Mental Gumout

When the creative juices get gummy and won’t flow, it’s time to think about something else.

Therefore, it’s time to think about something else — cleaning the house again, maybe. The carpets need vacuuming. The kitchen needs sandblasting. *Les toilets* need Ti-D-Bowl or the equivalent.

Mayhap in the pedestrian doth poetry abide…

13 Responses to “Mental Gumout”

  1. Starocotes Says:

    Man am I glad that I’m married 😀

    But does thinking about cleaning the house really amount to something? Does thinking about vacuuming the carpets suck the dirt out of them? Does thinking about sandblasting the kitched really change the state the bioengeneering project in there is?

    Again, I’m glad that I’m married. Not because my wife does all the work but because she gives me a kick in the ass if I don’t do my share 🙂

  2. Bob Kennedy Says:

    Here’s a story idea, Steve: Grim vigilante fights crime to take his mind off of a litany of his own medical problems…

  3. Charles Bryan Says:

    It’s good to have some routine/chore activity that doesn’t require a lot of thought — not that my creative ideas are stunningly great, but the better ones show up when I’m walking the dog or when I’m driving familiar roads.

    It was once explained to me as some sort of “left brain – right brain” business, but I tend to dismiss all of that as an excuse used by people who have trouble balancing (or recalling the whereabouts) of their checkbooks.

  4. Matt Maxwell Says:

    I hate to say this, but I find exercise helps. When I have the energy for it (and the kids haven’t drained me like a Whitechapel ripper might.)

  5. scott Says:

    Your kitchen sounds like mine. Hahahaha. Oh, yeah, your post made me think of an old Buddhist proverb… “If there are dishes in the sink, do the dishes.”

    That’s my favorite proverb, ever, although, rarely do I actually follow it.

    And to make up for the other day, I put up a new adventure that might be more up y’all’s alleyways over on It’s a guest serial about a hot spy chick. Maybe a quick reading could be the inspiration you need, Steve!

  6. scott Says:

    Actually, that may be more of a teaching than a proverb. Uh, excuse my ignorance. Again. I mean. Um… late!

  7. Forrest Says:

    Funny…my kitchen needs Ti-D-Bowl and my toilet needs sandblasting.

    “I don’t wish to know that!”

    [On the next SMALLVILLE: Lex cleans the bathroom.
    “My god, I’ve been wrong about everything!”]

  8. Steve Gerber Says:

    My office has been in a state of chaos since I moved into this apartment. A friend may be coming over this evening to help me start putting the room in order.

  9. Forrest Says:

    [glyph of gradually dissipating stupidity]

    Some time ago I wrote a plot-unsticker advice program. Philip K Dick used the I Ching for a while, but decided he didn’t trust it; Brian Eno has his Oblique strategies, but they’re too audiovisual for my taste. Kwan Quo eliminates the stochasticity of the I Ching — one situation = the same three suggestions every time — and its suggestions are designed for fiction writing.

    In my experience the recommendations tend to be creepily apt.

    If interested it’s probably easiest to try the Javascript version.

  10. Forrest Says:

    (That would be my g.d. stupidity. Accept no imitations. If not completely dissatisfied, return unused potion for a full defund.)

  11. Bgztl (Jack Holt) Says:

    Mayhap in the pedestrian doth poetry abide…<<

    Total non sequitur, but Ted Kooser does a great job at this. Not many people can write about a Jar of Buttons and make a chill run down your spine. (Well, maybe, Stephen King does too, but in a completely different way. :D)

    This is a core sample from the floor of the Sea of Mending,

    a cylinder packed with shells
    that over many years

    sank through fathoms of shirts –
    pearl buttons, blue buttons –

    and settled together
    beneath waves of perseverance,

    an ocean upon which
    generations of women set forth,

    under the sails of gingham curtains,
    and, seated side by side

    on decks sometimes salted by tears,
    made small but important repairs.

    I don’t think anyone else would looks at a jar of mismatched buttons, long forgotten in a world where we buy off the rack instead of repairing what we have, . . . to the sediment of a geological era . . . to something sunk forever, like Atlantis or a shipwreck, beneath the seas.

    That’s just –surreal and perfect.

    How do you not love that? 😀

  12. Bgztl (Jack Holt) Says:

    Hmm. Spacing got screwed up. Sorry. The original is in Delights and Shadows by Kooser.

  13. Forrest Says:

    (Unrelated appreciation of the new Buttons To Nowhere, which are also surreal and perfect)