Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 22:34:39 +1030
From: Fred Hawes <>
X-Sender: fhawes@salam
Subject: FTSD Contributor's Block
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.3.96.981201220357.8928B-100000@salam>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Lines: 58

Sooooo, December 1st is coming closer, at relativistic velocities,
and you're ... not ... QUITE ... prepared.  You've been thinking,
been planning, (been procrastinating? drinking? fucking off?) and
although you've had several "that would be a good one" notions,
they just haven't come together into stories.  And it's time to
get at least one of them together.

You've got work to do, and you're not doing it.  No, the real work, that
is, your job, which of course you're ignoring, while you try to compose
a non-sucking FTSD submission.  Maybe a story in that?
Noooooo.  Oh, God, the ideas, the ideas that won't work.  And the worst
one of all, the one you're NOT going to use this year, you promised,
is the extended-second-person-address story.  Jeezus H. God, they're
so heavy-handed, there's no way to do them right, your junior high school
English teacher was right, just like she was about the damn objective
correlative (although you don't remember what it *is* but she was right
about it).

The story about the two-day drunk last month?  Which, well, seemed
bizarre while it was happening.  Or the one about your old girlfriend,
the psycho?  Which, well, is overworked, and you've already regaled
alt.angst with it.  And it's not bizarre enough, since every time you
tell it everyone else tops your story with their own psycho-ex-girlfriend
stories.  Well, maybe the story about all those stories you won't be
writing because you decided they Just Don't Have What It Takes?

Just like you don't.  SHIT!

In desperation you head on over to the library -- after all, gotta copy
some articles to read, yeah, read, uhhh, that's IT!  A story idea:  the
mutant-literary-ripoff post that nobody, even you, quite gets the point
of, so off to the modern American Lit section, and your hand falls on,
it falls on----- a book, (well of course it's a book!), and let's say it's
"Amateurs" by Donald Barthelme.  Hey, how perfect, after all, that's
what we all are on t.b, right? (you say, trying to delude yourself,
c'mon, they're not amateurs there, these are Highly Trained Professionals,
maybe even Professional Killers, Professional Sucking-Newbie-Killers,
and your ass is grass.)  Open to a story, it's the school story, read it
thinking, let's see, how can I do this.  But the story is all blurry,
you're reading through tears in your eyes, this story is too good, it's
too right, nothing like what YOU'RE trying to come up with.  And the
book goes back on the shelf and you, out the door. AAAAAaaaaaaaahhhh!!!

You're frittering your time away -- it's like an Out-of-Body-Experience,
watching yourself, you write notes on pieces of scratch paper, you have
no brain at all, you're procrastinating JUST LIKE YOU USUALLY DO!!!

Until finally, reduced to complete and total despair, you're bashing
your forehead on the keyboard, trying to spell I AM AN UNCREATIVE
in little reversed injection-molded-letter impressions so that you can
read it when you look in the mirror in a few minutes; and you look up,
and see the screen, and it looks like this, and, oh, wow!, it's a post,
maybe not a *good* post, but it's a post, and darned if you don't 
actually post it.  <sigh of relief>.