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The Blank Look

October 4th, 2007 4 comments

Boy, my apologies. I worked an eleven hour shift at FedEx Kinko’s today (my other job), and I have two more books due before December 15. Yeah, I know–excuses, excuses. Bottom line: in the midst of my writing fog, I forget today was my day to post. Here goes, a little late:

The Blank Look. Do all artists get it, or only novelists? If you don’t know what I mean, then you haven’t come by my house on one of my writing days. I welcome you inside, offer you a drink, and then gaze three miles past your eyes as you speak. You wonder if I’m retaining anything you’re saying. I’m not.

The Blank Look. My wife tells me dinner’s ready, then sees that look in my eyes–or, that lack of a look. Honestly, speaking for writers and other artistic types, it’s not a lack of empathy, care, feeling, or familial love. It’s a look that says, I’ve been delving into deep forests of imagination, diving into frigid pools that take your breath away; I’ve been in the head of a character who is in many ways so different from me, and yet I had to find a connection, a way to express reality through that unkindred spirit.

The Blank Look. It’s what most of you blog-readers got when you saw the lack of a post today. It’s what I got when gracious Elizabeth Massie reminded me that I’d forgotten to post.

As artists, writers, creators–oh, and as functional humans with relationships and families–it’s important for us to carve out times alone, away, and unhindered. I’m so thankful, though, for friends who know how to gently remind me that I do live another life, one that’s independent from my characters and my craft, that revolves instead around love, faithfulness, and commitments. I hope I’ve redeemed myself for today. Tomorrow will have to worry about itself.

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