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?