A Writer…

… writes, but not every writing is equal.

Case in point, my diss — I need to get the sucker written. And once it’s done, then I’ll write that Composition handbook that I’ve been thinking about these past couple of years, and, since that won’t be long (it’s a handbook, after all), then I’ll finally get back to The Novel.

Because I really miss writing fiction. I finished reading an anthology of C.S. Lewis’ essays on science fiction and short sci-fi/fantasy stories (one of them being an unfinished novel about Menelaus and Helen after the fall of Troy), and my soul which just takes whatever is in me and goes “WRITE!” started screeching like a little monkey, trapped in its cage.

Okay, the caged monkey as soul thing was O’Connor’s image — but you know what I mean.

Like Lewis, a picture with a character or two comes first, and I craft together a story that fits that picture. Granted some of those pictures can be pretty intense, but written in story form, even those pictures are Good. Not just “good” but Good.

Unfortunately, I multi-task like monkey crap. Too many things in my head, and I either shut down or it goes *somewhere*. For most of my life, that *somewhere* has been stories — maybe not stories that’s publishable, maybe piss-poor crappy stories that I’ve thrown away (and believe you me, I’ve thrown away *lots* of crappy stories), but stories that came out of me, that I can see, that I can touch, and go, “Well, then. There you are. Go bye-bye — be free!” It’s like those pieces of paper tied to prayer wheels, and, over time, the paper disintegrates, taking the prayers with them. I don’t know about other writers, but seeing my stories written down, whether in pen, pencil, or printout, is a release for me — not a perfect one, because I can never find the right words for all the things in my head — but at least they’re out of me. And they’re real, not just disembodies images and feelings and such, bubbling up at first but then caromming about like pachinko balls.

So — anyways… between my job as a Composition teacher (teaching how to write nonfiction academic essays) and my job as a doctorate student (completing a monster, nonfiction manuscript), I haven’t had the multi-tasking ability to write lengthy fiction like my novel, _An Island in the Moon_.

So, I need to finish this dang dissertation.

At least 43 pages to go….

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