29th December 2012
Time passes. (D. Thomas) A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then his heard no more. (Will.) Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change. (Hardy)
On the subject of time: I am filling out the questionnaire sent to me by Simon and Schuster for their website, and one question asks for my motto. I put, "Everything at this moment is exactly as it should be," a thought I hold dear but am not very good at living up to. Like this week when the Aspen Writer's Foundation got my name wrong in their "Upcoming books" section. Like yesterday when I found an e-book with a similar title to mine, with a similar theme and a picture on the cover of a castle and a hunk in a kilt holding a semi-clad time-traveller. Another question asked for my worst fear, and I suppose my worst fear these days is finding my book shelved in the Romance section. Everything at this moment is exactly as it should be.
Stephen King says that he writes every day, including Christmas. I find I can't write once I'm jostled out of my routine, like during the holidays. Other writers find it helpful to get out of their normal situation and take themselves off to a cabin in the woods or a motel. Unless I am sitting where I always sit on my chair in my house with the same view out of the window and the same clutter on my desk, I am too distracted to write. During the bustle and come-and-go of holidays, I just stay away and wait for things to go back to normal. But even in the usual routine, things can move in and upset you.
At times like these, like today, for instance, there's a scene from Amadeus that I return to again and again: Mozart and his father and wife are all arguing in the living room. Mainly the fight is between Constanze and Leopold. Unnoticed, Mozart steps out of the room and leaves them to it. He goes into an adjoining room where there is a billiard table, and, with the noise of the argument in the background, he starts to roll the balls on the table. He rolls one ball. It hits three sides of the table and comes back to him. He sends it off again. It comes back to him. Slowly, he begins to hear the music of Don Giovani. He rolls again. Everything fades back except for the music, which he begins to write down.
So, in the midst of chaos, you step out of the fray and find your creative space. The universe responds. It has no choice but to fill in the vaccuum.