I am having what I've come to call a fuzzy day--over the years I've learned to recognize that, much as with my emotional moods, my mental moods follow a cycle. In the past I've tried to analyze them and determine if they follow a predictable pattern--a certain number of days, phases of the moon, the weather. I finally gave up and settled for learning to recognize the moods themselves and determine the best way to deal with them. On the days when my intellectual faculties are high and sharp, I focus on keeping things on an even keel and directing that energy to accomplish as much as I can without overdoing it (and thus risking a burnout and crash). When the energy inevitably fizzles, I am left with a day or week or so of fuzzy days. I am not lacking in creativity on these days--that would be too simple. Sometimes the right brain actually increases output, spamming me mercilessly with ZOMG awesome ideas. But there is a force field between the two halves of my brain which prevents me from taking the ideas and breaking them down into anything useful. Sometimes just finding the right words for even the simplest things seems nigh impossible, let alone stringing together entire sentences or formulating complicated things like plot structures. Or grocery lists. Or even blog entries. (I am not actually writing this, in case you wondered. Robot-me is.)
Anyhow, my plan for fuzzy days has long been to just lie low on the creative front, jot down whatever ideas I can manage to grasp, and muddle through what really must be done as best I can. The fuzzy passes, eventually, at which point I'm able to kick back into high gear and do productive things with the mish-mash of stuff that fell out of my brain in the interim. I do not fight the current; I swim along the shoreline and keep my head above water until the current shifts and I can make it back to the beach, whereupon I build a fire and dry off and set about figuring out where I washed up and what direction I need to head from there in order to get back on my planned course.
I did manage to force myself through morning writing time, focusing mainly on writing some of the actual journal entries Ein's father made about Important Stuff so that I can better judge how she'd react to them. In the course of doing so, I uncovered two, possibly three, new characters. They brought a couple of boxes with them which were labeled "MISSING PLOT PIECES AND LINKS" and inquired if I'd been looking for those. I tried to be nonchalant and had them stack the boxes over in the corner until I'm prepared to check out the contents. So far, the muse has not attempted to hide them from me.
Random links to cool stuff I've been meaning to tell you about:
Shadow Unit is kinda X-Files, kinda Law & Order, kinda cool. I was up too late last night finishing the first episode.
Emily Short writes interactive fiction. I tried out Floatpoint and Galatea, after seeing them mentioned in a Strange Horizons article. Galatea I was kind of "eh" about, but Floatpoint had more meat to it and I found it pretty interesting--it was puzzly but not overly so, and it was as much about moral choices as about figuring stuff out. I recommend saving it toward the end so that you can play through different final choices and see the differences in the ending. You can play Galatea online; Floatpoint will require you to download both an interpreter to play it on and the game file itself. (Note: The link on Short's page to an intepreter is broken; I downloaded it here.) When you run the executable for the interpreter, it will ask you what game file you want to use.