Friday, October 30, 2009

Reasons Not To Write - tears, germs, and fleas

Okay, so I'm still not back into my writing. It's been a puzzling week. I have no difficulty in accepting that we all get moody from time to time, but I always need to know the reason for my black days. Without a reason, therein lies really scary stuff.

So, with cursory analyses, I thought it was because my main character is about to go through a  rather hellish period. My book has been reasonably light until now, but with this next stage, tears will be shed. So there's a good reason not to write - to avoid dealing with it.  But, simultaneously, it also brings that bleak and guilty feeling about not writing.

I also thought I was getting a cold. Now that's always a good reason to feel lousy, right? Before you get it properly, I mean.  By the time you get it, you don't care if you're depressed - all you want to do is die anyway. But it wasn't a cold.  In fact, I have a strange immune system that consistently warns me of something pending, but which ailment rarely transpires. It's just enough to get me to slow down, reflect on what I've been doing lately, and make amends.  It's a good physiology to have.

Then I decided it was because both my cats appeared to have fleas. What's with fleas in the fall? That can't be right. You may well laugh.This should not cause depression, you say. If this is all you have to worry about, life must be easy, right? But they were miserable, dancing around the room, trying to avoid touching the floor (the cats, not the fleas, although theirs would be a jig of joy, but I couldn't see them), which demanded considerable feline athletic ability in hopping from chair arm to coffee table, to sofa arm (never the seats, oh no - they might be there too!) They were sadly funny, and I felt terrible for them.

Well, Greenie that I am, I tried to get them to eat the tiniest bit of Brewers Yeast in their meals (no way!), and put a bit of good apple cider vinegar in their drinking water, which I think they did drink. These last two things are supposed to make the cats' blood unpalatable to the fleas. (Such elitists these fleas are about their blood flavors, apparently.) I also made up a mixture of teatree oil in water, added it to a gentle, non-immersing cat shampoo, and applied it liberally, and then I combed and brushed and looked.  I did this four days in a row.  I saw just one flea.

I vacuumed every day. especially those areas you hardly ever get to, right down in those little inaccessible crevices where you find the odd bobby pin or paper clip, and I even added mothballs to the vacuum bag (supposed to kill the ones you suck up).

For those of you who have experienced all of this, you know how miserable it can make you, along with your pets. You've lost control, haven't you? IN YOUR OWN HOME! It's wrong, what fleas can do. Both my cats are indoor cats, and never outside. Did you know that fleas can come through under doors, or through insect screens, or hitch a ride on someone's pant legs?

Anyway, Jeeves and Baby were exhausting themselves, twisting into impossible Yoga-like positions to locate the source of their misery, and I was exhausted from trying to stay on top of the situation. After all my Green preaching, my anti-chemical philosophy, in the end I got a product from the pet shop that guaranteed results. Yes, it has nasty things in it, but it's milder than the more well-known brands, and my cats were at their wits' end when I bought it.

The worst appears to be over now. Both cats are walking properly on the floor, not springing about on it like ballet dancers, or staring suspiciously at it, watching things that I can't see. They are now what I consider normal. Whatever that is.

I know I'm not.

So, no writing this week.

I'll end with Edna, because she says it all about my mood. If you look closely, you'll see suspicion and fear, but there's also a wee bit of hope. And, as long as we can still apply our lipstick, we must be okay.

I hope I've added a few thousand words to the manuscript by next Friday and have passed the misery bit, because I want to see how my Mel character handles herself. She has to do a better job of it than I did.

Halloween tomorrow, right? My face will be just perfect for it.
See you next week.


Kit Courteney said...

Oh, Fran, you're not alone.

I've had several weeks like this recently.

I'm about to edit a particularly daunting chapter - where my MC goes through some very unpleasant experiences. I almost feel as if I'm preparing both her, and me, for the onslaught... equals a distinct lack of editing, alas.

Also, my cat seems to have an allergy problem with her eyes and has been under the weather this week... and I worry about her!

I've had a migraine coming for a few days and it really hit last night, although thankfully, it seems to be easing now. I've told myself NO EDITING over the weekend in the hope that I'll be all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed come Monday.

You might not be FEELING normal, but it sounds as if you're experiencing what so many of us do. Don't be too hard on yourself :0)

Esther said...

Your email this morning was so welcome, black mood utter despair, on the verge of tears but I am being stubborn and not letting them come out ..... swallowing alot helps. It will pass I know what the reason is and I suppose I should grow from this particular situation. We shall see, I love reading your writings and musings. Thanks for the sunshine.

Fran said...

Oh, dear Kit and Esther, how strange to be in a similar state of mind at the same time. Last thought - is some of it exacerbated by lack of sunshine? We haven't had much up here lately.

Embee said...

I hope you cheer up and things turn around soon! I've been so busy with school and work and getting reading for NaNoWriMo and a women's studies conference next weekend that I just don't have time to be down in the dumps! Haven't even had time to blog, which makes me sad, but there are only so many hours in the day and something had to give. I still have all good intentions but they seem to slide.

Anyway, keep your chin up and you'll get the difficult bits written and move along down the story-road!