Thankfully I’m shaped by my thoughts

This is one of those weeks when I’ve had to apply “Rule 21.”
It’s a directive I invented—and one I have to fall back on now and then when it appears I have nothing to write about.
It is a flexible rule that varies in regulation and content, depending on what I’m looking for as a catalyst to my creative block.
“Rule 21” is meant to put me on a slope, where I am at the top looking down upon the thing I must write about.
If I have to deploy “Rule 21,” it means the incline to the thing is going to involve a twisty and slow cross-country ski to the finish line and will not be a speedy downhill slalom.
However, it has not been a week in which the Universe has conspired against me in terms of writing. That never happens. There always is something to write about. Sometimes I just have trouble seeing the story between the everyday ordinary pages of my life.
?For me, “Rule 21” is sort of like what a dog does when it wants to lie down. Around and around in circles, the dog works the spot to improve the little nest where it will spend considerable time.
Or I do what author Sarah Ban Breathnach believes about exercise and spirit: “I walk regularly for my soul and my body tags along.”
Indeed, I am a better thinker and creator when my body is busy doing something else.
And I shake my head because it’s not like the door to my imagination ever closes. There’s “applied” Beth, whose wallet is stuffed with scribbled thoughts, and there’s “iCloud” Beth, who absorbs and stores ideas wirelessly.
But sometimes all those little writer’s memos don’t add up to much of anything I can use to make this column longer than the 317-word count in which I have just blathered.
So today, when the write tank appeared empty, I cleaned house, washed dishes, vacuumed, folded laundry, baked, ate a lot, and contemplated what the heck I was going to be for Hallowe’en.
Ghoul, ghost, or goblin?
Maybe my creative block is a “turning 51” slump thing because I certainly am dredged and brain dead from all the “death by chocolate” birthday cake I’ve eaten in the last 24 hours.
I should have had oatmeal for breakfast but when I woke up at 6 a.m. on Hallowe’en morning, it was all I could do not to peek in the fridge at the three-quarter remainder of chocolate lusciousness tucked gingerly atop the yogurt tubs and a head of lettuce.
I cut my piece in a larger-than-life wedge—one eye closed, the other gauging how thick of a piece I could get away with.
By 10 a.m., almost all the chocolate cake is gone and I’m infused with enough caffeine and sugar to rival my three-year-old grandson in a somersault contest on the couch.
Got to have food for thought.
Maybe one more slice would jumpstart my creativity? I think about that for 10 seconds until I look down and see the laptop resting comfortably on my “Buddha.”
I scowl and fidget and lament the “Buddha,” but then suddenly I have a very bright idea.
“What we think, we become.” I know who I can be for Hallowe’en.
Best-selling author Neil Gaiman penned good advice. “Write. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.”
This is my first rule.

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