Writer’s Block


This is the page that every WordPress blogger faces when it’s time for a new post. Well usually there’s more light but it’s been raining in Southern California, an anomaly that sends the people running indoors. We don’t know what to do, the sun has disappeared. It’s not December 12 yet, it can’t be the end!

But I digress. This is the “new blank page.” It’s just not as romantic as the notion of a typewriter with an actual blank page sitting in it, staring, taunting, waiting for the writer to strike the keys and produce something new and exciting in bold black and white. For a hundred years writers stared at that. Although differing reports, one such entry in Wikipedia lists the typewriter as being invented by Italian Pellegrino Turri in 1801 for his blind lover Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzono. He also invented carbon paper which seems like a cruel joke because she would get black stuff all over fingers, then wipe it on her face and not know it. Unfortunately he didn’t invent Pellegrino water which she could have used to get the stains out. That was already discovered in San Pellegrino and already being drunk.

So writers have been staring at a typewriter before there was even electricity, the candlelight casting shadows that probably formed faces in the writer’s tired brain telling her how much talent she did not have and telling her to stop trying to be a writer and go get married. No one wants to read your depressing poetry.

But what of the ones that could not afford this new invention. From my school years, I remember reading about Abraham Lincoln, studying and learning by candlelight, his pen and quill staring at him while he re-worked what would become the Gettysburg address long before he even gave that speech and it was just called “This Is Probably How Things Should Go Down.”

And what of the great philosophers in History hundreds of years before that, staring at their blank stone and chisel waiting to carve out some really great, simple sayings like “What concerns me is not the way things are, but rather the way people think things are.” ¬†Epictetus etched that in stone somewhere between 55 and 135 AD and still people don’t put that to use as evidenced by this year’s biggest news items. But nobody’s really that big on the Ten Commandments either so hopefully he’s not lamenting that in Heaven.

So what does it matter? What does it matter if I leave it blank today? With our modern computers, my frustration at the blank page is quickly aborted with a new tab showing the number one downloaded video of Gangnam Style and I can learn a new dance. Or go look at cat pictures on Facebook. Is my blog really having any impact, either humorous or inspirational or is it simply Blah Blah Blah instead of Blogging.

I don’t know, but I do know that I have learned over the past three years that I love to write and I want to continue. It brings me so much joy that it has to be coming from a good place. So I will stare at this computer screen until I come up with something. I’ll get back to you.

On This Day in History

For my mom on her birthday.

Something something years ago an Italian and a Pollack got together. Who knew? Back then that combination was about as rare and reviled by each ethnicity as say, a Republican getting together with one of those Middle East chicks that can’t uncover their face.

Anyways, these two touched fingers, same way my parents conceived me, and 42 minutes later out popped mom. That wasn’t her first name it just gives me the willies to call her by her first name; seems disrespectful at my something age. I’m not afraid of my age I’m just afraid that you’ll do the math and the aforementioned mom will get mad that I told her age.

So she did the things most kids do: the dishes, the laundry and all the cleaning. Her mom wasn’t super nice. But her Dad was cool and he taught her how to eat a big hunk of Italian bread with a stick of butter and not throw up.

Eventually she married this Norwegian dude who got lost skiing or whatever they do in that cold ass country. Then they did that finger thing – twice – and had two kids.

Then blah blah blah, they grew up, disappointed their parents by not touching fingers with another woman cause she would make an awesome grandmother. There’s still time. But mom was pacified by her ever planning of parties and the daunting task of topping last Year’s Halloween and Christmas decorations.

Meantime the present is when it matters and she’s a vibrant something something year old woman with an inquisitive mind, the cooking skills that would make Julia Child lose her silly accent and your mouth water and the love for her family and friends Gandhi would be jealous of.

So here’s to my mom. You rock.