Today, I’ll drive into Little Rock to listen to authors speak about their books, their poems, and their lives on this lonely planet. I’m not in the mood for a solo trip into Little Rock, but duty calls; I am responsible for arranging programs for monthly meetings of a writers’ group and the Arkansas Literary Festival holds promise as a “screening room” for potential invitee speakers.

I would rather spend the day wandering small town flea markets, searching for something that captures my imagination. Or, perhaps, I could use the meat grinder I found at a garage sale to make sausage.  But sausages (the way I envision making them) require a decent wood smoker, so grinding meat would be an exercise in wasted energy.  And, of course, I’d need the appropriate cuts of meat, amply marbled, not a commodity I keep on hand. Those obstacles close the door to the possibility of making sausages. And, I suppose I have to admit, the commitment to the club closes the door to wandering in flea markets. But still…

JSPlatesIf I had the space and supplies and equipment, I could try making plates or bowls out of clay. My pottery endeavors thus far have been underwhelming, but people with far more experience than I claim practice will yield good results.  “Give it time,” they say, tacitly acknowledging the quality of my pottery-making leaves much to be desired.  A close look at some tiny plates I made recently (click to see larger versions) reveals amateur work, but I like the glazes I used, especially because they conceal some of the most egregious flaws.  Alas, I have neither the space nor the equipment and the pottery studio at the community college is closed on weekends, so that’s not an option. That, and my obligation to find speakers, prevents me from potting on this day that promises summer-like temperatures.

A more pressing need, and time that would be well-spent, would be selecting and practicing a short story to read in an upcoming writers’ club event.  I’ve written several pieces that I find unsatisfactory for one reason or another; I may be forced to dredge up a silly story I wrote some time ago that some people find appealing.  I’d rather pick a more serious piece, but the ones I’ve written are too long and my creativity of late has been sorely lacking. Yet, I will not address that issue today for, as I keep reminding myself, I must travel to Little Rock to listen to authors. That should not feel like work to me; but, today, it does.

Tonight, after I return from Little Rock, I’ll join a party-already-in-progress, a potluck gathering at a neighbor’s house.  Last year, this neighbor held a similar party; thirty-six people attending, bringing casseroles and deviled eggs and salads and such.  The place was packed, but it was an opportunity to meet people from up and down the street and around the corner.  Perhaps an encounter with some of these people, or the food they bring, will be the spark I need to get my creative juices flowing.

I don’t know the source of the funk in which I find myself. Perhaps the cancellation of our several-day-long road trip (the one that replaced the cancelled five-day trip to New York) put me in this funk. I am ready to climb out of it. Maybe a one-day trip to Little Rock is just what I need.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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4 Responses to Funk

  1. John says:

    4th Monday from 1 to 3 pm, from September through May. This year, we will meet for a dinner meeting on June 15, where short story contest winners will read their entries and “Best 1st Paragraph of a Novel” contest winner will be announced. Meetings are open, but people who don’t live in HSV should make arrangements to have their names given to entry gates to smooth admission. (June dinner meeting is just outside HSV gate).

  2. Holly says:

    No, though I would love to attend that. I meant the “monthly meetings of a writers’ group” that you mentioned. Is that open to the public?

  3. Turned out to be a pretty decent event. You mean the next Arkansas Literary Festival? April next year.

  4. Holly says:

    It’s a gorgeous day, and the agenda is not entirely onerous, so chin up, buttercup! 🙂 I wish I’d known about this before now, for I’d enjoy going to such a thing. When is the next author event?

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