case of the worms*

this past weekend, i saw one of my best friends get married. ALL of my high school peeps were there and then they stayed and played in boston with me. it was a weekend of grandeur and booze and laughs and love and silly immaturity.

so why am i melancholy today?

because i lost my scarf.

my long, cozy, WARM purple scarf. it got left behind at the hotel and the hotel says they haven’t found it yet. in case you’ve been under a rock, it is november. i live in massachusetts where the winters are mean. i need that scarf now more than i want it.

scarves aren’t expensive and (again) it being november, they are abundant in stores right now. i can replace it quite easily, but it won’t be the same. it won’t be the same rich hue. it won’t be as soft and warm. it won’t be the original. but if i really think about it, it’s just some yarn strung up in a fancy shape. why is this loss bothering me so much?

maybe because a replacement won’t carry the same memory of shopping with my mom and sister E. maybe it has something to do with the fact that this situation could have been avoided if i’d done one last check around the room. maybe it has something to do with how scatterbrained i’ve been feeling. it’s been a long, stressful summer which has morphed into a fast paced, stressful fall and the winter shows no signs of stopping. i’m multitasking while multitasking and we all know that dividing your attention and then subtracting it by half doesn’t do anyone any favors. and this time, my scarf was the casualty. RIP purple scarf from H&M.

speaking of losing things, i recently lost a raging battle — against myself. (i didn’t even need to go to linda grimes for an excuse.) i managed to come up with approximately 2,098,374 other things i could be doing rather than writing.

even if the things i did other than writing were productive in terms of real life, i needed to make writing my priority. and i didn’t. i don’t know if it’s because the scenes i need to fix are challenging and i’m scared. i don’t know if it’s because i’m just tired from having house guests over all weekend. i don’t know if it’s the lack of a real deadline. i don’t know if it’s the weight of expectations on my shoulders. i don’t know if it’s because my laptop is a piece and it’s annoying to use. i don’t know if i’m having trouble editing on a screen instead of with a pen and paper. i don’t know if i’m just lazy. i don’t know if i need a break. i don’t know what it is.

and i don’t know how to re-motivate myself.

i’m energized by my WIP, but i can’t bring myself to stop reading books and start writing.

what do YOU do when you are blocked? (in writing, in driving, in reading, in cooking, in designing, in cleaning, in riding, in running, in studying, in creating, in life?)

what do you do when you’ve lost something that you know can’t be recovered? should i just learn to knit?

*the title of this blog makes a lot more sense if you read this.

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10 Responses to “case of the worms*”

  1. adriana Says:

    multitasking while multitasking — i hear you, sister! i hope you get some rest over Thanksgiving and come back rested and recharged!

    i don’t have any wise words about what to do when you’re blocked… the only thing i can say is, if you’re not feeling it right now, then do it. wait for a time when you WILL want to do it! sure, there’s something to be said about discipline and making yourself do things… but forcing yourself to work on something when your heart is not in it might not really be a great thing in the long run, because you might start resenting it (whatever the IT is that you’re doing).

    • abby mumford Says:

      re: multitasking — YEAH YOU DO. you’re queen of it. i’m just a princess.

      and i get that if my heart’s not in it, i should wait, but i sort of feel like that’s what i’ve been doing all this time. waiting for inspiration. waiting for more time. waiting for unblockageness. i need to stop waiting and starting doing. hopefully my heart will catch up quickly.

  2. Karla Nellenbach Says:

    When i lose something that just can’t be replaced, I mope…and I mean, really mope…then, i suck it up and replace it (although i still mope, cuz its just not the same!)

    When it comes to my writing, if I get stuck, I go back to my outline and try to figure out why I’m stuck. Normally, I write fast (once i have the plot figured out and properly outlined) so if for some reason, I slow down, I know there’s a problem.

    • abby mumford Says:

      moping. that’s totally what i’m doing. it’s just a scarf for heavens’ sake. this just means i have a reason to go buy a new one. this is good. (so i keep telling myself.)

      and as for your writing, that’s a very interesting plan of attack. it certainly works for you! i love what you’re producing with ALWAYS AND FOREVER. and i’m now curious how the outlining time vs. writing time compare.

      • Karla Nellenbach Says:

        thanks! your comments on my teases always make me smile (and get my rear in gear to write faster) anywho…my writing process in a nutshell: idea forms (usually when im too busy to do anything about. i.e. driving, working, in the shower,…you know) and then i spend a lot of time thinking it over, turning it around in my head, asking questions, like who is this character chirping away in my head and why is he/she so important. Once I have that nailed, I get out index cards and jot down major plot points (i outline via corkboard. easy for me to change things up if necessary) and only then do i write. sometimes the outline process takes me weeks, others only days…but i dont usually start writing until im somewhat happy with the layout of things beforehand. (yeah, im OCD/listmaker-y) :)

        • abby mumford Says:

          oooh, index cards and a corkboard? i love the tactile nature of that. i think (though i have yet to test it out) scrivener has an option that simulates a corkboard. it sounds right up my alley because i love to hand write things, but find a notebook doesn’t show me the big picture. wow, you’ve just given me a new idea! thanks!

          and p.s. did i say this already or just think it? ALWAYS AND FOREVER reminds me of IF I STAY. what a gorgeous, tragic story.

  3. Linda G. Says:

    Aw, man. So sorry about your scarf. I hate losing things I’ve become attached to. I once thought I’d lost the four leaf clover necklace my aunts gave me when I was born, and about had a panic attack. I’ve been absolutely paranoid about taking care of it ever since.

    And thanks for linking to my blog. You know you can always come to me for an excuse, or if you’re just having a wormy day. Re what I do when I’m blocked: I sit down and purposely try to write the most godawful scene I can. (This isn’t usually tough for me. *cough*) It’s amazing what that can shake loose. I’ve even wound incorporating some of these scenes into my books. ;)

    • abby mumford Says:

      i’m usually pretty fanatical about putting stuff away, so to misplace or, gasp, lose something is a huge deal. well, we can’t all be perfect. at least it’s just a scarf and not something like your family four leaf clover heirloom necklace!

      re: writing the worst scene possible. that’s a really great idea. by giving yourself permission and time to write the worst scene you can would be really freeing. i think it’s the whole idea behind NaNo, but everytime i sit down to write, i try my hardest not to suck. but telling myself to write just one sucky scene (at a time) just might be the ticket to unleashing my genius.

      and re: linking to your blog, no problem. your blog if very linkable (wink wink, nudge nudge.)

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