Thursday, December 21, 2006


When I was in Staten Island, trying very hard to write publishable stuff and pretty much not getting published, I got stuck a lot. I would say that this was a result of the inevitable crisis of faith that comes with rejection letters and the deep concern that I was not, in fact, serving some sort of apprenticeship on my way to becoming a writer, but rather, was just not getting a full time job. But I still get stuck and I have been published and I'm still not getting a full time job. (Which bothers me intermittently, but not enough to, you know, actually get a job.)

Sometimes when I was stuck, I'd clean my kitchen floor. It requires attention but is not particularly mentally taxing. So I thought my subconscious could cheerfully solve my stuck-ness and my kitchen floor would be clean. Today, trying very hard to get some characters off a beach and into a lake, I am stuck again. So I decided to scrub my kitchen floor. But before I scrubbed the floor, I needed to put a few things in the dishwasher--which meant I had to put the clean dishes away. And then I needed to clean the counters, and take the burners off the stove and soak them. And clean the cabinets because there was dried food on some of them from the previous owners. And finally, after the microwave had been cleaned and the front of the fridge and the dishwasher, I scrubbed the floor.

I still have no idea how to get these particular characters off the goddamn beach and into the lake, but my kitchen is very very clean. Which is quite satisfying.

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Blogger Gavin said...

Come over and get stuck on your writing anytime.

December 21, 2006 2:48 PM  
Blogger Darby M. Dixon III said...

Set the beach on fire. Oh, wait, you're supposed to set houses on fire to get characters out of them. Uhm...velociraptor attack, then.

Or, uh, their parents tell 'em they need to clean the kitchen.

December 21, 2006 7:24 PM  
Blogger Steven Gould said...

You have a very cleanable floor, at least. Our is this nasty linoleum stuff from the 70's with a pattern that never quite looks clean, no matter how often we clean it.

And to honest, with kids and a dog, etc., this ain't often.

December 21, 2006 11:43 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

If you get stuck today, could you do the bathrooms?

December 22, 2006 7:56 AM  
Blogger Beth Adele said...

Bob is SO an engineer!

December 22, 2006 8:53 AM  
Blogger lucette said...

I wish my stuckness resulted in house cleaning; but I tend to less worthy pursuits--soap operas, blog reading, going up into the attic to look for some book I bought in the '70s, etc.

December 22, 2006 10:39 AM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

I clean when stuck too. In fact, I'm heading to my kitchen right after posting this. Actually, I clean when I just don't want to write, too, even when I'm not stuck. At least it's a productive way of dealing with the events of stuckness and not wanting to write, I figure.

December 22, 2006 1:32 PM  
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