

Club 100 for Writers


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12 Responses to Episode II and Doldrums

  1. Sorry. Hope you feel less blue soon.

    >>I wonder if creativity works like that with other creative endeavors like painting, sculpting, and musical composition.

    I can’t speak for those, since I never advanced beyond beginners’ luck with any of them, but I will tell you it’s like that with dance for me. I can’t choreograph a piece unless I can move my body.

    Oddly, with songs or rhythms I know well I can do it in silence, and dance to the music in my head, but I can’t do it without moving, even if it’s micro-movements. My husband tells me he can tell when I’m thinking dance . . . my eyes glaze and I twitch.

    Really, now that I think about it, it makes sense. You can’t swim if you aren’t in the water, after all. (Unless you’re me, and you can’t swim at all.)

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Thanks, sweetie. I’m actually feeling much better today. It doesn’t hurt that I’m at home in my comfy robe with a skunk in my lap . . .

      I seem to remember reading or hearing somewhere that going through dance routines (or martial art katas) in your head was one of the few activities that equally stimulated both left and right brain functions. Neat.

  2. harmonyfb says:

    Hey, Eugie – I was tootling around, and found a note on the Phobos website that they’re coming out w/the 3rd anthology from the short story contest. Had you heard this? Weren’t you picked as one of the winners for that one? Last I heard it was indefinitely suspended, so I was a bit surprised to see this on their site before any of the contributors mentioned it.

    Here’s the link

    • Eugie Foster says:

      The 3rd year was the last one. I had a story make it to the finalist round, but it didn’t place in the winners circle, and therefore isn’t in All the Rage. The story I had which won their contest, “All in My Mind,” was for their 2nd year, and it’s in the anthology Hitting the Skids in Pixeltown.

      Clear as mud? But yes, the Phobos Contest is on indefinite hiatus for the time being. I’m not holding my breath on them reinstating it any time soon. A shame, but the money side wasn’t panning out.

  3. orig_ladycat says:

    Hang in there girl. This will pass. I hope! I am beginning to wonder about the tiny spec of light at the end of my own tunnel. It must be going around. I guess let’s just trudge through this together. I thinking of you and wishing you good stuff.

  4. Anonymous says:

    RE: Boice and other thingies

    Re: writing and creativity.
    That was extremely interesting. I, too, tend to get creative when writing but discovered something else: my overall creative usually comes before the writing but the little details (e.g., what does the character do, their appearance, etc.) emerge as I write.

    I personally think it’s a cycle that feeds itself: creativity-write-creativity-write, etc.

    RE: all those “lost” messages/queries.
    Sigh. Welcome to the computer age 🙁


    • Eugie Foster says:

      Re: Boice and other thingies

      I think you’re right on the cycle thing. When I haven’t written for a long period of time, I find that it’s harder to get back into it. But once I get my writing gear engaged for a while, it seems to get easier and easier to keep the words coming.

      RE: all those “lost” messages/queries.
      Sigh. Welcome to the computer age 🙁

      No kidding. I thought the computer age was supposed to make communications better. Dangit.

  5. pegkerr says:

    I’m feeling the same funk, both mood-wise and lack of progress words-wise. Do you have seasonal affective disorder, by any chance? The days are getting darker. I pulled out my light box for the first time this morning.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Do you have seasonal affective disorder, by any chance?

      No, I’m pretty sure I don’t suffer from SADD, although the gray doesn’t exactly help. My mood issues often have a monthly cause, although they’re not consistent. This one has been intenser than usual. I’m feeling better today, though. ‘Course it helps that Hobkin’s on my lap and I’m at home in my fluffy robe and slippers . . .

      Hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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