Well.

I have absolutely nothing to say today.

Itís been awhile, hasnít it? You know, when it sneaks up behind me and saps me on the skull.

Iíve been pretty prolific this year, with all the politics and everything going on. Iíve even had a few bouts with some columns that were almost creative. Well, almost.

But here I sit again, this little cursor blinking at me, tauntingly.

Whatís a guy to do? I could wing it, do something depressing. I can always do something depressing when all else fails. I would have made a good actor. I can conjure up a tear like nobodyís business. But I donít feel like it today. Itís cold and dreary enough without me making things worse.

Some of you have inquired about my novel. Last time we talked about it was about this time last year, and I was stuck at page 130.

Well, Iím pleased to report I am now stuck at page 170. At this rate, I should be finished by social security age. Itís still pretty good, and I know where itís going, but I just donít have the gumption to get back to it. Like I said, itís a tough thing to come by, immortality. But I still plan to live forever.

So.

Yep, yep, yep.

How about them Saints, eh?

(I honestly wouldnít know, I donít watch football.)

Itís almost Christmas. Iím looking forward to it, and looking forward to it being over with all at the same time. You know what I mean.

Little cursor, a vertical black line on my computer screen. Itís annoying. If Iím not typing, it sits there and blinks at me. Annoying little sucker. If I type, it stays one space ahead of me all the time, unless of course I go back to correct something, then it pushes all the other words out of the way. Bossy, arrogant little squirt.

But I can handle the pushing and shoving. Itís that blinking, taunting, teasing thing I canít tolerate.

Címon, it seems to blink in Morse code or something. What, you ainít got what it takes anymore?

Admit, youíre washed up.

Has-been.

Youíre burned out. Youíve peaked. Youíve reached your creative limit and a year from now youíll be lucky to be writing your grocery lists.

If I could get my hands around that little cursorís neck, IídÖ

Well, never mind all that.

Hollywood writers are on strike. Now thereís a concept. Takes a small miracle and lots of good karma to get to be a writer, and they go on strike.

But itís hard to go on strike when youíre not writing anything anyway, like today. Whatís to strike?

"Iím going on strike and writing less than nothing," I could proclaim.

That would be productive.

Part of it is the time of year. You know how I am. From October until spring, Iím just full of wanderlust and restlessness. The need to vanish, to find keys to doors that lead somewhere my grandfather used to go. Why does fall and winter make me this way? I donít know. I donít know that answer anymore than I know why that blinking cursor makes me want to scream.

Mmm-hmm. Sure Ďnuff. Yup.

I miss Montana. Knowing itís covered with a half dozen feet of snow by now doesnít even matter. I want to be in the mountains again something awful. Iím tired of all this flatness. Give me a hill! A hill, a bluff, my kingdom for a mountain!

Or a boat. A nice schooner, her sails unfurled, making way southward. Oh, but I can hear the bow pierce waves, smell the spray:

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by. (John Masefield)

Blink.

Little gremlin. Itís like a bully in elementary school. Like Hannibal Lecter, threatening to devour me.

Blink.

*Sigh.* I always wonder if other writers feel this way. Did Tolkien get Frodo and Sam to Mordorís Black Gate and suddenly dry up, his creative faucet turned tight with a pipe wrench? Did Dickens sit down and pen, It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, sit back and go, "Well. Now what do I do?"

At least, thank God, Iím not a poet. I used to try. I have great respect for poets, believe me. Pure admiration. Iím not the least bit good at it. I learned about iambic pentameter and all that in school, and penned a few bits of verse that I suspected were passable, at best. Then I read Tolkien and decided I had better forget the whole thing before I embarrassed myself. I mean, when the man writes:

The pines were roaring on the height,

The winds were moaning in the night.

The fire was red, its flaming spread;

The trees like torches blazed with light.

I just gave up and went back to prose. I know when Iím outgunned.

Blink.

Little Ė oh, but for a PG rating!

Well.

Okay.

See ya Friday!