A Post About A Post

I am not writing today.  Just not going to do it.  My brain hurts, my feet hurt, this spot about two inches below my right elbow hurts, and I think I am coming down with something.  Not sure exactly what it is, but it could be a case of writer’s block.  Feels like it might be.  You see I am pushing ideas into one side of my brain and nothing is coming out the other.

Well, maybe it’s just mental constipation.  It’s been going on all weekend.  I think, an idea forms, but I just get a couple of brain farts and nothing else comes out.

What? Oh, sorry. Um, let’s try a different direction…

Try this: I don’t believe writer’s block.  There is always something to write about.  The  phenomenon of “writer’s block” is just really an expression of the fact that the writer’s idea has yet to achieve that plane of consciousness where it can be fully articulated by the written word.  In fact, the phase “writer’s block” is used as an excuse for a writer to deny the fact that their idea has yet to come to fruition.

Or, “writer’s block is just an excuse used by lazy writers.”  Whoa, that will generate some hate mail.  May not be strictly true, but it feels that way.  Most of the time when I hear a writer say that they can’t write and are ‘blocked’ my normal answer is, “Well write about why you’re blocked – that’s something to write about.” If the advice is followed, then presto, no more writer’s block.

Here’s my problem: all week I’ve had this really great line floating around my brain.  It’s the opening line of a poem.  It feels really good, it’s interesting to me, it’s related to the poem I posted last week and seriously, if I could just get a second line it would be an awesome poem.

I haven’t found the second line all week.  Oh I get close.  I hear half a line, maybe four really good words and then darkness.  It leads no where.  So, I do what all great writers have done (or I imagine they do), I put the line on the shelf and move on to something else.  Cool, so in my head I got halfway through a really great post on what the fourth dimension really is before I realized I don’t know what the heck I am talking about.

Then I fall back to the really great line.  Okay on Friday I was up to two and a quarter lines.  Slow, but progress.

On Saturday I did the other thing that also helps my writing, Heather and I went hiking up to Borel Hill here’s a picture.  It’s on Russian Ridge, I wrote about that awhile on this post.

Borel Hill sign at the top of the hill

Borel Hill sign at the top of the hill

My brain normally breathes in enough clean air that my brain clears after a couple of miles and great ideas start to flow.  It partly worked – I came home with a very clear, but empty head. I did get a bit of a sunburn so that was something I guess.

Don’t get me wrong, I needed the hike, I needed to see trees and sometime soon I know it will pay off.

This afternoon we did another thing that often gets my creative juices flowing, we went to an art and wine show.  There were lots of creative things there: paintings, sculptures, pottery, glass, wooden bowls and this really cool cutting board.  Seeing the work of all the artists often sparks my own creative mind.  Today I mostly got ideas for Heather to do on her next oil painting.  Other than a nice afternoon out and a walk in the sun, it didn’t move the poem in my head beyond line 2.75.

Well, we did buy a cutting board, so I got something…

No that’s a gift for someone else, I don’t get to keep it.


Then I tried another tactic that often helps me with a piece of writing – I told Heather about what I was working on.

It worked!  It was in that moment when I spoke the line to her out loud that I realized the problem: It’s stupid.  Really, a totally dumb line utterly void of any reason to work on it any further.

So I just wanted you to know that I am not writing a post or a poem this week.  It’s not because I am lazy, or have writer’s block, but rather because I am an idiot who wasted all week thinking about stupid stuff.

Well, sorry you made the effort to get all the way here just to find out that I decided not to write this week.

Till next week,

Posted in General, Hiking, Writing | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Friday Music – More Shallow Brown

One of my more popular posts is this on my favorite sea shanty, Shallow Brown.

Well, since I wrote that post a couple of years ago, more versions of the song have been posted to YouTube.  This week a reader of this blog sent me this version of Shallow Brown.

Have a listen and I am sure you’ll agree these guys have great voices and do an outstanding job on this song.  Going to add that one to my play list.

Well, I am off to hoist the sails and set off into the weekend sunset,


Posted in General, Shanties | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Wednesday Woodworking – potpourri bowl and a pile of parts

Here is what happened to the marquetry I was working last week.  It went on to this potpourri bowl.  Wrapping marquetry around a curved surface is tricky.  Our marquetry club did a workshop on this last Saturday and here is how mine turned out:

Marquetry on potpourri bowl

Marquetry on potpourri bowl

Another view:

Top of potpourri bowl

Top of potpourri bowl

The top is a pewter part we purchased .  It is set into a little grove in the bowl turning.

And one more view of the marquetry,  this time the leaves:

Another view of the marquetry on the potpourri bowl

Another view of the marquetry on the potpourri bowl

A bonus picture, I’ve mounted the cross in its base.  Just needs a coat or two of finish and a brass plaque before I give it to the church.

Next week, I tell you what this pile of parts is all about.



That’s it on the woodworking front this week.

If you need me – I’ll be in the shop.


Posted in Marquetry, wood working | Tagged , , | 14 Comments


Stone foundation of the world
Stone builder of the home
Forever, formed, solid, and unmoving

Cold freezes and contracts
Sun heats and expands
Moving the stone
This way and that

An age passes
The day and night giving the stone
Breath and
Its lungs slow fracture the skin

Rain falls
Finding the flaw
Becoming the wedge that cracks
As cold night falls

Breathing deeper
The fracture grows
The surface chips
Washed by rain and battered by wind

The stone breaths
And sheds
Becoming ever smaller
Grains of sand

Just a short poem this week.  It’s an attempt at a four-dimensional poem, that is a poem that looks at an object as it is now and what it might become in the future.  Yeah, maybe I should move on to something else…

I am still working on editing my book – no, not done yet.  It’s a lot of work.  I do hope to have it done in a few days so I can start stressing over what to do with it next by the first of May.  This project continues to consume most of my writing time so I don’t have much for the blog today.  Check in on Wednesday when I’ll have a couple of woodwork project pictures for you.

Till next week,


Posted in Poems | Tagged , | 18 Comments