Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Flight of the Flibbertigibbet

From Wikipedia: "Flibbertigibbet is a Middle English word referring to a flighty or whimsical person…."

Flighty. Whimsical. The person who is unable to alight for any period of time, to settle into the moment, to savor … anything, to choose one … of anything ... and stay with it, to take the "one seat" and remain. To abide.

A flitterer. A fritterer.  

This would be me. Unable on all counts.

I attribute this weakness partly to my position on the Timeline of Life.  Once the years cross the yardarm of, oh, let's just say 50 for the fun of it. Anyway. The yardarm of mental competency or of the trustworthiness of anything. We know the one….

Once that yardarm gets crossed, it's natural to apply a very keen eye to recent behavior of any kind.  Like not being able to stick to anything.  To be constantly reining oneself in and bringing oneself back to whatever it was one was doing.  Is that normal in some way?  Or not normal in every damn way?  Should I devote time to worrying about this?  Sure.  What could be more important? 

So, what was that "whatever it was one was doing" thing I was doing in the paragraph above, exactly?  


Let me digress:  Ha! 

I will throttle the next person who tells me he or she is having a senior moment.  This is your mind people!  IMHO you probably only get the one.  Don't take its passing lightly.  Hang onto it.  Be fierce.  Be grimly tenacious.

Or at least celebrate it as it goes. A mind is glorious thing to lose. As it peels away, savor the taste of each lovely segment.  Send it up like a fire lantern into the night. Bless it as it goes. Hope it doesn't burn anything down.

Back to whatever. 

I'm trying to separate the components of my attention span challenge into their categories so that I might be able to retake the driver's seat of this mind. [Is there a driver's seat?  Was I ever in it?  Was that an illusion of some kind?]

So here:

I'm older.  Conceded, but let's let that one lie for now.

I'm no longer gainfully employed.  Or at least I'm in a peculiar limbo in which I might actually be somewhat gainfully employed and not know it yet.  It's like that damn cat of Schrödinger's. Is Fluffy dead or alive?  Are any of my novels?  For the sake of convenience let's say that I don't go to a job anymore and my days, with certain constraints, are my own to deploy in anyway I see fit.

But there are So. Many. Ways.  

My priority now: 

To let the novel that's in the world awaiting answers wait in peace. This requires nothing but an exercise of will.

And retrieve the most promising and challenging of my novels-in-stasis and rethink it. Make a fresh start.

However, to start fresh invokes the possibility of different methods and MANY QUESTIONS.

1) Should I read Truby, Corbett, or Wheat first, so as to not muddle unaware? Note to self: No, Yes, Yes. Read Corbett, read him now. Read Wheat, read her first. Choose.  Augh!

Question: Is this need-to-read fetish merely a function of my "Keats Syndrome?"  (I.e, what the critics said about "On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer" which was:  "What the #%@!#, Keats?  You're JUST NOW looking in there?  Where have you been?  What kind of education did you have anyway, kid? What a loser.”)

Is this something I need to address or forget about?  I’m going to try to forget.  Trying now.  

2)  Should I plan this novel more?  Maybe. Am I a planner or a pantser?  Pantser of course but should I try to overcome this or ride it on down?

3)  Should I use Scrivener this time?  I think so.

Note to self: Learn Scrivener.  Do it today.  Do it now. No wait.  Read Scrivener For Dummies. Hurry. 

4)  Should I try to find that article I read about four months ago about how to write a first draft in 30 days? Don't know. Could be great. Could be useless. Could be impossible to find anyhow.

Note to self:  Find it. Find it now. No. Wait. Read Wheat first. Or Corbett. Or For Dummies. Prioritize your confusions. Do it now.

5) I must promote my books [assuming I have books. It's that cat problem again.] online.  I must have a platform, a brand, a website.  Note to self.  Read WordPress: The Missing Manual.  Read it now.  Review that webinar you took about how to build an author website in a day.  Do it now. Do that first.

Plus, on the domestic front:

6) I have two weeks worth of CSA shares stored in three different fridges. Those veggies will distil themselves into a greenish goo in another 15 minutes.  And fall out on me, all gooshie, the next time I open any door. Anywhere. 

Note to self:  Cook something with that. Do it now. What's for dinner anyway? 

7) The garden! The weeds.  The garden.  The weeds!  Note to self: Let winter solve this problem like she always does. 

8) The Temptations -- not the group, the seductions:  of email, FaceBook, Angry Birds, new, untried but terribly inventive, apps [for free, people, at no additional charge] TV, movies, (movies on the iPad) and books of course, endless, irresistible, and important for goodness sake. (See Keats, above.) I must read everything that pertains to anything and do it now.  Or at least next.  Plus I really want to read something totally trashy, something escapist….

Ah, escape….

I am frozen.  
I am playing Solitaire. 
I am losing.  But soothed now.  
Crooning "Every little thing's gonna be all right."  
Watching the cards arrange themselves in order … red, black, red, black.

And rocking, slowly, from side to side.  


  1. There is a public community for people who use Scrivener on Google Plus. We have over 800 members. Because this is a public community, you can read the posts and comments even if you do not choose to join us.

    1. Thank you! I'll go there. I think I'll finish For Dummies first because I don't really have any coherent questions yet.

  2. One of my favorite parts about Bird by Bird is about procrastination...I use it as an excuse some days and a stick on others. I recommend "excuse" today...have you read it lately?

    1. I reread it last year and I keep it on my desk so that I can touch it periodically. She's the best.

  3. You need a hammock, a nice breeze and a nice cold drink. Or a hot drink and a blanket. Listen to the sounds of nature. -Gini

    1. I do. Wait. I've got those. I need to get them on my to do list. :-)