Archive | February, 2013

15 cures for writer’s block. (because i’m such an expert on these things.)

28 Feb

writers-block21Not really. And I have about 5, maybe 6 “cures” to share. All about the misleading titles, don’t you know? Anyway, as I sat on the metro this morning, being shuttled towards the OK Corral, it dawned on me that I should never complain about writer’s block. Not with the plethora of possible stories all around me provided by the various walks of life on the metro. One afternoon some months ago, for example, I watched two women chat with one another across from me and was immediately fascinated with them. I don’t know what it was; they just seemed full of energy and verve and were extremely entertaining to watch. Enter the trusty smartphone, which I used to viciously take notes about them, then enter the short story I began to write based on those two interesting ladies. See? Writer’s what? Nevertheless, there are times when yes, ideas and inspiration are everywhere, but the creative brain still doesn’t seem to connect from idea to story. Well, fellow creative writers and other such artists, here are a few things that seem to help me, not that you asked or anything:

Music. Put on your headphones. Lean back. Close your eyes. Regardless of whatever you’re listening to, whether Rachmaninoff or Backstreet Boys, I guarantee that the pen will start moving, the fingers will start tapping on the keyboard–there will be writing. It never fails for me. Not quite sure what it is about music and the written word for me, but the two seem to go hand in hand. And forget it if I’m listening to any songs by this guy. He makes me crazy. I want to write and paint and traverse rivers. Goodness. In fact…

I think this song embodies everything about the struggle of making art. Apparently, the song itself came from a place of frustration and writing the final track for the Born in the USA album. It’s pure beauty.

Keep your eyes open. I won’t rehash it more than I already have, but there are trillions of people all around us, full of intrigue. Stare at them. (Carefully. A newspaper or book helps if you need to look away quickly.) Watch them. Imagine. Write.

Read. Good writers being good readers aside, I think it’s important to also surround yourself with everything from newspapers to small ads in the back of magazines. You never know when a story will jump out at you.

Know the Difference…between laziness and being blocked. Because I gets lazy. The work is there, the ideas are there, but there’s a Golden Girls marathon on, and I don’t feel like writing…you get my drift. The marked difference, I think, is how you feel. I’ve been in a place where I could not write. Nothing helped; creativity was next to gone; I even shed tears about it. It was weird, crippling, and utterly frustrating, being that for most of my life, writing is all I’ve done.. Conversely, I once peered through some of the pieces I was working on and bypassed all of that for a nap on the couch and some channel surfing. Yep. Major difference.

Art. You see them when you visit the museum or art galleries. They sit on benches facing paintings/sculptures/etc., staring intently at the works of art as they write/sketch/doodle into notebooks and tablets. In my mind, some of them have come to get the creative juices flowing. And I’d like to think that art inspiring art is the way to do it.

Those Pesky Delusions of Grandeur. Ok. Perhaps like me, you think every piece of fiction you create should be the next winner of the O. Henry Award for Fiction? So you’re waiting for an elevated, complex plot that trumps the so-called simple idea you have in your head about a dog who finds a pot of gold in the backyward? Yes? I once had a college pal and fellow writer (amazing, that guy) tell me, after I complained about writer’s block, “I don’t believe you. The ideas are there. You just don’t like them.” At the time, I wanted to kick him in the toes. Deep down, perhaps he was right. Well, not perhaps; he was correct, being that I had just mentioned a few ideas playing around in my head. The point is–and I constantly deal with this–work with what you have. An idea is an idea. It may not be the next piece shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction (oh, I know ALL the awards for fiction, believe me), but it’s all yours. Work with it.

Six ideas, not 15, but I think you get where I’m going with this. It’s really advice to myself: just try to keep writing.

Anyone out there have tips to combat writer’s block?

got a cloud sleeping on my tongue.

26 Feb

Oh, life.

Things have been interesting lately. Recall that I said I would visit my Kitten Heel Home every once in a while? Well, here I am, to update you on things in my little world. And really, I could never seriously leave my Kitten Heel Marvel. Not in a million years. She’s just become the slightly red-headed (maybe brunette) stepchild to my Tumblr.

Anyway, back to life, back to reality. Yeah, things have been interesting. For one thing, I’ve been writing like crazy. Seriously, perhaps the permanent vacation I thought my Muse was on is finally over. Inspiration has been seeping from the walls, the ceilings, everywhere. And–drumrolls, if you please–I just completed my latest short story. What? Yes! Amid the ten stories I’m currently and crazily writing at the same time, I actually sat on the couch last month and wrote this particular story longhand (haven’t done since antiquity) and finished it in one day. I have no idea what was going on. It was either a psychotic break or my Muse took some uppers and danced around in my head. Nevertheless, I am so proud of this stinkin’ story. It’s untimately a complex but feel good yarn about the responsibilities of family, love, and spider webs. Curious?

What else else? I’m working. This is a good thing. The few pesos they bequeath upon me allow for the payment of bills and the purchase of extra coins for the online Family Feud game that I’m currently obsessed with enjoying. I will say, however, that it’s time for a change. The job hunt must commence. There are a few goals I have in mind, i.e., a new apartment, traveling, that will require a little more in the salary department. I don’t need Trump figures, but an improvement would be nice. Add to the fact that being an Admin has so run its course for me, it’s time for a change.

What else else else? Oh. I have this crush.


I’ll try to explain.

Have you heard *Cloud on my Tongue by my truest love, Tori Amos?

Tori. Sigh.

Tori. Sigh.

(Are you, dear reader, a Tori fan? Please become one. Listen to her songs and weep and get lost in lyrics that will stupefy and confuse and thrill you. I’ve been musically stalking her since I was 15 years old.) In this song, one of my absolute favorites by Ms. Amos, she refers to said cloud, how “it goes”, and “he goes”, and “you’re already in there, I’ll be wearing your tattoo…” For me, the entire thing just signifies the entering and staying of someone who blankets your senses, your cells, your everything. (And this is my interpretation of it; another listener will interpret it differently, because that’s the essence of Tori’s songwriting abilities; it means something different to each listener.) Since I relate music to all of life, this song reminds me of how I’m feeling these days with this crush of mine. But only in certain ways. It’s atypical, this crush. (Kindly refresh your memory on what crushes usually are for me.) For one thing, yes, “he’s in there”, as Tori sings, and I’m going in a few “circles”, but I’m not really losing it. This is the quietest I’ve ever been about someone. I don’t even want to call it a crush. It’s a cloud. Light but heavy, in my head but above my head. You know? For another thing, precisely two people know his identity. Notable because my usual modus operandi is to inform you, your mother, and your grandmother about the latest superficial stealing of my heart, but not so, this time. This time, it’s…I don’t know. It’s different. Again, quiet. I thought I was “over the bridge now”, in the sense of being done with these things, but I’m not really even complaining about this one. I just like him. I just do. End scene. We’ll talk about that later. Was this a flimsy excuse to quote lines from one of my favorite songs by Tori Amos? Maybe. But the song seems viable now, for a few reasons. Ok, finit, for now.


Someone’s knockin on my kitchen door
Leave the wood outside
What all the girls here are freezing cold
Leave me with your Borneo
I don’t need much to keep me warm

Don’t stop now what you’re doin
What you’re goin my ugly one
Bring them all here
Hard to hid a hundred girls in your hair
It won’t be fair if I hate her
If I ate her you can go now

You’re already in there
I’ll be wearing your tatoo
You’re already in there

Got a cloud sleeping on my tongue
He goes then it goes and kiss the violets
As they’re waking up

Leave me with your Borneo
Leave me the way I was before

You’re already in there
I’ll be wearing your tatoo
I’m already in
Circles and circles and circles again
The girl’s in

Someone’s knockin on my kitchen door
Leave the wood outside
What all the girls here are freezing cold

You can go now

You’re already in there
I’ll be wearing you tatoo
You’re already in there
Thought I was over the bridge now
I’m already in
Circles and circles and circles again
The girl’s in
Circles and circles
Got to stop spinning
Circles and circles and circles again
Thought I was over the bridge now

where have you been, kitten?

1 Feb


This isn’t goodbye. Just a new preference for microblogging and faster feedback. And animated gifs. So many animated gifs. I’ll come back here every once in a while. For now, follow me? Won’t you? Won’t you?




Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

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