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Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.
A Felony of Birds

by Harris Tobias
The Greer Agency

by Harris Tobias
Assisted

by Harris Tobias
Hold The Anchovies

by Harris Tobias
Alien Fruit

by Harris Tobias
Peaceful Intent--Stories of human/Alien Interaction

by Harris Tobias
CHRONON--Time Travel

by Harris Tobias
The Stang

by Harris Tobias


Writer’s Block

by Harris Tobias


Writer’s Block

If anyone finds this note, please tell my family I love them and, even now, with the daemon stomping around the house looking for me, even now I am thinking of them.

I never thought it would come to this. Hiding in my closet afraid for my life. It wasn’t supposed to go this way. Doctor Polansky said it was a simple case of writer’s block. He’d treated this particular mental condition hundreds of times. That’s why I went to the old quack in the first place, I couldn’t write anymore. And Dr. Polansky had made quite a reputation for himself curing blocked writers.

For years the paradigm was to compare writer’s block to constipation and  cure it by a metaphoric loosening of the mental bowls. Once unplugged, it would cause words to flow freely once again. This old fashioned view of writer’s block, I am happy to say, has been thoroughly discredited. The new model, as Dr. Polansky would be only too happy to explain, is the auto immune response meme. “Der block iss nothing more zan a bunch of amino acids and enzymes destroying your creative urges before zey can reach zu brain.” Or something like that.  

Ever since my editor, Jerome Sweeney, rejected my  second book, The Insolent Salami, I am afraid to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard. I sit for hours staring at the frightening whiteness of a blank page. I feel as though if I make a mark on a page, I will have ruined its perfection. My words would only sully its pristine whiteness. Somewhat like pissing on virgin snow.

“Dees are classic symptoms,” Dr. Polansky said. “I haf zeen dis many many times. I assure you, I can cure you.” I was drowning and here was a life preserver. What would you do?

Polansky’s method was a complicated regimen of pseudo science mixed with voo doo fakery combined with German psycho-babble. Why a skeptic like me would fall for such nonsense shows you how desperate I was. In six sessions of $500 each I underwent a series of injections of Polansky’s own anti-block vaccine which he explained would inhibit my body’s immune response. It seems my own body was killing my ideas before they could hatch.   
“You haf manufactured an auto-immune response to zee creative forces und vee must zurpress your creative antibodies.” Or some such mumbo jumbo.

Then the good doctor would put on a tape of a native ritual he himself recorded deep in the Amazon. I laughed out loud when he put on a feathered headdress and dug a rattle from his bag and proceeded to chant along with the Adamamai recording. But the ritual, I must confess, succeeded in quieting my teeming brain and inducing a trance-like calm. Of course the calm might have been the result of the good doctor’s anti-block medication, but who am I to question the expert?

When I explained my fear of putting my foul hand to the blank page’s perfection, Dr. Polansky  told me this story: “Long ago in Germany there vas a famous writer who, for one reason or another, stopped writing. “I am possessed,” he vould cry. “A daemon has ahold of me and has taken my muse hostage”.

“Of course this vas long before ve understood the chemical nature of writer’s block,” the good doctor would chuckle. “Everything vas God and Devils in those days. Gut und bad, devils und angels, fah! What did they know?” That was how Polansky would explain it. “Dees days vee know better. Dere iss no daemons, no muses; Der iss no Gut und no bad. Der is only a bunch of molecules standing between you, your fear and the great American novel.”

During my last visit, Doctor Polansky hypnotized me and sent me deep into my unconscious. I was to seek out the anti-creative anti-bodies and slay them. I retreated way back, back to my childhood, Back to my childhood. To my parent’s house when I was six. I had awoken screaming from a nightmare. I was being stalked by something dark. I hid in my closet and shivered as the thing stomped around searching for me. I was too small and weak to confront the creature let alone kill it but at least I had identified the source of my anxiety.

When the doctor brought me back to my present, I told him what I had seen. “Very good, dis iss just vat ve vanted. Did you confront your fear?” I had to confess I did not confront the creature. In fact I was so scared I hid in my closet until my mother rescued me.

“Zat iss too bad,” said Dr. Polansky. “But not to vorry. Ve vill up your dosage und kill it next time, ya?” I gave him a whole hearted “Ya” and went home. That was five days ago. I have been in this closet ever since. Whatever writer’s block is, it isn’t chemical, it isn’t auto immune and it definitely isn’t mental constipation. It is a big, hairy, foot-stompin’ monster and, somehow, Doctor Polansky’s idiotic treatment has set it loose in the world. I can promise you one thing, if I ever get out of here alive, I intend to write all about it. At least in that sense I am unblocked.


 

 



2014-11-03 15:42:26
r.tornello - MONSTERS INC, only different. HA!

2014-11-03 09:02:15
micheledutcher - It's better not to mess up your mind, that is certainly true. Although the blocked writer's dilemma is an old ploy, you used it very well in this story to write something very enjoyable. Nice!


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Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.
A Felony of Birds

by Harris Tobias
The Greer Agency

by Harris Tobias
Assisted

by Harris Tobias
Hold The Anchovies

by Harris Tobias
Alien Fruit

by Harris Tobias
Peaceful Intent--Stories of human/Alien Interaction

by Harris Tobias
CHRONON--Time Travel

by Harris Tobias
The Stang

by Harris Tobias


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