A Single Writing Morning, NOT in the Footsteps of Ulysses

5:33 a.m.:  Sitting in front of blank screen, swearing at futility of extracting a few unique words, a few glittering gems, from sleep-deprived brain. It’s like playing cards, hoping that Fate (or Chance) rewards me in the next moment with winning hand, with frameable scoresheet, proof of life.

6:04 a.m.: Choosing breakfast over writing, as always, turns into winning proposition, when self-conscious antics at keyboard churn out nothing but platitudes. Breakfast bars, holdover from bygone days of flower children and fiber kings such as Sylvester Graham [think graham crackers!], easy to nibble while staring at gleaming white eye.

8: 17 a.m.: Reposing with butt in chair [think Anne Lamott]. Writing not going well. I stare hard at mocking bright screen. Sunlight streams through slatted white blinds, throwing light-dark pattern onto floor, prison bars, I’d think, if I were lying chained in Plato’s cave.

9:46 a.m.: Reading prize-winning short story from old issue of literary journal – such turns of phrase, rich use of verbs, perfection on page [think thesaurus]. Discouraged. Click instead on round Chrome circle, yin with yang on LSD. I yawn at pessimistic CNN headlines and close down. Bullying screen still in mocking mode, taunting, “Bring it on.”

10:30 a.m.: Squirming, but butt still in chair. Five words now glow on screen: “Snapshot Moments, or, Cantus Firmus.” Monks, plain song, chant. Ideas fermenting, prancing in my head. Liturgy of the Hours [think Divine Office].

12 noon: Running out of steam. Growling stomach, dry eyes. Discipline. From Latin discipulus. Disciple [think pupil]. Punishment, too. Writing. Vulpine screen leers. Only 250 words. [Think Logos. Ora. Labora.]


(One of WordPress’s challenges – #everydayinspiration – provided the fodder for the last several posts on this blog.)


  1. Your post is so honestly written, that almost make me feel guilty for not always sharing my real state of mind when I’m sharing my experiences.
    It’s so relatable too. I’m not even a writer let alone being a writer of your caliber, but because English is not my mother tongue, I feel elated when reading perfectly written, well articulated use of English, as you described when reading the article on the prize winner.
    Great post!

  2. Thank you, Lucile. Having spent years in countries where French and Spanish predominated, and getting somewhat good at both, I still could never write in either one in the way that I do in English. So you have my deepest admiration. And awe, really, that you write so well.

    1. Thank you. Your comment means so much to me, Cynthia. I’m humbled. I’ll never be able to write well in English, as in my native language. I’m helped by the fact that at work I only speak and write in English, but business language is made of jargons. Only reading books and posts I can improve my vocabulary.

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