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May 3, 2005

There is nothing more frustrating in the process of writing than getting hung up on one small, minor thing.  Okay, spending nearly as much time on one chapter as you have the rest of the friggin’ book is more frustrating, but the hung-up-over-small-things rates a close second.

I was tearing through Chapter XIII.  The first six sections fell by the wayside so quickly.  The seventh, however…

I have been trying to get a start on it for a week now.  It should be a simple thing.  In XIII-6, a wealthy widow by the name of Busa promises to supply the Roman survivors from Cannae with food, cloth, and other provisions from her villa.  It is a very gallant gesture, and one for which she is ultimately rewarded upon the war’s conclusion years later.

Well, XIII-7 opens with the arrival of those provisions.  That’s it.  From there it moves into more complicated events – treason and conspiracy in the camp, a plan to abandon Rome to her fate, and what ends up becoming one of Scipio’s greatest moments.  But that all comes later.  First there is this simple thing – the arrival of a supply train.  The joyous reaction of the Roman soldiers, who had prior to this cornucopia been granted little more than bread, water, and shelter within the town walls by the people of Canusium. 

And for some reason, I just can’t break into it.  I suspect it has more to do with outside events.  In the past week we’ve closed on our house, sold the Defender, and gone through that ever-joyous process of securing a mortgage loan.  Jamie is in the middle of finals, work has been crazy busy for me, and on top of everything else, we have the two pups that require attention (during lunch, my most productive writing time of late, no less). 

With everything that is going on, I haven’t exactly been able to write with any consistency this past week and a half.  And when I have had the chance to get in front of the laptop, I’ve usually found myself either too tired or too distracted to do string words and sentences together in ways that don’t suck.

That might be the worst part – knowing why I’m hung up and not being able to do a single thing about it.

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