Thumb of Death... get off my dingy

Recently at my day job -- think overwrought music and characterizations a la Parker Lewis Can't Lose -- we were given flowers. And cookies. I'm not sure for what. Green Day. Earth Day. Hyacinth Day. Who can remember? But we were given little bulbs in little pastel colored pots and the kind of oily cookies they give you after you donate blood.

My flower was a grape hyacinth. I named her Renae. Because I believe that name means rebirth or something along those lines, and I decided to blatantly use Renae as a symbol for my writing projects. That's what I do. I hate my job, constantly rehab my resume like I'm trying to make Frankenstein a wife, and apply symbolism and meaning to everything. Everything.

Last week I found myself debating over which packet of Post-Its I should take from the supply cabinet, because, why should I take the one on the top? I should take the less obvious, buried packet. Just like I want Joe or Jane Schmo at Dexter to notice my resume from the stack and hire me as a Writers PA. Pick me out from the bottom of the stack, peel off my plastic wrapping, pull off one of my many Post-Its, and write down some jaunty note.

I could just be finding new ways to avoid my work. But I prefer to believe that I'm pathetically applying symbolism like it's my business.

Anyway. I killed Ranae.

Killed her dead.

I do that. My thumb is so un-green, it's horrific. I killed some mint plants once, which are supposed to grow like weeds. I killed a goddamn bougenvillea a year ago, and that's a goddamn desert plant.

So poor Renae didn't stand a chance. But my symbolism did.

Just like Ranea, I seem to be doing a remarkable job lately of killing every story I idea I get. I had this great idea for a pilot spec, and I somehow managed to let it sit in squalor and fester into something hideous that I hated and buried in the dumpster with Renae.

I have a great bare bones concept for another pilot that I've been picking at for months, and I can't get it to spark. It keeps sitting in a stack of notes, taunting me. I can't get it up on its legs for the life of me.

I've started several essays and short stories and they keep withering on me.

My Dexter spec is on layaway or something. So much of it is ready to be hashed out into a vibrant outline. But I can't figure out one dead story thread for the life of me. And it keeps me oscillating back and forth over whether or not the rest of it is really going to work like I think it will. Which of course I won't know until I outline and board the thing, but this whole story thread is like a whisp of smoke. It's not there yet. And I need a runner. The segment of my brain that isolates and picks up on the funny has gone on hiatus. It's in Palm Springs or Cambria, sipping at an iced tea and fanning the pages of a Graham Greene novel.

I'm killing ideas. It's awful. I need to snap out of this. I need shakabuku.

ps. Here's a moment of funny zen, or, if you will, a funny bone enema, a drawer of paper pirate hats:

pps. And by will, I mean won't...


Jen said...

I hate to rain on your perfectly lovely black thumb of death creative symbolism parade, but bulbs die back after they bloom. It's what they do. They will bloom again in the spring with a little care. Now if they'd given you a philodendron and you killed THAT in less than a month... then you'd have something to worry about.

p.s. thanks for the link!

p.p.s. I am totally making myself a drawer full of paper pirate hats.

adam _______________________ said...

Ha! So my ideas will resuscitate themselves! Good to hear it. Now I just have to wait for spring. Hopefully that's now, and not next spring.

ps. So I guess I have a Thumb of Ignorance. Fair enough.