Sometimes the mind wanders and a guy starts to wonder about things like, say, how a search engine finds images that have a lot in common. You never know when something like that might come in handy in a plot or even just in real life.
Unable to focus on anything else for a few minutes, I grabbed my phone and tried it with my own face, the one that shows up on my new About me page.
What to expect?
I remember a woman on an airplane once asked me if I was Richard Dreyfuss. Me?
Then just the other day, I’m told, my sweet granddaughter saw a picture of Brahma, the Hindu god of gods, depicted in a children’s book sporting a white beard. Papa!
Needless to say, I had high expectations for my little experiment. I tapped the phone.
In the blink of an eye I was scrolling through the “similar images,” which turned out to be a diverse collection of men and women – some of them bald, some clean-shaven, dark hair, white hair, curly and straight.
Update 4/28/2019: I came across a tweet that linked to a blog post about “writer’s-block shaming.” I read far enough to answer the question it asks at the end about if the post made me think. Yes, it did. The following still works for me.
This is like asking me how I deal with the Great Pumpkin, the imaginary character that Charles M. Schulz created. I don’t accept it as a real thing.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t times when it is difficult to sit down and write. Sometimes doing something else is just a choice, a matter of procrastination or distraction.
An absence of discipline.
If I somehow found myself going weeks or months or longer without writing anything, I wouldn’t consider myself a victim of some imaginary blockage. I would quit calling myself a writer.
Somewhere between 1.37 and 1.79 miles on my post-workday walk* on a treadmill at the gym today a favorite old word came to mind. I was watching CNN on a screen just off to my left – Fox News being a few monitors over to my right, of course – when it happened.
“Toady,” my brain said. I can’t say for sure if this was triggered by the sight of Rick Santorum or Lindsey Graham, but they both appeared on the screen just minutes apart.
Unsure if either of them met the actual definition of the word, I looked it up when I got home. Among other things, I’d decided I absolutely have to use toady correctly in a poem that is beginning to take lumpy shape in my brain.
Crossword puzzles used to consume much of my time, especially on Sunday mornings when the tough ones show up in The Denver Post. I did them in pen, no erasing. They sometimes ended in inky messes, where my mistakes were easy to see, but no one ever looked. On occasion, they were perfect.
Pencils are for those who know their limits.
I beat my addiction to crosswords and got hooked on Sudoku. The easiest ones became boring, and the evil ones just too damn hard. I did those in ink, too.
Sunday mornings nowadays are given over to more worthwhile pursuits, like writing and bicycling. This morning I decided to publish excerpts from my two Detective Red Shaw novels and then write this little post. The excerpts are from Blood Solutions, which grew out of my experience as a crossword-puzzle proofreader (someone had to do it), and North of Grand, some of which I figured out while riding my bicycle.