Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Swimming With Swine

I've been searching the internet to discover who said that the artist needs to be in the ocean, just past the spot where his/her feet touch the sand. It is from this uncomfortable zone that creativity seeps in. The words are written from my memory--nothing is exact. Pretty sure it was David Bowie. It certainly was how he lived his ever-changing career life.

In starting my first adult  novel, I am way past the place where my feet touch the sand. Waves of not-knowing-what-the-fudge I am doing are knocking me around like a rubber duckie in a tsunami wave. If first drafts are supposed to be shit (Hemingway) then at least I know I got that part right.

Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? Where is the rope to pull me out of the well? Why can't I quit relying on cliches in this post today? Must be because my brain has been mushed out by feeble, puny attempts to claw at something new.

Desperate, starved for clarity, Daisy and I went for a dog walk to the farm behind our house. Noisy Pig grunted out her daily writing advise. She said to feed her some freshly pulled weeds, and inspiration would be mine.

She lied.

On the three house walk from the farm to our home, Daisy ran after a dog. Although she has a firm self image of herself as a lap dog, the truth is that she weighs eighty pounds. The other dog saw the reality of Daisy's true bulk hurdling towards him.

It took three hollers to get that dog to return to me. Now she is back to Gentle Lead harness to get us the extreme short distance to the leash free zone.

She must have been affected by my desire to reach beyond the comfort zone of doing what she generally does: being a good dog. She must have read that bumper sticker, Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History. Oh, Daisy. If this truly was a 'Dog Eat Dog' world, you would not be in the dog house for bad behavior.

So now that the pig is not being my muse, and Daisy is recovering from her consequences (being firmly told she was a bad dog), who do I turn to in order to get me out of this muck of insipid writing that has spilled across this first novel of mine? David Bowie is gone, Noisy Pig only grunts greedy nonsense, and Daisy is misbehaving. Is there no hope for a well-written novel by one as deserving as I? Is there a Goddess of Words I can pray to?

Guess I'll body surf my way back to shore and swim at it again tomorrow. I'll keep my mouth shut, lest the saltwater gag me.

Heather Leigh,
Misbehaving Body Surfer

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