The Itch

I walked around the house humming.  It wasn’t a song known to anyone, just something I was  improvising without thinking.  I turned to the dog.

“Are you ready to go out, is that why you do shout?  With gnarly little woof, you need to get out, from under the roof?”  I sang this improvised ditty and the dog got excited.  It knew “Out” and that’s all he cared about.  It didn’t matter how awful the words or melody or voice were, there was a walk to be had.

I had been humming and singing for days.  At work I had to force myself to talk to coworkers instead of sing. My tendency when I opened my mouth was to sing, so I was very careful.  I mean, even if it wasn’t weird, I realize I don’t have the greatest singing voice around.

At last, Friday came.  I sat down and started playing the piano as soon as I could.  Later, I turned on my electronics and music computer.  All of those improvised songs were gone, but it didn’t matter.  A new one soon came up.  I worked the entire weekend on it and had a finished recording on Sunday evening.

Back at work on Monday, I didn’t even have to think about talking.  Singing an answer would have felt so wrong.  Right?

— —

I am taking a break from The Halley Branch.  I’ve been doing a lot of other things during this break.  I picked up Stephen King’s The Stand to read.  Because of all that is happening, I haven’t had a lot of time to read, so I am only about half way through.  Of course, that’s the same amount of pages as if I had read two normal sized books, but still, I have a long way to go.

On Wednesday I didn’t have time to read one paragraph.  On Thursday, all I could think about where changes I needed to make to The Halley Branch.  By Friday it became an obsession.  I finally broke down in the evening and wrote out 5000 words.  I thought that was it.  But then, on Saturday, I sat down to read.  i couldn’t concentrate.  The Halley Branch was screaming at me!  I sat down and did a lot of editing on those new chapters.  I tried to read again.  No good.  More editing.

I have no idea if I will be able to finish The Stand.  I am super interested in it.  I want to read it.  I want to know what happens.  But The Halley Branch is yelling for attention.

— —

Do you ever get that?  Sometimes one art or another decides that it has been ignored for too long.  If I pick up a pencil or pen, I doodle, even on important forms.  I have to draw or paint.  It is a need.  An itch.  Sometimes, as the part I began with, it is music.  It almost ruins my life until I take the time to scratch the itch.

Right now it is writing and, more specifically, The Halley Branch.

I hate to do it, but I think I’m going to have to set The Stand aside and just write.  I need to scratch the itch.

Does this ever happen to you?  Does you get such a powerful itch to participate in one of your arts that you can’t do anything else?  Oh well, I can’t resist it, can I?

10 thoughts on “The Itch

        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Thanks, Charlotte. i do like to experiment. I just wish I had more time! I may take the original images for The Magic Wand and clean them up and try to do something with them, but I’m not sure. I still have the original pencil drawings and would most likely want to get them professionally scanned.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Marilyn Armstrong

    It is really hard to step back from a book you are writing. You get so demented and obsessed about the book and the characters … and me, I felt actually GUILTY doing anything except writing … so it was hard to do much of anything else, including have a conversation on the telephone or talk to a family member. Or eat. Or sleep. But this didn’t improve my book, or at least it didn’t improve it enough for me. After all these years, it still bothers me that I didn’t do what I should have done — set it aside and let it chill and let ME chill — and then go back to it with a clearer mind.

    I didn’t do it . I should have done it.

    I have the new revised version of “The Stand” — as an audiobook. I read the original when it first came out, but that was a long time ago and now, King has gone back and added in a lot of stuff the editors made him remove. I have trouble figuring out why he did that, especially since he has frequently said — in fact in the forward to this new version — that he doesn’t really like the book. Never liked it. So why put out another, much longer, version of it which he says he doesn’t like much better than the shorter one?

    I DID like the original book, but my favorite of his books is the one about the Kennedy assassination and time travel. I thought it was absolutely brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I actually did the first draft of this in 2016, so I did sit on it for about year. After the second draft, I waited a month and a half to start the third. I wanted to wait two months to start the 4th, but the characters wouldn’t let me – I lasted about 22 days.

      Yeah, I get the chill part. It is hard to truly look at it with a critical eye if you don’t wait long enough. After I finish my current revisions, I might try to put it off for a couple of months again. We’ll see if I can actually do it…

      With The Stand, not only did he add back in some of the stuff the editors made him take out, but I think he added new material. The copyright is ’78 and then 1990 for the new one, but there are a few things that happened in the 80s that are included. Not a lot, but one or two. Like President Reagan doing something in 1983. A few other little things like that. So far I am enjoying it, but it is long! I may do the Kennedy one soon. I do have a copy. Not sure when I’ll get a chance.



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