I finished reading The Long Walk a couple of days ago. It’s a story that will stay with me for awhile. Written by Brian Castner, the story is about his experience as an EOD in Iraq and his life once he returned home to America. What’s an EOD? I forget exactly what the acronym stands for, but he’s the guy who went out and defused all of the bombs and booby traps laid out to kill American soldiers.
I don’t know why it is that I’m drawn to war stories, but I am. I never served, nor will I (I’m not sure how many 50-year-0lds with groin injuries the military would want). Nor did I ever have the desire. But, there is something so real about true stories of life as a soldier. As far as I’m concerned there is no fiction that rivals those true stories. As Mr. Castner states (and I’m paraphrasing), it is only when you are being fired on that life becomes real. I’ll never experience that sensation, but the stories of those who have served are some of the best out there.
Just his description of the impact blast waves have on the human body is worth the read.
* * * * *
I’ve come up with a new cause for my avoidance of writing. Screen fatigue. Yes, I’m growing tired of devoting so much of my time to activities that revolve around a screen. I spend my work day writing and reading emails, researching on-line, writing documents in the ol’ computer word processor, and who knows what else — so much of it based around the screen that sits on my desk. Then, I come home, have dinner, and I’m supposed to spend more time in front of the screen? Writing?
Lately, I’ve really struggled with opening the laptop after dinner. I just do not want to spend yet more time in front of a screen. And yet … I’m here. Here’s what today was for me … I read the paper, then I opened my laptop. Checked my email, checked a few other things, then I did some work on finishing my taxes — all screen-based. This afternoon, I spent time working on a legal document for a friend — again, all screen-based. And, yes, I’ve checked Facebook, and WordPress, and my email, and all sorts of other things. And, then, when it comes time to write, I’m tired of looking at a screen.
I’ve decided this. The next new project I come up with, whether it be a short story or novel, I’m going to write the old way. Paper and pencil. What I really wish I had was a manual typewriter. But I don’t, so paper and pencil or pen it is. Anybody out there still try to write by hand? Got any suggestions? Pad of paper? Journal? What do you write on if you write by hand?
Of course, if I’m so tired of the screen, why am I here? Writing a post for my blog? Sssshhhh, let’s not discuss that.
There’s also the emotional side of writing. The need, sometimes, or maybe all of the time, for some type of equilibrium, to be able to write. I don’t have it these days. I so don’t have it. So, I struggle with writing a lot of the time just because I’m so pissed or frustrated. It’s really hard to put yourself into a story, a work in progress, and let things go, when you’re in the place I am on an all too frequent basis. At least for me anyway.
* * * * *
Did somebody say deep dish?
Yesterday, while I practiced writing avoidance and obligation avoidance, I spent a few hours watching re-runs of the Food Network’s 2013 Food Truck Race. During one of the episodes, each of the contestants had to produce their version of a Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. I knew what I would be making for dinner tonight as soon as I saw the results. I’ve wanted to make my own deep dish pie for quite awhile, but haven’t. Today, I did.
I’d offer you a photo of the finished product but it came out blurry for some reason. That there is a pizza pie with mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, a little fresh spinach, sausage, sauce that simmered for a couple of hours, and a sprinkling of parmesan. I think I’ll be making this again. However … I’m not happy with the crust. In my experience, Chicago Deep Dish Pizza has a crust that is different than your typical pizza. Although this crust had some corn meal in it, I don’t think it was enough. The crust was still far too much like regular pizza crust.