2015-08-05 / Editorial


Don Lively

No, please, not again.


Not one good idea, not one paragraph, phrase or word.

Real writers call it writer's block.

I'm not sure I can count myself among the writers known as the real ones but, still, there are times when nothing comes.

It's way after midnight. It's dark out and I need to shove a big chunk of that darkness into my brain, let it soothe me off to sleep, create sweet and pleasant dreams, and allow me to wake up fresh as a magnolia blossom eight hours later.

Not happening.

I tried to sleep first with the intent of getting up early, hopefully with 800 words of pure gold newly planted in my thought patterns. After all, the nice young women who put the paper together always forgive me for missing deadline by a few hours.

So, I laid down.

And tossed around the California King mattress like some sort of satanic tsunami.

And here I sit.

It's now 1am and I've already played at least twenty games of Spider Solitaire.

I've checked all of my email addresses and didn't find anything worth reading.

I've scrolled through Facebook a half dozen times.

I've got smooth jazz on in the background, low lights over the writing desk and a stack of Oreos, mint flavored, with a glass of Coke and a smaller glass of not Coke.

By all reasonable standards I should be at my most creative.


Okay, it's 2am, so, when all else fails, go to the news feed.

Here's one.

The headline says, “Gun ownership is down.”

Somebody probably really believes that.

I suspect that the numbers, if somebody actually did such a survey, would be a bit skewed due to all of the Southerners who answered in one of two ways.

“No Mr. Survey Taker, I don't own any guns.”

Wink, wink.


“It's none of your *#^$% business how many guns I own.”

It's probably the same survey group that once asked a thousand men if they had ever beaten their wives. Astonishingly, 100 percent of the respondents said no.

What else?

Oh, here's an interesting one.

" Hypnotist Joe Smith (not the actual name, obviously) will hold a " stop smoking " seminar. Mr. Smith is America's most well known and sought after hypnotist. "

I suppose Mr. Smith's fame far exceeds all of the lesser known and unwanted hypnotists that dot the fruited plain.

Who comes up with this stuff?

It's now 3am and I just heard my final remaining Stray Girl Gone Wild, LooseE, ( Or Lucy, she'll answer to either.) go howling off into the woods, heck bent for leather, giving chase to Lord knows what creature that dared venture too closely to the wooded enclave. She's quite the late night guard dog though I don't recall her ever actually catching any prey. She does occasionally drag up some long dead animal skull and make it her chew toy till I dispose of it. She hasn't really done anything lately that's worth writing about though, so she's no help in my present idealess quandary.

Still, she hasn't come out of the woods yet, so, now it's 4am and I am sitting in one of the custom made Adirondack chairs listening to the night sounds. There's a tiny little breeze but it's still a warm night. Apparently too hot for the tree frogs and cicadas cause it's pretty quiet in the trees. The moon is two nights past full but still plenty bright. It's a beautiful Southern summer night.

Beautiful, but not inspiring.

Still nothing.

It's 4a.m. so I think I'll check Facebook again since I have a few friends who, like me, are nocturnal by nature.

Hmm...there's a friend request from a young lady named Pinkney Breeze and she “wishes to locate and possess great friend and companion.” I hate to hurt her feelings but I'm going to pass on friending young Pinkney. I wish her well in her search though.

It's 5am and I'm pretty sick of the Oreos so I'm checking the fridge to see what delights can be found there. There's something in a Styrofoam takeout container that I have no memory of bringing home. That's all there is, other than a large variety of condiments and pickles. Let's try the freezer. Nope. Nothing but ice and a bottle of Captain Morgan that I forgot was there. I'll pass.

It's now 6am, the night is over, and I still have no idea what to write about.

I give up.

Good night y'all.

Don Lively is a freelance writer and author of the new book, South O' Yonder. He lives in Shell Bluff. Email Don at Livelycolo@aol.com.

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