Massively meh

>> Monday, December 15, 2008

Here's what I would like to know today: what the hell is wrong with me?

I suppose I ought to clarify: that was what's known as a rhetorical question. What this means--the fact I have to clarify, not what a rhetorical question is (which I'm sure you know)--is that I have to say "Oh yeah, rhetorical" because I'm quite aware that there are a number of people who visit this blog somewhat regularly who would be happy to actually answer that question. Some helpfully, some less so.

I should also clarify something else: I actually know what is wrong with me, I'll just be damned if I can figure out why. What's wrong with me is I feel massively meh. It's a bit like having the bleahs or the aarghs or whatever the hell it is that afflicted all the Peanuts characters and made them bitter and sad. Well, maybe not that last bit; what probably made Charlie Brown and his friends bitter and sad was they spent their entire lives living with their parents and never hitting puberty. I suppose fifty years of elementary school would make me sigh a lot and hallucinate that my doggy was a WWI ace.

One of my symptoms, aside from walking around with an unusually large chip on my shoulder all day, is a bit of writer's block. You might have noticed this, or maybe not--it seems a good number of the recent entries on Giant Midgets have been photoessays, even after the excuse of NaNoWriMo technically ended. That last bit has added significance, because technically I'm still writing that novel: I even printed up a copy of what I have so far and was set this weekend to go through and get my bearings, figure out my structure in a more aware and knowing way and really get at the meat.

I played video games instead, or watched the rain outside.

It could be the shorter daylight hours, or the fact the weather has been too cold or wet for me to really feel like hitting the USNWC trails, or maybe it's been the shock of going back to work after being off a week for Thanksgiving or the shock of waiting to go back on vacation for the last two weeks of the year. Or it could be I'm just a whiny git with no good reason to be whining.

I actually had two things I was looking at during lunch, even, thinking, "Well, I guess I could write about this." They were both pieces on Slate, one about smoking and one about NASCAR, but then I realized that I didn't care about one of those things enough to start writing and I didn't care enough about the other to end the piece I started and played with like a little kid pushing Brussels sprouts around on his plate.

So this could have been another photo thing. I have something like a hundred more photos to sift through from my drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway a month ago and I've taken a few pictures of the cat that I haven't even downloaded from the memory card to the WD Passport HD all my pictures are currently living on. Instead I decided to do an entry about being... hm... not sad, or depressed, or angry, but just massively meh. Because, one, this blog is partly a writing essay even if it often doesn't look like it (e.g. when an entry is nothing but photographs) and two, in case somebody was wondering where the writing had gone (which doesn't seem likely, but you never know).

So. Meh. And not just a little meh. Lots of meh.

Massively meh.


Random Michelle K Monday, December 15, 2008 at 9:18:00 PM EST  

It's not just you.

I can't even find a book I want to read.

MWT Monday, December 15, 2008 at 10:06:00 PM EST  

Could be worse. I spent all weekend playing Facebook PackRat. :p

However, I've also known from past experience that December is pretty much the time to not bother trying to write anything whatsoever. The creative juices, they need recharging. Instead, just gear up for the February event we'll be having. ;)

rbird Monday, December 15, 2008 at 10:13:00 PM EST  

I was in a funk yesterday, and it was totally like, WTF...I couldn't put my finger on it. By the time the day ended I was feeling okay, and I actually looked forward to going back to work because it meant I could look forward to some structured time. Now I am looking at a pile of yarn, and I feel too out of shape to knit. It must be the time of year.

mattw Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:29:00 AM EST  

Wil Wheaton had a post yesterday or today or so about not knowing what to write or being in a writing slump and going out for a walk or drive. Sometimes, when I'm stuck, I'll use a picture to spark something. There's a delightful children's picture book called The Mysteries of Harris Burdick that's great for sparking writing ideas.

Kathy Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 9:27:00 AM EST  

The holidays are just depressing. It's dark outside, our culture is shallow and materialistic, and I've eaten too much chocolate. I would be really bummed if I weren't going to NYC to visit rbird in a few days! Hope you start posting again soon!

mattw Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 9:42:00 AM EST  

It had been a meh kind of day for Eric, conquerer of giant midgets. He had no proclimations to proclimate, and his inspired works of art brought him no joy.

"Meh," he sighed.

He decided to go out into the country and survey his lands. He clapped twice and his palanquin arrived carried on the shoulders of a team of giant midgets. His sword buckled to his belt, he stepped onto the litter and they were off.

It was apparent that something had come over the land, some force that had gripped it in an unmotivated restlessness that called for action but inspired none. This is not good, thought the king. The tension in the air was thick and the subjects he passed were in despair.

Eventually, they came to a man in the road who would not move aside for the king. He was dressed in a gray cloak that gave little away aside from his size, he was a mountain of a man, and the sword handle that protruded from the gap in the front of the man's cloak.

"Who dares to stand in the way of Eric the Conquerer, king of these lands?"

The king could not see the stranger's face, for it was concealed with the cloak. "Meeeeeeeehhhhhhhh," was the stranger's only reply.

"Move aside or feel the sting of my blade," commanded the king.

The man did not move and stepped down from his palanquin. His sword rasped as the king drew it from the scabbard. The man drew himself up, coming to a full height that was head and shoulders above the king. It did not matter to the king that had defeated the giant midgets, however, he had defeated many a larger foe.

The man drew his own sword, a massive scimitar, as the king approached. Something about the man made the king want to fall into the same restlessness that had taken hold of him in the palace. He fought the urge to return to his litter, and he struck at the man. Their swords crashed together and as they fought on it was apparent their skills were evenly matched. While the king fought vigorously, the man put as little effort as possible into defending himself.

They locked swords and then the king saw his opportunity. He stepped to the side and with a well-aimed kick dropped the man onto the road. Fully caught up in the blood lust for which he was famous, the king plunged his sword into the man's chest. The stranger spasmed once and was still, and as he did so, his hood fell back to reveal the face within.

It was the king's own face, devoid of emotion. The eyes were empty voids, and the king believed they were like that long before he had vanquished this man. As he rose, he realized the feeling of meh that had come over him was gone. He looked at his lands with a new sense of purpose. When he looked back down, the road was empty. His restlessness had been destroyed.

Over the course of the next few days, the feeling of restlessness and malaise that had come over the country disipated as well and the land was well again.

Hope that helps. :D

Jim Wright Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 10:41:00 AM EST  

Write random paragraphs:

Do character sketches. Create a villain. Create a hero. Create a nebish. Describe a seedy alcoholic lawyer. Describe a pedophile, in first person.

Do scene descriptions.

World build.

Alien build.

Create a list of names that might be useful later. people, places, alien things, food of the future, devices.

surf YouTube, watch George Carlin clips.

kimby Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 11:27:00 AM EST  

Eric, I share in your Meh-ness. I am blaming the weather, although in my heart I know that isn't it...I just can't put my finger on it.

Eric Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 12:02:00 PM EST  

Thanks, everybody! It's pretty reassuring, actually, that the meh-ness seems to be pretty widespread right now. It doesn't necessarily solve it, I guess, but it's always good not to be alone.

And Matt, thank you. That was brilliant!

Random Michelle K Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 3:39:00 PM EST  

If you like Eric, you can share my excuse!

Just tell everyone it's PMS.


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