Friday, January 04, 2008


By Marion Kelley Bullock

I feel a little like our antique Sessions mantle clock that sits atop our piano. It runs valiantly for a while, keeping us aware of passing time. Then one day I look up and see that it’s stopped. Still, as my husband points out, it continues to be correct twice a day. Of course, that’s not good enough for a clock. In order to be a contributing factor in our home, it needs to display the correct time all the time.

Sometimes, I feel run down. I’ve lost my fizz and sparkle. My writing has lost its pizzazz. Those 1500 words I wrote aren’t nearly as clever as I’d hoped. My novel rewrite has not found a home. All my characters, be they people, cats, dogs, or pigs, are running about madly in my crowded mind. They demand to do their own thing. I grab my whip to tame them into submission, to change them into the charming characters I’d planned for them to be. But they’re elusive; they escape me and go their own way, laughing, meowing, barking, oinking to their hearts’ content.

“I must have order in my office,” I say. “I demand that each character crawl back into the file from whence he came. Immediately!”

After the clamor of their obedient retreat, silence reigns, and with it a kind of peace. I know where they are. I can call them back as I need them. Now, back to my writing. Let’s try another 1500 words. But this time, let them sing…