"Creative Rehab" is no different than any other form of rehab. The end result is what you aim for -- getting your mojo back, finding your way to the words again -- on a regular and disciplined time schedule, and making beauty out of the pain. There's not a 12-Step Program for this kind of rehab, so you need to search it out, what works for you personally. The design is of your making, so if it works -- work it.
Speaking of addiction and rehab and brilliance, if you want some interesting reading beyond these postings at the top of the page, scroll down to our interview with Erin O'Brien, covering all things O'Brien, from Erin's own writing and writing process, to her brother, John, author of Leaving Las Vegas (yes, that Leaving Las Vegas), among other works. John is remembered today as a genius of a writer and a tragic figure, but all is not tragic, as you'll read. People like to focus on tragedy, and the addiction, and the rehab, and death. The personal story is much more intriguing, though, and we can learn from each other as much as we can be inspired by each other.
Eleanor says she will return later today -- tonight most likely. She likes the night best. In the meantime, I have 12,500 words of Eleanor I need to polish up and get in the mail.
I'm sitting in my Little Room, looking around at all of the faces -- my family, of course, and then the other faces: Olive Thomas, St. Therese, Gaylord Perry, and scenes from Chicago -- especially the scenes from my favorite pier (I nicknamed it "Barrymore Pier," after one of my characters), that no one visited because it was in Rogers Park, and at the time you could still find used needles in the sand and lots of empty beer cans/bottles .... (Are there still used needles and empty containers on the beach?)
I could walk to Barrymore Pier from my studio apartment. I'd take along one of those inexpensive folding beach chairs, and a plastic bottle that I'd fill with a blend of Cook's Grand Reserve California Champagne (only the very best for me!) and fresh orange juice, and then sit in my chair at the very end of the pier, where concrete meets the water, and listen to the crash of the waves. Rarely was a day without the crashing waves. It's Lake Michigan, after all.
If I sat there long enough, the lake gulls would join me -- sometimes two or three dozen of them -- just on my pier, on Barrymore Pier, separating me from the water and the shoreline. They would settle down and rest and feel the breeze, and we'd be like a weird scene from Jonathan Livingston Seagull ... except that I had the two or three dozen Jonathan Livingston Seagulls with me. Invariably, I'd have my old Walkman with me (no fancy technology for this writer), and Jeff Buckley's record "Grace" on repeat, so the auto reverse would bring each of the songs around and around and around. The buzz from the champagne and the sun and wind and the sounds of the water and the birds and Jeff Buckley all added up to a peculiar and personal nirvana.
I do miss Barrymore Pier, the last pier in Chicago proper before you get to Evanston, in Loyola Park -- yes, that pier way on the end, where nobody sits because of the bird poop. That's the one, if you ever have the chance to visit. And right next to it is a virtual rock garden, the rocks all polished by the Lake Michigan waves.
Rehab, Day Three, is starting off well.
Next stop, Eleanor, but first, a sonnet from Shakespeare.
by William Shakespeare
Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck;
And yet methinks I have astronomy,
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons' quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind,
Or say with princes if it shall go well,
By oft predict that I in heaven find:
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And, constant stars, in them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive,
If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert;
Or else of thee this I prognosticate:
Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date.
To Reach The Green Light At The End Of The Pier
FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES: "We are saving ourselves through the words," says Eleanor, the leading lady of a novel-in-progress. This exploration into the creative process -- which includes plenty of distractions/tangents /thoughts & rants by Eleanor, her Biographer, and selected guest artists -- will continue until Eleanor is certain her story is "right." (But we dare not jump ahead of ourselves.)
There will be the occasional typo (as Eleanor points out), and much of this is intended to be "original draft" -- what comes out of our mouths (heads) first, and then set down in that order. Not all of it will be included in the novel, but all of it is happening in real time.
ELEANOR says: "Please turn the page. Keep reading."
For more of Eleanor and her Biographer -- as well as the work of our many guest artists -- check out the older postings. "Everything is part of the process, and the process is the journey," Eleanor says.