Help me Mr. Hemingway

Photograph by Mary Hemingway in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

It's been a productive morning.
I have written a few cards and scrounged through piles of papers and the oh-so-valuable White Pages of the Internet to find the addresses to which to send said cards.
I've worked on a colored pencil drawing and read a few pages of a book.
I've showered.
I've called my insurance agent.
And I've even written in my blog. (You're reading it.)
What I haven't done is work on my novel. It's day 24 of my 30-day noveling adventure, and I am completely and totally stuck. Seriously. It must be bad because I just used the phrase "completely and totally." Only authors who are flailing around in a mire of self-doubt and plot confusion use such over-the-top phrases.
I have walked by my computer down in The Igloo many a time this morning -- and loathed the sight of it with each passing. It mocks me. And I stick my tongue out at it.
Tongue protrusion is another sign of a seriously stuck novelist. We quickly degrade into not-so-mysterious-but-quite-immature human beings. I can guarantee Ernest Hemingway did it. And Steinbeck, too. "The Old Man and the Sea" was likely written in its entirety with Hemingway wagging his tongue at the manuscript, or thumbing his nose at it, or some other childish gesture. Really, how could an author take himself at all seriously while writing something so (someone is going to shoot me for saying this) terrible.
What I want to know, Mr. Steinbeck and Mr. Hemingway, is how you got unstuck. Somehow you produced amazing works like "Travels With Charley" and "A Farewell to Arms" with frank and gritty description and beautiful flare. I mean seriously, "To die. In the rain." That has got to be the all-time best ending line ever written, Mr. Hemingway. It definitely redeems you for "The Old Man and the Sea."
And let's not even get into even greater greats like Mark Twain and Jane Austen and Harper Lee. Did they wag their tongues at their pens and still manage to write "The Innocents Abroad" and "Pride and Prejudice" and "To Kill a Mockingbird"?
Oh, I hope so. I really do. Or I am doomed. Help me Mr. Hemingway. Help me Jane Austen. I'll be here in Wyoming sticking my tongue out at my computer, clipping my toe nails, and balancing my checkbook until I feel inspired to go write wonderful, witty words. Or until my mother gives me a swift kick in the seat of my pants and tells me to buck up and git 'er done. Maybe that was your trick all along, hmm Mr. Twain? You had a mother.

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