Some writers have "a million ideas" and "merely lack time to develop them." I am not one of those writers. Yes, ideas drift randomly across my brain every time I read a newspaper or SCIENCE NEWS or even PEOPLE (in the dentist's office), but they are not really strong enough to write about. More like, "Hmmm, how would that be if...no, that's dumb." Or trite. Or something I'm not really interested in. So when I do get an idea that excites me, it's an event and I write the story or novel.
Right now I have no such idea.
The fall-back activity, which I'm currently engaged in, is called "noodling around." It consists half of sitting on the sofa with a clipboard on my knees, pen in hand, and starting snippets of possible stories -- a character sketch, a dialogue exchange, one of those germs that rubbed off from SCIENCE NEWS. The hope is that something will catch fire. So far, nothing has. The other half of noodling around consists of fill-in distractions: moving furniture around. Cleaning under the sofa. Taking the dog for very long walks. Alphabetizing spice jars.
I hate this period. And, of course, the worse thing about it is always the fear: What if NO idea ever presents itself to me again? The fact that that hasn't happened before is no consolation. What if it does this time?