Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Perils of Being a Writer

Quick takes:

The mayor of Boston is an idiot.
Go Bears!
Belgian waffles are tasty.

You hear writers go on and on about the perils of their work:

"I have butt pimples from sitting in my chair too much!"
"I have writer's block and I've fallen into a deep clinical depression from which there is no escape!"
"I spend so much so time alone that I no longer know how to socialize! Yesterday I forgot how to shake hands and ended up licking a man's nose instead!"
"I can't sleep. I toss and turn in a cold sweat while my characters invade my mind, demanding that I include another dead mother in my story so I can win awards!"

Big deal. How many writers have to do deal with this:

The attractive beige thing in the lower left corner is my knee. The large black thing in the center is Scooter, a Staffordshire bull terrier. He weighs 95 pounds and has approximately 342 teeth. The thing is, bull terriers like to show affection by gnawing on their people. Not hard enough to draw blood. Well, not much. But it is difficult to write while a bull terrier happily chews on one body part or another.

It was worse when he was a puppy and had razor-sharp baby teeth. He was especially fond of biting toes, so we quickly learned to sit cross-legged to avoid the scourge of Scabby Toes. Not even Gold Bond medicated powder can help that.

Back to my original point. I don't want to hear your complaints about impacted butt pimples or crushing personal depression. You try writing a sensitive and potentially award-winning book about a mother being run down and mangled by a Zamboni machine while a large animal chews your flesh. Yeah, I thought so.

I'm still stuck in bed with a wonky back. This is payback from my body for those years when I stopped being responsible and quit my job to go to Hawaii and windsurf. Learning to windsurf involves a fair amount of heavy lifting, along with being thrashed by waves, stung by jellyfish, and running into the occasional yacht. They're all painful.

If you go to,27 you can download a free copy of "Bear Down Chicago Bears" by the Chicago Symphony and Chrous, conducted by Sir Georg Solti. Whenever the Bears win, I blast this song at top volume and sing along. I have forced my children to learn the words so they can sing along as well. It's a stirring moment, let me tell you. Go Bears!



WriterChick said...

Dang it. I guess that means that you'll be keeping all your weird photos to yourself now, right? No more goats on trampolines? No more you, screaming at your kids while walking briskly by the shore? No more you, hurling jellyfish at tourists? But I get to keep the henchmen, dang it. I have them properly brainwashed now and they're mine, I tell you. Mine! Mine!

Janette Rallison said...

To write well you're supposed to experience pain. Your thoughtful little dog is only helping you achieve a Newbery. You must be sure to thank him when you accept your speech. (They do make speeches, right? Please tell me that acceptance speech I've been polishing over the years won't go to waste . . .)


Shari Lyle-Soffe said...


Love your blog! Sorry to hear about your bad back. They key here is to stay far away from any kind of housework, forever. Hire a young virile houseboy to do the work.

As for the toe-nibbler...they now have something called "shoes" that will cover and protect your toesies. They may be hard to find in the beachy location you live in but surely someone has them.

Good luck to you.