I've had some creativity but it was tempered by frustration. This email thread with a friend illustrates my struggle.

No. I lost my title searching job in December thanks to high interest rates and the company was already shedding employees like a husky in summertime. I got my old job back, mostly kismet, and it's fine but it's a slight pay cut. New Jersey is expensive but I'm trying to be optimistic yet it's a struggle. Later in the year, November-December, I'm going to complete my degree for free then pursue a real specialization degree (certificate) in hopes of finding better paying work or getting paid more at my current job. At the moment my primary struggle is having this creativity, at long last, but not being able to follow through. For example I wrote a partial first draft of a story idea and haven't touched it since. I also wrote a first draft of a story, all the way through, but I haven't revised it in two months. I don't know what's wrong with me, if it's confidence, if I'm not supposed to be a writer or not.

I think I'm supposed to write because I was writing on a regular basis from 1999 to 2011. In 2011 I joined The Anomalist and home circumstances had me delete everything from my old website heptapod.org. I had a minor outlet with LiveJournal, I kept a gratitude diary for about a year and a quarter, but really didn't write anything besides write-ups at The Anomalist. Inbetween I became a bookkeeper with a friend and something occurred to me that I'm experiencing a cosmic pun.

I want to write stories/books. Then I became a bookkeeper with someone (liberal presbyterian) who is "of the book", then I became a title searcher which is all about books and pages to find deeds, mortgages, et al. and I likened it to a latter-day capitalist monastic tradition. Books are always part of my life, even if it's tangential or wordplay. I take heart that Bukowski didn't really start his career until he was fifty but it took him going to the hospital to get down to business rather than carousing and being drunk. All this added up to a cosmic pun like, "If you're not going to write books then you're going to work around books or be teased by wordplay."

But when I finish something I'm proud of, e.g. the bit I wrote about Honesty Proctor of Seaside Point, it affirms I have it within me. The creativity I've been feeling has a parallel being drawn in my head. I loved being at my desk and feeling my soon-to-be ex-wife coming up from behind me and wrapping her arms around my neck and giving me a hug from behind. My bookkeeping partner did that a few times as well but I always took it as being friendly-affectionate more than anything else. Now I think Calliope is doing it to me, but as with all my interactions with women, I'm oblivious.

Her response:

If you feel you have to write every day to be a writer, well, that's probably true if you want to make a living at it, since publishing today seems to require series. I have a friend who is a moderately successful writer. She had a very successful break-out book and her publisher immediately signed her to a contract of something like 3 books in 18 months. Frickin' impossible, but that's what the job of a professional writer is these days. If you've gotten a following, you have to push a bunch of sequels/series out there before the public forgets your name and moves along to the Next Big Thing. But where I was going with the writing-everyday thing is that sometimes stories just have to sit and simmer for a while, especially when you've hit a wall. And the upheaval and depression in your life wreaks havoc with creativity. You're in survival mode and when a bear is chasing you, you're not going to stop to write a story about it. So cut yourself some slack until some of the necessities--like getting a degree or a certificate--are accomplished. Write when you feel like it; don't beat yourself up for not revising anything in two months. I was shocked to realize that I've got fictional stories that have been in progress for 10 years. Maybe they'll be finished eventually; maybe they are fatally flawed and my heirs can donate the unfinished ms. to whoever gets my papers (as if!!) or use it for firestarters. You write when you can; when it calls you. Don't judge yourself for not writing more; just write when you're able.

Thus endeth the lesson.

an old dream from 3/18/2015

Much to my surprise, word reached me in my sleep that one of my friends/colleagues had a brief dalliance in space.

As the story goes, he schemed his way aboard a Soviet capsule years ago, bribing a cosmonaut, to be the first cryptozoologist in space. Or low-earth orbit. My source, a faceless black man (no, not Nyarlathotep) met me in a fancy restaurant where I could see that I was also black from the mirrors on the walls.

The cryptozoologist, using his media money, paid his way aboard a Soyuz capsule but the trip was an aborted disaster. The launch took place during a Russian blizzard, where the three stage rocket fell short due to ice and snow. Not to say he didn't experience weightlessness, as the parabola floated him out of a seat, bonking his head on a control panel. My informant phrased the situation as, "If not for blizzard, not even the legislature could bring back from space."

My dining companion excused himself, leaving me waiting for the menus and the realization I had no cash to pay for dinner.

Rest of my dream took place at a snowy, outdoor Gwar concert. Not a Gwar fan in waking or dream life. Of interest is the cryptozoologist being called onstage, briefly surrounded by one of those magician's curtain-tubes, revealing a giant earth maggot had consumed him. This monster resembled a Sid and Marty Krofft puppet, but I lacked context having never seen a subterranean horror in either of my lifes.

90 degrees from the stage was a mock-up of the notorious Soyuz capsue, with the C, O, Starship Enterprise character, Y, and 3. People were climbing over it like kids on a junglegym. Despite my fat, I slipped inside for a better look, intending to write this up somewhere online. Memories from waking life filled me of the experiences of the doomed Salyut 7 crew, thinking about to weave the cryptozoologist's narrative into a larger, fortean context.

Inside, everything became 1990's polygons. Looking down, I was a tiger. My surroundings weren't a cramped castle, but a red sand tunnel with white streaks. Reality flashed, and found myself in an office resembling my former day job. Even though I didn't work for them, I was still welcome to come in and do work. This realization came after a calendar fell off a whiteboard, wasting time trying to get it back lest I get in trouble. "I wish I was home" ran through my head, followed by a voice reminding me of the situation.

Instead of going home, I woke up.

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