The Art of Inspiration (or lack thereof)

What is it about a computers that make my mind as blank as the screen when I sit down to write? Why do I lay in bed desperately trying to fall asleep but unable to quiet the ideas bouncing about? Why can I compose in my head while I'm cooking or washing dishes or taking a shower, but I cannot use my fingers and my brain at the same time?

Of course, I can't use my mouth and my brain at the same time, so maybe that one is not quite so surprising.

And, it doesn't matter what I write, from chapters in a book to personal letters to answering email in some sort of coherent fashion. There's a turn somewhere between the input and the output that I can't quite navigate at times. In point of fact, when answering email, I usually hit the send button before my brain engages, so I end up sending addenda, corrections, retractions, post scripts, ad infinitum.

This is how it works. Today is missionary letter day, so I resolve to write a decent one. I even know what I'm going to write. I sit down at the computer, and of course, I have to check my email. There's usually a fair bit of that, so I have to delve into the politics of the day and express my trite, inconsequential opinions lest anyone be in doubt that I have any (ha!). Then, it's imperative that I check out the absolutely last day of free shipping and internet only offers at Coldwater Creek or L. L. Bean or Old Navy. Someone from Relief Society has a question of utmost import, so that has to be researched and answered.

And, look at that! Lily Evans has thrown a sheep at me and Cami has written on my wall and Dixie says it's my turn at Scrabble and Julie has beaten my best time on puzzle 19582237, so, off to Facebook I go. It would be extremely rude to ignore such gestures of good will. With 165 friends, there's always someone wanting something. Hmm. Flora wants to be my friend. Flora?? Oh! I know you. You're Paul's best friend's second cousin once removed. Silly me.

D2 says Facebook is a waste of time. He doesn't know what he's talking about.

After meeting all my social obligations, I decide to eat breakfast (sometime closing on noon), and one can't write while eating, so the only thing to do is solve puzzles on Puzzlebee. There goes another hour. Then, while zoning out on that, an idea pops in my mind for one of the blogs. Gotta take care of that while it's in my head! And research! People want to know these things and I'd better be right if I'm going to tell them. And, maybe just one game of mahjong. Just one. I promise.

Did I mention that I'm the website coordinator/approver/whatever for my ward? Can't slack off on that responsibility. Notifications have been sent. An activity for the Primary has been added to the calendar and needs approval. While I'm at it, new callings have been issued. Releases have been made. The leadership rolls need updating.

I'm also the ward dry-pack specialist and there's that whole post-Ike preparedness evaluation I need to write, but first, I'll write the letter.

And another thing: Christmas is coming. I better order the presents for the daughters-in-law while I still can. They tend to disappear closer to Christmas. One must research, shop, compare, evaluate, bid, rebid, re-re-bid. It's exhausting.

Maybe just one more game of mahjong.

The clock sneaks up and bashes me upside the head. I load WordPerfect. (My rabid hatred of MS Word is another subject entirely). I stare at the screen, then pop up to put some clothes in the washer, wash the two bowls and a three spoons that are in the sink, get something out of the freezer for dinner, make my bed (really make it, not just tug the blankets straight when we get up in the morning), and pull out the Swiffer to get the sticky spots off the kitchen floor.

And, of course, the entire time stuff I will write bounces around in my head. I think my ideas are like vermin. The light goes on and everything scurries back into the walls.

Ten hours later, here I sit writing about how I can never write. Dinner's over, the dishes are done, the laundry is fluffed, folded and put away, and Dallas (the hubby) has retreated into the bedroom to sleep in front of NCIS. I guess I better start that letter. I think I procrastinate until he's home just so I appear industrious. It also helps to have something quiet to do to keep from disturbing his nap.

Plus, he doesn't catch me playing mahjong until my eyes glaze over.

Dang. Eight o'clock. Time to take a shower so my hair will be dry before I go to bed. I'll write the letter after that.

To Blog or Not to Blog

Although the fact may be news of no consequence, I have created a new blog. However, when one considers the fact that I have already authored five different blogs, the temptation arises to beg the question, why another?

The answer to that question is simple---or, at least, it is to me. This blog is my blog, meaning all that stuff that which just bounces around in my head and requires some sort of receptacle. Considering I have no 'pensieve' into which I can store my extracted thoughts when my brain gets too cluttered, a blog seemed the simplest solution.

The more complex answer to the need and/or impulse lies in the content of my other blogs, each of which I created for a specific purpose. Given their individual natures, none are suitable for my random, haphazard, everyday musings. One could even go so far as to say I wanted a blog that is solely my own.

In the past, I have written nice, long newsy letters scattered with pictures and only the best events of our lives the previous year. I enjoyed it and fancied others did as well, until I heard from two different siblings that they absolutely hated receiving Christmas letters and considered them disingenuous and artificial. I left off, but still felt rather guilty for not maintaining the contacts that I treasured. However, indolence combined with apprehension of becoming an annoyance served to deaden those pesky little pricks of conscience which occasionally chastised me for failing to foster connections within our very large and far-flung family. I finally decided that I would keep a blog and that, combined with sending out simple Christmas cards with our URL would serve. Those who cared could check in on us from time to time. Those who didn't wouldn't simply refold a 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper completely filled with 8 point type.

After Dallas II (hence forth referred to as D2) and Lynda tied the knot in May of this year, I decided it was time to act. I created The Fabulous Family Freeman and registered our URL because I thought it was so terribly clever and didn't want to risk losing it. Then, because 'I knew it was a matter of considerable import and required my immediate attention', I started actually creating posts about two months later.

I still primarily post letters of the newsy sort which I have written to Elder Freeman. Despite the blog later I created for that purpose, tales of erupting sewers do not really have a place on pages dedicated to spiritual things. However, the time is fast approaching where I will not have that resource, so I will have to make myself compose specifically for that blog he comes home. Hopefully, I will convince my daughters-in-law to do so as well. (My sons never would).

Despite the secular nature of FabFreeFam, it is yet intended for family news. I do not care to clutter it with my treatises on Charles Dickens vs Jane Austen, Twain vs Alcott, Tolstoy vs Karazamov, my favorite heroes and heroines in literature, and modern values in movie productions and script-writing vs the accurace of social norms in the period pieces they create.

Steadfast Faith in Christ: a Missionary Journal
was created as a means of sharing the letters home from my son, Elder Paul Freeman, as well as the pictures and video he has sent. Then, realizing the missionary tool it could become, I invited the various members of my family to share the letters from their own missionaries. The authors are the missionaries themselves through their letters which are posted. I consider myself merely the publisher and but one of the editors.

A Mormon Family Journal was created as a companion to Steadfast Faith in Christ, with the equal intent of bearing testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of his church here on earth, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From their love and support of their missionaries, parents, loved ones, and friends often write letters to their missionaries inspired by the Spirit of God as a means of providing instruction and encouragement through those difficult two years. Neither would my rattles be appropriate here.

A Mormon Journal I created to have a forum exclusively my own and perhaps through a different service gain a broader audience with which to share my testimony of the Gospel, but I have done next to nothing with it since. I use it primarily as a mirror site to A Mormon Family Journal. I need to get more in the habit of writing things of an eternal nature.

Then, along came Olde Oaks Relief Society Weekly Update. This I created, as the title indicates, as another means of providing news and information for the sisters in our ward, and especially to connect to the Relief Society those sisters who serve in other auxiliaries or who are otherwise out of the loop. I was then the secretary to the Relief Society presidency, maintained a group list, and published a monthly newsletter. Of course, we needed another less restrictive and/or conditional means of reaching all the sisters in our ward, not only those who showed up to get the newsletter or who knew how to access the information on our group site. Again, helping spread the Good News was/is my primary objective. I am now no longer the secretary, but I do not mean to abandon the site. It's good stuff to share, and hopefully the newly reorganized presidency will continue to use it as an information portal, as well as help it reach its full potential.

So, here I am, creating my sixth blog and using a really cool theme that I found on (thanks Gosublogger). I guess one may say I liked to compartmentalize everything (which I tend to do), that I'm just a tad bit obsessive (only a tad?), and that my life tends to be boring (not news to anyone). The most interesting things go on in my brain (so interesting that I tend to get lost in there with increasing frequency), so, here this is, my brain pan.

Hmmm. Perhaps I should change the title to My Brain Pan. Nah. That has probably been used at least a dozen times over. How could that possibly reflect the imaginative and unique products of my all-too-fascinating mind? Besides which, I have changed the name of this blog six times already.