One of the oldest gay bars in New York City was called The Ninth Circle. I don't actually know if it still exists. I think it may be closed. I'm also not sure what the Ninth Circle is, except that I expect it's a Dante reference (leave it to the urbane gays of the 60s and 70s). Here. Let me check.
Did you miss me? Here's an answer. I love that about the internet - you didn't even know I was gone. Anyhow, looks like it's the worst circle - for the traitors, like Judas, and in the center is Satan. Or, in slang, the place where things can't get worse. Leave it to the gays to come up with a name like that for a bar. I love that. In the sixties. That's called gallows humor, folks.
I digress. This post is really just about boring old writer's block. It's not even writer's block as I am obviously stringing words together right now. It's outlining. Our hero (I'm casting myself in this role, just for today), would rather fling words and stories out into the universe like so many rubber bands than outline, a process that is needed when one is writing a script. A pilot, to be exact. I've been wondering if pilot-writing has its own circle. Like, 2 1/2. Room 222. In hell.
Now, never having outlined really that much before, I want to skip it. But I can't. I can't because the outline, I'm finding, is where you actually craft what's happening - where you come up with taut, interesting, interconnected stories; and where you wander around in circles feeling a little like you are chasing your tail. Or pushing a boulder uphill only to have it fall back when you get it near the top; like you're waiting for that thirst to be quenched but as soon as you bend down to take a drink the water is lowered. That might be the sixth circle, actually.
Yes, The sixth circle. I was right. Did I mention that you spend a lot of time looking up fascinating but ultimately useless information on the internet? And thought I was pretty up on The House of Atreus, but who knew that it all started with Tantalus? I do now, and so do you. I hope it brings you peaceful dreams. Did I mention the dreams? There's a fair amount of walking in circles, staring into space, cleaning things that don't need to be cleaned while ignoring the things that really do, fantasizing about reorganizing and possibly moving, but at least repainting, and finally, maybe, sitting down in front of an empty sheet of paper. And being plagued with doubts.
And did I mention writing blog posts?