Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I got nuthin.

This 500 word challenge that I signed up for is the worst thing I've ever done.  It's given me the worst writer's block I've ever had.

I just have a headache and a sense of dread, nothing to say.

Perhaps it is best not to try to write when one has nothing.

I could make a list:

I hate Downton Abby and am increasingly disgusted with the plotlines.  It is just like a daytime soap opera, except that it is British and shown in the evening once a week.  It is not classic, and the writing is really bad.  Sometimes I do enjoy picking it apart while I watch, but that makes the other viewers angry.  Also, Mr. Bates has always given me the creeps, and I think he's going to commit a murder pretty soon.  Not that he shouldn't, but it won't go well for him.

Our neighbors' house flooded while they were in Mexico.  They went south to escape the Polar Vortex for six days.  First they endured flight delays at the airport.  When they finally got to Mexico, their luggage did not join them.  Three days later when their luggage was recovered, hundreds of dollars worth of items had been stolen from said luggage.

Then, when they returned home, the pipes in their master bathroom had frozen and cracked, causing hundreds of gallons of water to pour through three stories of their home.  Their first clue was when, upon driving into their driveway upon their arrival home, they pushed the button to open the garage door and water gushed out, down the driveway, as the door lifted.  Their second clue was that a soggy heap of garage ceiling (sheet-rock, insulation, etc.) buried the hood of the car they'd left at home.  I wish we had discovered it for them in time to have lessened the damage. 

Laura made some decisions and got some things done for her wedding this week.  She does an excellent job.  I think this wedding will be nice, and fun too.  No letting cats out of bags with secrets and spoilers, though.

We ordered some stuff for our kitchen this week.  I alternate between feeling excited and feeling depressed.  Sometimes it seems like nobody liked the things I picked in the end, and everybody will think I have an ugly kitchen.  Apparently I must have liked what I ordered, because I ordered it, despite feedback to the contrary.  I don't even want to talk about it.

The whole thing gives me a sick feeling in my stomach.  And the money.  Oh my.  The money is not settled.  It is going to cost more than we had budgeted, that's for sure, and that makes me feel sick, too.  I shopped for appliances today and didn't like anything about the things I saw, from the features to the designs to the prices.  Spending money is not fun for me.  Spending money is about as enjoyable as throwing up.  I must really hate the kitchen as it is, to be putting myself through this.  Why should I have the right to so hate a kitchen, just because I, personally, think it is ugly?  The people who planned this kitchen liked it.  And possibly nobody besides me would think the kitchen I am trying to plan is any good either.

The guilt.  The guilt is paralyzing.  How can I justify ripping out serviceable cabinets and appliances when there are so many legitimate needs in the world?  I should be giving this money to charity, supporting a missionary, feeding starving children, paying for my lupus blood tests, something worthwhile.  Instead, I am ripping my house apart, making a huge mess, doubting and fearing my design choices, and opening up an expense account with a black hole for the bottom line.  I can say, "At least my house didn't flood," but if it had, there would be a justifiable reason for the renovation, and an insurance settlement to cover it.

Well there.  That is probably more than 500 words, but they are words that make me feel ashamed.  Except #3.  I am not ashamed of #3.  Then again, I was quite circumspect in #3.


Shannon said...

Ah, it's not so bad. You just need some prompts. Little vignettes are pretty nice to read, really. It's not really necessary to write a complete, standalone story. You could just google "writing prompts" and then sort through the bad ones for a few minutes to find one that you could write about.

I'm not doing my best writing, either, but it feels good to try sometimes, especially when I have a few directionless minutes during the day.

The kitchen is going to turn out really nicely. Remember, there's no way it is going to be worse than the one you currently have, and then you'll have a nice open kitchen again. There's something to be said for fixing the layout.

ruth said...

Thank you. Thank you very much. I guess I'm kind of needy right now. But thank you. I will try looking for prompts. And, I might keep bothering you now and then for strokes to help me combat my insecurity over this kitchen. Seriously, I feel nauseated. I should be thankful, and I am nauseated.

Hope T. said...

You love to cook and your family loves to eat the delicious food you make. I think that given all the time you spend in that one room, you should turn it into a calm, efficient, usable and beautiful place. It will be so much more relaxing than walking into the room multiple times a day and being reminded anew how much you dislike it.

Having said that, I don't want you to think I don't understand the dread about spending the money. Spending money is a very sensitive area for me and while it doesn't make me nauseated per se, it does give me the feeling that my stomach is dropping, like when the car goes over a big hill. Not spending money can be nearly as problematic as overspending but my default setting is to refrain if at possible and I haven't gotten far with finding a balance. Maybe you could think of spending money on the kitchen as fiscal therapy?

Thank you for your warning about how unlikable Downton Abby is. I have never seen but have heard of it since I am a human being living in the US. Seriously, I might have to watch an episode just to know what people are talking about, although I have no desire to see it. I guess I am just quirky enough that my preferences never run in the direction of what is popular at the time.

That is truly awful about your neighbor's house being destroyed. Water is so destructive that I can't imagine they salvaged anything. I am thinking of irreplaceable items like old pictures and letters. I am so sorry that happened.

Your daughter looked beautiful in your wedding dress. I am sure it will be such a lovely wedding. I would have to bring lots of extra handkerchiefs/tissues to such a wedding. Sigh. I've found that life goes very quickly now that I am middle-aged.

ruth said...

People love Downton. This is probably why I hate it. I've been watching Masterpiece for years, with a cup of Earl Gray and a warm blanket. Then all of a sudden, here is my show, my secret, my private indulgence, all watered down and silly, with actors making appearances on such programs as "Good Morning America." Seriously. Ugh! I guess I'm a snob, but it really bugs me.

Hope T. said...

I love BBC period pieces. Usually. The most recent one I tried to watch was 'Cranford'. I got through three episodes and I just couldn't bear it. Multiple characters died in each episode and from what I read, that was going to continue. I can't imagine how they made 'Return to Cranford' since I would have thought the whole town would be dead by the end of the first series. I couldn't continue and for some reason, I associate Downton with Cranford. I imagine it has the same kind of depressing plots with a few hints of silliness thrown in to attempt to counterbalance it. I don't know if I am way off-base but right now I need a good BBC show that I haven't seen yet.

The year I had my youngest, they had remakes of all the Jane Austen books. Some were good and some were not. I went into labor when I was watching one. I believe it was 'Persuasion'. Maybe I should re-watch some of those.

ruth said...

I think I kind of liked Cranford. I don't remember it very clearly. I loved the Jane Austen remakes, although, as you said, some were definitely better than others. They moved me to reread my Jane Austen books, and that was very enjoyable. The older I get, the more I get out of them.