Deal 316: Made.

Every day is the same. Perfectly scheduled light shower at dawn, clearing with a pleasant morning breeze to puffy clouds, blue skies, and mild temperatures for the morning’s chores, and never getting too hot in the afternoons. The occasional excitement is caused by the chance of a brief afternoon shower, which always arrives just in time to cool things off if it got anywhere close to too warm. In short, just one balmy day after another in paradise.

Paradise is boring.

Some love paradise.

Some love paradise for a time, then remember that it is boring.

Love may be what makes the world go around, and it certainly helps distract from Paradise.

Some are immune, however. For them, the only possible distraction is to become buried in work. Yet paradise needs nothing, so the fruits of their labor pile up, as great piles of widgets.


Deal 314: Blocked.

The typewriter sits, silent, on a clean desk. Beside it rests a ream of paper, ready for ideas to flow. A lone window provides light during the day, and a candle is ready to light to continue work into the evening. A calendar hangs on the wall beside the window, with a single day circled. A single sheet of paper is wound through the platen and is poised and ready to receive the first words of a new work. A blank sheet of paper. The author sits, motionless, at the keys.

Blank. Like every sheet in the ream beside it.


The date on the calendar is only a few days away, and yet the bulk of the paper is untouched, and the grand plans for a novel appear to be stalled, trapped in the fear of writer’s block. A fear that clearly has been realized.

To name a thing is to give it a kind of reality, and even to give it some power. And so, the pages remain blank, the ribbon unused, and the contract unfilled.

And the pages are blank.

The fear of the looming deadline is palpable.

Often, fear is a great motivator. Fear of the bear brings out the sprinter. Fear of the ghosts brings the light. Fear of deadlines does not work that way. Fear only brings out hands that levitate over the keys without touching them.

And blank pages.


Suddenly, an idea strikes, hands reach for keys, and finally the silence is broken by the steady stream of clacks as the flood pours forth onto paper.