Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Writer's Outing

On Saturday, I participated in a Writer's Salon.  A topic is chosen beforehand and we set out writing about the subject. At the Salon, we read our musings, then we discuss.

Our topic was Creativity and Substance Abuse Being Synonymous.  We were to write about 500 to 600 words.

Six of us read.  One was a poem.  Another was a play where the writer coerced other writers to be actors.  One other wrote a short story about muses and the remaining two wrote about personal experiences (not always their own).  It was a fun afternoon of musings, discussion and food.

When I thought about Hemingway's quote, "Write drunk, edit sober," I wrote the following:

(By the way, I don't condone drinking and writing.  Only drinking after writing, if you must.)

The Secret of my Success
IE Castellano

What is the secret of my success as a writer?  I get asked this question in many interviews, especially after I say that I do not suffer from writer’s block.  More accurately, I should say that I do not suffer from writer’s block anymore.

I barely remember my last bout of writer’s block.  I sat there, staring.  No words would come.  The blank screen mocked me.  “What a useless lump you are; can’t even eke a word onto the page.  Ooh, here sits a writer.  Can’t believe you actually call yourself that.”

The longer I sat, the less the words wanted to flow from my fingertips.  I had to move around.  I had to do something else, just for a while.  My ears discerned the word “loser” as I walked away from my desk.

Everywhere I looked, my sanctuary glared at me.  The jeers echoed off the walls.  Grabbing for my coat, I tried to avoid the laughter attacking me from all angles.

I escaped my compression.  The sidewalk became my savior.  Silence filled my head while my feet pounded rhythmically.

Derogatory names haunted me every time a person passed.  Pairs of eyes dismissed me like the lowliest of peasants.

I slipped through a door.  A dim coziness welcomed me.  No one gawked at my flawed person.  Not even the man polishing glasses behind the bar.

Finding a solitary stool, I rested my weary, broken spirit.  The man approached without judgment, wanting to know what I would have.  My eyes searched the bottles behind him.

A red coat with a tall, fuzzy, black hat spoke to me.  “Drink me.”  My ancestors probably would have waited to see the whites of his eyes.

The man sat the glass of clear liquid on the highly polished wood.  My first gulp burned the ghosts of my blank pages out of my throat and nasal passages.  The following sips sang of woodsy juniper.

With confidence pumping through my veins, I returned to my all-knowing, cocky computer.  It snorted as my hands reached for the black keyboard.  My fingers tickled the keys with the grace of a classical composer.  Words, sentences, paragraphs, pages, scenes, books all flowed from my fingertips.  There was no stopping my creativity.

A couple of blocks away from my solitary watering hole, I found my muse sitting on a shelf at the store.  I took him home with me.  Any time of the day or night, he could inspire me to write my masterpieces.

My red-coated friend watched over me as I typed.  His whispers of encouragement drowned out the naysaying from my computer.  Like magic, words flowed from my fingertips.  Elation filled me.

I’m a little tea pot, short and stout.  Here is my handle.  Here is my spout.  When I get all steamed up….

I did experiment, over the years, with other things.  Writers always try to find other sources of inspiration, other springs from which we can drink.  Nothing ever worked as well for me.  Some writers swear by this or that.  I find myself choosing the comfort of my first muse.  To each his own, as they say.  We all find our own secrets that get us through the blank pages.

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