Monday, October 14, 2013

Lost on the Way to Fantasyland

by Jennifer Harlow

Reality bites. We all know it. We all spend thousands of dollars a year in booze, movies, books etc. in an attempt to escape it. But what if we can't? And worse, what if its your job to inhabit its antithesis, Fantasyland yet that bitch reality won't allow you to escape her clutches? Well, then you get the boogeyman of all us authors: Writer's Block.

I've been lucky in that I haven't suffered from it too badly through the years. There may have been a week or two where I couldn't figure out where a scene should go or how to fix a plot hole but mostly the words tend to flow. But these past few months, especially with the move to Georgia, I seem to have lost my passport to Fantasyland. I'm struggling even with this post, occasionally checking some website for what I need to get a Driver's Licence in GA or different types of health insurance. One thing leads to three others that I have to do. I'm being pulled in a thousand directions, most in uncharted waters with real consequences if the deadlines aren't met, so a frivolity like sitting in front of a computer and playing with my imaginary characters isn't a real priority. My life these past few months is like triage, the most crucial first.

I haven't written more than a page in over a month.

Yesterday, I had a few hours between work men and decided it was time to step back into Fantasyland. I have a book due January 1st, the third Midnight Magic, and have only about a chapter left. I should have been done in August but then the move popped up. Almost two months swallowed up. Fine. Things are settling down a tad--three whole hours to myself!--so I did what I tell every aspiring author to do: sat my butt in the chair and began to write. Ten minutes later, with thoughts of emissions tests and driver's licence requirements dancing through my head, I hadn't put a word down. Three hours later, when the locksmith returned as the lock he put in broke already, I had one page. One page. And it was completely unusable. I am creatively constipated.

I know things will get better. I do. They always do. I will finish this book. I will get the second Galilee Falls book up by December. I will put my butt in the chair every spare second I can find and just write. The words will flow. I will find my way out of reality's clutches and skip back into Fantasyland. Just after I get a new driver's licence which requires changing banks, locating my passport and birth certificate in my boxes, getting new auto insurance...ugh.

Reality bites.

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