Tuesday Tale - Blocked

This 'Tuesday Tale' is a reprint of the piece I did for Portrait of a Writer, the Challenge currently published on The Inferno. It is called ...


He sat alone in the dark, his face illuminated by the soft glow of the monitor, hands poised over the keyboard, ready.

But ready for what?

He had started this piece a dozen times. All he ever got was a sentence or two and then ... nothing. Whatever it was he tapped into to write would just leave. And he would be left - hands poised over the keyboard ... ready.

His music had failed him. He often used music to set the mood - to contact his muse - to put him in his writing place, but this time ... nothing. Nothing but false starts. Disjointed thoughts and sentences. Incomplete ideas.

And there was a deadline.

Deadlines never bothered him. He always managed to produce. On time. Good work. The editor was usually happy with what he'd do. No, deadlines never bothered him. Just the writing. Just finding the idea and then getting it down. Following the thread. Letting the music show him the way.

He picked up his iPod and started scrolling through his music again. He knew, KNEW, there was something here, somewhere, that would open the door for him. He just had to find it. The blank page was winning - and it had never won before.

He took off his headphones and walked into the kitchen, put on a pot of water for tea. Some good strong black tea, with a dash of lemon - what he sometimes used to relax. The same thing he used when he was sick - but minus the honey and the brandy.

Soon the water was ready, the tea was steeped, the cup warm in his hands as he stood at the window looking out into the moonlit night, his face a ghostly white in the moonlight. He could see his reflection in the glass of the window. He stared into his own eyes, ghostly visage that they were.

And his idea came to him.

He hurried to his keyboard, put on his head phones, and the music .. oh, the music, the music took his idea and showed him wondrous things in his head. He wrote and wrote, following the thread of his idea until it fleshed itself out and showed itself to him. Complete. And he reveled in it. He knew this was it. He knew this would be good.

He knew he had won. He had beaten the blank page.

This time. Until next time .....



Nan Sheppard said...

Huh. Tea with lemon, you say? Earl Grey?

I need that! Must finish this dratted newsletter, and have ads to write. ADS! Good grief! When did I sign up for this??

Gimme something short for Reiki and a French/ESL teacher, O universe!

Aaand my word recognition is boorrso. as in, sooo booooring.

The best thing about your short story, is that my imagination goes wild with WHAT COULD THE STORY BE?!?! I love that!

Nevine Sultan said...

It's funny how we all work with our muses... or how they work with us, rather. What triggers inspiration? One never knows. I know I never know. Something happens... in one moment... and click... I have my new idea. And then some days I have the dry well feeling... not good. It's nice to know we're not alone, yeah? I loved your story, Lou... It hit so close to home.


Jientje said...

So that's how you do it. Love it.

Maggie Moo said...

I have had 1000 of those moments over the last year-for some reason I'm blocked. I can't think of stories, can't make up poems. I miss writing-actually writing-on my blog.

I hope to beat the blank page soon too...

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Was it the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" that inspired him? Come on, you can tell me! :)

Unknown said...

Nan: That's amazing - that you were that stimulated by my story.

Nevine: No, the one thing we are NOT - is alone.

Jientje: Yup. That's pretty much it.

Mags: You'll get there.

Coal Miner's GD: Boogey Woogey Bugle Boy of Company 'B'.

PattiKen said...

I wrote computer documentation and training materials for years, and never saw the blank wall. This past year, since writing what I want to write, the wall has become a frequent companion. I am still amazed at how I can't go looking for "it." It has to come to me.

I'm very happy with the ways it comes to you, my friend.