To get where you write, know where you start

then write


Every morning I wait for the wits to gather, for the two usable neurons to click on and do their job, for the moment when (IF) the minimum amount of brainpower is available to make the decision: block the internet so I can write.

I am fortunate: I have time for writing. I actually spend each day at the computer, where, if I can write, I write. Many other people have to snatch their writing time from a busy life with a day job and children and the dog and… I don’t. I could write all day every day – if I could get the brain to cooperate.

It’s frustrating. I always wanted to write when I retired, back in the days where computational physics took my daily energy – and I gave it gladly; programming with the purpose of filling the space between experimentalists and theoreticians is the best use of the kind of brain I had back then. Connecting the measured reality with the equations which explained them (if the equations were right, which is what I was ascertaining) is a joy reserved to few, and calculating theoretical parameters from experimental data was a trip. I could do it; I did it; it was useful and appreciated, and the way I had planned to spend my life.

So now that I am retirement age, and all finished with even the possibility of going back to do useful physics, and have the time, I have to wait to get the neurons clicked on (both of them), and see if I can make them think for a little while. Frustrating.

You see, they don’t want to turn on. What a joy it might have been to write with a right mind. For that matter, what a joy it would have been lo these many years to do almost anything with a right mind, I will never know.

But life is what happens when you’re making other plans, and this is mine, and I write with it, and I know that if it doesn’t come on today, this brain of mine (or, much of the time, that it is not urgently required to do something that only I can do), it will come on tomorrow, and I will get a few more words out.

Why? Why do all that work when I could sit around and eat bonbons (we can afford it)?

Because the story of Pride’s Children, of Kary and Andrew and Bianca, was VOUCHSAFED to me, as a whole, and it’s not finished writing yet. It’s such a lovely word, ‘vouchsafed.’ It means, roughly, granted to ME, because I am the best person for it. It came as a whole, this story ‘of obsession, betrayal, and love,’ and I know where it ends, even as I discover some of the side paths it takes to get there, NECESSARY side paths.

I won’t stop writing, finishing the remaining two books in the trilogy, until I am finished – or I am stopped.

So all the ‘life events’ and distractions and bonbons have to wait, because I have work to do, it is important, and it isn’t finished.

And because, by starting, I have promised my readers.

And because I can. Eventually. Most days.

And that will have to do.

13 thoughts on “To get where you write, know where you start

    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Thanks, luv. I’m trying to find another assistant to do the equivalent of that (unless those bonbons are low carb?).

      I’m of two minds about it: they help. No question. I miss all my assistants, and they each left big holes when they had to go do things in their own lives that needed all their time and commitment.

      But there’s also the question of how much it will take out of me to find a new person and bring them up to speed. And now, with the husband retired, finding the time in our schedule where she (I can’t imagine a he-assistant for some reason) won’t get in his way.

      I will. It’s very high on the To Do list. Because everything wants the couple of hours in each day when my brain is usable – and I get so much further behind every day I get very discouraged.

      Central NJ – in case you’re close (but I don’t think you are).


  1. Jennifer

    I am also eagerly awaiting Book 2. But I can (and will) wait patiently, because I know that (when Book 2 is ready) it will be worth waiting for. Sometimes, small steps are the only steps available. Sometimes, small steps are the best steps available. As my son says, ‘It is what it is’. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Jennifer. You know one thing: I will not stop until it’s done, and other things are mostly less important (except stuff my daughter needs right now, and REQUIRED paperwork). Plus I have a very exciting roadmap, FULL of twists – all of them perfectly logical. I LIKE doing this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Catana

    You do what you can, and my ability to do has dropped off sharply in the last few months. I have, maybe, four neurons to work with — not nearly enough. It’s frustrating and depressing, so your struggles are becoming something of an inspiration for me.


    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      I like writing. I’m not going to give it up, while I can still do it, just because it’s hard.

      And I like MY writing (brash as that may appear), and I think CreateSpace will do a much nicer version of turning my words and pictures into a printed object than a photocopier or a printer. So if I’m the only one reading, I’ll still be okay.

      At some point in my life I won’t be able to write; I’ll cross that bridge, I hope, much further down the line. That part isn’t in my hands. The writing is.



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