Pecking at writer’s block

Sorry, folks, I can’t think up a topic to complain about right now.   Heck, I can’t even think up a poem for my spoken-word schtick!   Writer’s block affects many writers and to an author, a blank white page can be a very scary thing.

Writer’s block (photo Cindy Lopez, edited by Jason C. McLean)

Before you have me committed for being afraid of a piece of paper or computer screen with nothing written on it, I assure you, it only affects me when I’m trying to write something but can’t come up with anything.

I also hear voices.   No, I’m not crazy.   I hear voices coming from other people, if they’re in close proximity, or on an electronic device such as a radio, telephone, or television.   In fact, the only time I hear a strange-sounding, disembodied voice is sometimes when I’m at work and then it’s usually not for me.

Coming up with new topics to complain about isn’t always easy.   It can also sometimes be difficult not to get carried away by it.   The fact that, for once, I don’t seem to have anything new to rant about is only troubling insofar as the writing of this column and only relevant to it.

I’d doubt anyone would likely care too much about what a writer doesn’t write, unless, of course they are that writer.   I could say something offensive or something irreverent or something provocative or something evocative or something silly or something serious or something that people will try to read into.

I was once offended when hecklers, who weren’t at the venue to see me, insisted I be quiet while I was performing.   They were directly in front of the speaker and were there to see their friend perform and to Hell with everybody else who was performing that evening!!   I said, “Don’t try to henpeck the farmer!” out of anger and disgust at their extremely selfish presence.

So I wrote a poem about it.   I called it “Don’t Henpeck the Farmer!”   This one was somewhat successful, almost a hit.   Somebody who requested it was offended that I used the word “hen” in the poem and suggested that, to me, hens are little more than poultry!   The fact is, a hen is a bird or lobster of the female persuasion and are usually found on farms as producers of eggs and meat (or just meat in the case of lobsters).

I’ve had other people offended nonsensically by some of my poetry.   Many people found a joke I’d written for children offensive – the funny thing was none of them were children.   Children are often one of the most polite and responsive type of audience.

Unfortunately for me, the vast majority of my work is not written for children.   But children’s literature has a very dark side, too and sometimes you just want the “bad guy” to win, often simply because the hero is irritating.

I know not to use certain words or names of people, in my writings.   The word “hen” is not on my banned list.

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