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4:49 p.m. - 2012-11-28
I'll figure it out eventually.

Golly! Time sure flies when you', I got nuttin'. Writing is just so HARD without my smokes! My current WIP is languishing in its folder. If it were possible inside a computer's storage then my WIP would be dusty and wrapped in cobwebs by now. Honestly the hurricane and the house mess with the ex (again!) and the pneumonia and my horror over my vanished looks and rapidly approaching 50th birthday are far less a factor in my writer's stall than the lack of Virginia Slims.

I miss my cigarettes like a lover.

It's not even the nicotine, I have gum. It's the process. Since the acquisition of my first computer in February of 2001 it's gone like this...

Get idea and/or decide to work. Open Word (or variant thereof) and select the correct font and text size if new, otherwise open file of current WIP. Stare at white page. Light cigarette. Inhale and tell story inside head until cigarette needs first flick of ash. Tap and place cigarette in ashtray. Begin typing. Write until words jam. Sit back in chair. Read what was just written. Decide it might work if re-worded properly. Re-light dead cigarette. Inhale. Tell self story again only this time omitting crappy 1st version clunkers and adding better stuff. Smoke until words begin to flow freely again. Place half-smoked cigarette in ashtray. Type...

The nicotine was only part of the equation. Before I had a computer I mostly wrote in longhand and the process was much the same with the smoke/think/write/re-read/smoke/re-write/add-to thing. I AM trying to establish a new (healthier) routine and creative process. It would be wonderful if I could write without the addiction voice screaming and gibbering and pleading inside my head. Begging me to light 'just this one'. Wheedling and promising all kinds of creative bounty if only I would plug that succulent cigarette into my mouth. I would like to think that unlike Picasso and his priapism, or Van Gogh and his lovingly tended depression, or (insert any writer from Keats to Burroughs to King) and their assorted addiction muses, that I am larger, stronger and more talented than the fast flowing results of tripping on my drug of choice (in this case: tobacco). I would like to think that something as intimate and fricken essential as writing isn't just a happy by-product of being a junkie. That I actually am talented and funny and smart and have something worthwhile to say. Even without my goddamn cigarettes. Especially without my cigarettes. Surely a writing voice like mine isn't only the hoarse yet sexy rasp of a Suzanne Pleshette? Is it? Aren't I more than my smoked-out stream of consciousness?

So far? Not really.

You have no idea how much this hurts. Or how shaming it is. Unless, of course, you're also a-trying-to-get-clean junkie who is an artist and is discovering everything in your life is doing just fine without your drug...except your art. That one piece of self which was unique and exists outside of your obligations to anyone else. The voice, vision, whatever, that thing which makes something new from nothing. And now it's dying without the drug that was killing all the rest of you.

Man, oh, man. If this weren't my own beast to wrestle with I'd find this whole situation freaking hilarious.

Dear hungry muse, this is dedicated to you.

Trying so, so, so hard! ~LA

7 Wanna talk about it!

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