This past week has been a wash as far as writing goes. We had contractors here from Monday-Friday working on the “hardscape” at the front of the house. They tore out and redid a long stretch of retaining wall, tore out a set of concrete steps and a set of wooden steps, widened the dangerously narrow driveway, changed the approach to the house by adding a tiered tumbled concrete (faux stone) staircase/walkway from the street up to the house. It looks beautiful. It also was more expensive than I want to think about, but it had to be done. We’ve been in this house for twenty years and the retaining wall was starting to lean when we moved in. It wouldn’t have survived another Ohio winter.
I just ordered an electronic guitar tuner because I simply don’t yet have the ability to tune by ear.
Guitar work is going slowly and I get discouraged at times, but it is a concrete thing to do, making sound shapes in time. I am not going to quit. I may suck at the instrument. I look at my thick fingers trying to line up in a row for an A major chord and curse my gracelessness. But I am going to do this thing. Earlier today I practiced the first few bars of a 2 string blues. I am starting to make a few modest connections. If I do this, that happens…but what if I do this?
Living in Ohio during this political season is a form of craziness. Ohio has to be the quintessential swing state. We get robo-called at least ten times a day, the tv commercials are nonstop and—although I’m a political person—I’m wearying of the talking heads talking over one another.
Plus I’m not a good capitalist. The only invisible hand I know anything about exists only in my sexual fantasies. Too much information?
I doubt that whatever I’ve done as a writer will long survive my death. I wonder what it means what we make in life.
In the meantime, while I’m still alive, I’m preoccupied with making something better than what I’ve made before. And I’m totally uncertain that I’m succeeding.
My novel Appearances is such an attempt and it has had a rocky path. It’s a meta-novel and after ten months it’s only reached about 60 pages of manuscript. I’m thus about a third of the way through a first draft.
The uncertainties of creation are a constant of my life.