Brain Strike

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*Let me be clear. There is zero possibility of a brain strike with this kid. She’s batting a thousand, especially when my mom is around.

A few years ago writing was like breathing to me. It was like those tiny babies people throw into a pool and they just miraculously start swimming because they remember all their amniotic acrobatics. That was me. Not to say all my writing was good. It wasn’t. But it wasn’t hard to put the key in the ignition and get started, start typing, and just enjoy myself.

These days not so much.

Sometimes I’ll sit at the keyboard, fingers poised over the correct keys, stare at the screen and my brain just throws up a white flag and yells, “Nope. No way. Ain’t happening sister. Turn Netflix back on. I’m on strike. Not a sissy little ‘I don’t mean it’ strike. I’m striking like the French.”

I looked in the mirror last night and tried to ferret all this out. My sweat pant wearing reflection, complete with toothpaste on the side of my face and a very insistent wrinkle between my eyebrows mocked me. And that’s when I realized, my clever is broken. There’s no room in my brain for clever. There’s a reason she’s on strike. It’s cluttered in there. The counters are stacked with bill reminders and a Post-It note that reads, “You have duct tape on your bumper… perhaps you should do something about that.” The corners have cobwebs. The couch is covered in unfolded clothes, and a pair of heels laying by the door have been there so long a mama spider and her babies have taken up residence in the toe.

And that, my friends, is a word portrait of what it’s like inside my head.

Although the heels by the door, mama spider and babies thing totally happened in real life. And while there was a point in my life where I would have been outraged at said mama spider and babies, now I just sort of tip my hat to her and say, “That was a pretty smart idea, setting up home in a cozy, dark, unused shoe. Kudos to you spider mama. But sorry, you can’t stay here.”

The last time I felt this way was when Angela died. The experience was so awful, so raw, that I couldn’t put the pen to paper for a very long time. And my brain needed time to snap back, regain some elasticity and process what it had been through. Even after I was better, and happier, I still couldn’t seem to write until I figured out what had happened to me. And even now, as I’ve moved on and am happy again… the writing side of my brain is still in a state of rebound.

The words will come back when it’s time. Until then I’ll keep plugging away. I’ll keep sitting with my fingers on the keyboard, waiting for the strike to lift and the sentences to come back, thinking about bizarre things that might jump-start the process. Like the elephant man at the Kumbh Mela festival. Or the redneck next door with a pair of metal balls hanging from the bumper of his truck. Or Scotland’s independence. Or a conversation with friends where we discussed whether or not a teenage girl who plays the accordion will have a flat chest.

But for the moment, the writer in me is a bit out of commission.

She’s laid up with a bum leg.

She’s skipping work and sipping a Bloody Mary for brunch just because she can.

But legs heal.

And a cocktail for brunch never hurt anyone.



  1. Jeanetta says:

    I always seem to write beautiful prose in my head when i am driving. Wonderful sentences. But the minute I sit down to pen to paper or fingertips to key board my brain clams up.


  2. Juli says:

    Yes! Stockpile away those odd moments (would love to hear your thoughts on Scotland’s independence!). One day, you’ll be itching to write again. It will all be there, when you’re ready to begin again. xo


  3. Diane says:

    You write exquisitely here on your blog. Stories, but short stories. Perhaps you could do that… just write VERY short stories… πŸ™‚ A book filled with VERY short itsy bitsy stories. Yes?


  4. Michele says:

    I agree with Jeanie! The writing you do on your blog is wonderful. It’s descriptive, flows nicely, and eloquent. It is also honest which makes it worth reading! I love your blog and wish you every happiness!


  5. slightlycosmo says:

    Your clever might be broken in your head, but it’s still alive and well out here. πŸ™‚ Sometimes writing is my therapy. Sometimes my therapy is not writing. And sometimes my therapy is writing but I don’t know what to say, so I just say really bizarre things in really crappy ways and show up again another day.

    Hope your clever makes her way back to your mind soon!


  6. Peggy says:

    Hahaha!…….after reading this I was confused as I see no “brain strike” in your brain!… are a beautifulr, touching, heartfelt writer!…….


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