Monday, February 19, 2007


Sand in my brain

It's a writing day today. Lucky me, I had one yesterday, too. Yesterday, I added a smidge to my current story and found a bit of a plot hole having to do with whether one can unclog a toilet using a drain cleaner. I've never done this because a plunger usually does the trick. It didn't occur to me to try it because the drain pipe is so big compared to one for a tub or sink. I wondered if there was ever any condition under which one would throw drain cleaner down a toilet and did a little online search. While a few sites indicated it was possible, it is NOT recommended. Too dangerous if you put in drain cleaner and then try to plunge after. So, I had to fix my story and not have my character use drain cleaner.

Today, I have the start of a headache, with pressure at the base of my skull and at my temples. It feels as though my brain is filled with sand. Thoughts keep sifting around, tough to grab. It's hard to write under this condition. I have to baby myself through it. "Only two or three sentences, that's all you have to do," I tell myself, and pretty soon I have a couple of paragraphs. I'm thankful for the editing process when this hits, yet I've never been able to tell the difference between a bad writing day and a good one when I reread my work. I would assume that a bad writing day would leave some major section that would have to be cut, but that isn't the case. Bad day or good, there's stuff all over the story that needs revision.

My analogy of sand in the brain may have a basis in the South Park episode I watched last night. It's the one where everyone is up in arms about Mohammed being shown on the Family Guy. This show was created after a Dutch newspaper ran a political cartoon showing Mohammed and Muslims got upset. On the show, most of the adults in South Park want to have the epidsode pulled from the air in order to avoid retaliation from Muslims. Fox, the station that airs Family Guy, has announced that they will be showing the episode because the writers will stop working if it isn't shown. After this announcement, the people of South Park decide that they need a plan to show Muslims that they aren't complicit in this affair. They figure that if they literally bury their heads in sand, that'll prove to Muslims that they didn't watch the show. Meanwhile, Kyle, one of the South Park kids, tries to fight for free speech. South Park, crude as it can be, is heavy on social messages. It's what I like about the show. Also, there is always something suprisingly funny in the situations presented. For instance, if you haven't seen this episode (which is a two-parter, I believe), you'll get a kick out of who the writers for Family Guy are.

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