I stare at the screen, drawing a blank. The cursor blinks mockingly, as if to remind me I'm supposed to have something brilliant to say right now.
But I don't.
'Okay,' I think. 'Forget brilliant. Shoot for pedantic; mundane, even. Just get something down, quick, because you've got to finish this scene to stay on schedule. You'll juice it up later.'
Half an hour passes. No words appear.
I look around. Certain there's an external cause, I run through the 'Perfect Writing Atmosphere Checklist'. Lighting: Good. Noise: Absent. Temperature adjusted, candles lit, dishwasher loaded: Check, check, check.
At this point the committee in my head chimes in, offering helpful things like: 'I'll bet James Patterson doesn't waste time like this,' and 'Dean Koontz wrote LIGHTNING in seven weeks, from first word to final revision.'
I pour another cup of coffee. Feed the cat. Let the dogs out, then back in. Light a third (or fourth) candle.
Then, I settle back in the chair, open the laptop, and glare at the stupid cursor some more.
Finally, I delete the last line, and write:
Lara wrestled the knife away from Maxwell and tossed it into the river.
"I don't feel like being murdered today." She wiped the dirt from her Yoga pants and retrieved her lost flip-flop. "Better scram, before you find out how dangerous a pissed-off soccer mom can be."
It's not Hemingway, but it's a start. I smile and keep typing, curious where the story goes from here.
I'll make a thousand words today, easy.
Cheers...and Happy Writing!