Call it the 2:30 Feeling, call it caffeine slump, call it what you will, but I’ve hit the wall for the day. The wall where you know you’re just not getting anything further done – attempts at such will result in a lot of paper shuffling and list making. You guilt yourself into all the things you’ll need to do, all the things you haven’t done, and you’ll leave the office with the sense of not getting a thing accomplished.

It’s not true, of course. You’ve gotten things done. You’ve moved forward… unless you are a Master Procrastinator and are skilled at the art of looking incredibly busy while accomplishing nothing more than illusion. Usually most of our illusory skills go into overdrive around this time of year. Holidays are forthcoming, perhaps you’re lucky enough to have some vacation time saved up. Perhaps you’re thinking of how next week you’ll be stuffing yourself silly on food other people spent all day preparing. Most of you have a plan to get drunk at some point in the near future, possibly as early as this Thursday. Possibly you’re drunk *now*.

Every year, immediately following Halloween, I go into a slump that doesn’t really end until right around my birthday. I’m not a fan of the holiday season, except for the free food portion of the show. Maybe my kitchen will smell like cookies, maybe it will smell like cat litter and dishes that need to be washed. In all instances, I am not a fan of my kitchen either – it’s too small and (as of late) empty.

Right turn, Clyde.

Quite a few of my friends are participating in NaNoWriMo. Some are posting daily updates on what they’ve written each day, some have the auto-feed of their word count. Yes it’s the thought that counts, as the whole point of NaNoWriMo is quantity not quality, but I’ve barely managed a handful of posts this month. Forget writing a novel of any sort. I’ve got random bits of fiction out there in a safe place but for the most part the words are all jumbled up in the back of my head. They’re hiding behind the brick wall, behind the locked door in the drawing room, and if it wasn’t for me seeing shadows every so often I wouldn’t even know the door was there.

A few weeks ago someone asked me how my art was made. I started to describe the process of acrylics, making sure my brush and canvas were saturated with water and color – he stopped me to clarify: “No, how do you MAKE your art, where does it come from?”

My friend, I have no real answer for you. One minute there’s nothing more than a feeling… the next, an image. Rarely (actually, never in memory) will something destined to be a painting come from a random scribble. The toughest part of the whole process is putting the image out exactly as it appears in my head; if the finished piece appears too flat or unmanageable, it goes directly into the trash and becomes a disappointment.

I have the ghost of images rolling around in my mind right now, maybe this evening I’ll be able to coax them out. We’ll see.


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