Anxiety Pancakes: Life in the Middle of a Novel (day nine)

Photo by Michael Gil

There’s a term for what I’m feeling, the winter blahs. The blahs have come upon me slowly because I usually love winter. I love the cold air and how it helps my thinking, and I love winter sports like cross country skiing. But yesterday I couldn’t ski for more than half an hour because the ground at High Park was mostly covered with ice. Our high winds last week had blown the snow away. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been plenty cold this January but we haven’t had a great deal of snow. Until today.

The view from my office window is bleak. I’m looking at my garden through falling snow so fine it could be white dust motes. I have no energy. I am not interested in writing a new section of my novel. I am not even sure if I will be able to finish today’s blog, which I want to be short and comforting. So just to see what happens, I’m going to interview my main character, Dale Paul, and find out what he has to say about my listless mood:

Me: So what’s wrong with me, Dale Paul? Why aren’t I more interested in writing about you?
Dale Paul: I have no idea. You’re lazy is my guess. After all, there are few people as fascinating as me.
Me: That’s true. But even you seem pretty boring today.
Dale Paul: Look, I know what you’re trying to do. You insult me so I’ll beat you up. Well, I’m not going to put you through my word mill just because you’re looking for a little nastiness. Find someone else to punish you. I’m taking off.
Me: Where are you going?
Dale Paul: Wherever you aren’t, you idiotic, craven pusillanimous charade of a writer. Good-bye.
Me: Don’t go.
Dale Paul: I’ve gone. Try and find me. See if I care.
Me: Hey, I didn’t mean what I said. The sun is coming out as we speak.
Dale Paul: Blankety blank blank and then blank you….
(Gurgle, gurgle, hiss–the sound of a character disappearing down the bathtub drain.)

Tomorrow–some good advice to writers from Hollywood shrink Barry Michels.

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