I should be writing. But in the meantime, critic crosswords provides some mental exercise. In the picture is a closed notebook and a pen.

I tried to write this week. Honestly, I did.

On Monday, I opened my laptop, read over the chapters that needed editing, and attempted to work some magic. But I closed my laptop in dismay. No words were written. If anything, words were deleted.

The rest of the week was more of the same. Open laptop. Read chapters. Close laptop. Repeat.

Sometimes I go through moments like this. Days or weeks at a time where I can’t write anything. And it’s not for lack of motivation. I have the best intentions of making progress, writing fantastic passages, and bringing our novels to life. But the words won’t flow, or I can’t figure out how to make the story work.

In this case, I think it’s the latter. I know where the story needs to go, and what needs to happen but I find myself trapped in the story. No way to go forward, and no idea how to change it. Instead, I settle for re-reading everything over and over in hopes some sort of revelation will occur. It doesn’t.

The only way I have managed to get out of these slumps in the past is to put words on the page. Make changes, add new paragraphs, and play around with the existing material until it feels right. I’m an optimistic writer, and even during difficult writing days, I believe that the right words will end up on the page, eventually. It’s only a matter of having the determination to put them there.

So, next week I’m going to write. I promise.



Instead of talking about my lab escapades this week, I thought I’d write about one of my other hobbies.

Cryptic crosswords.

I love them. I can’t get enough of them. Every day, I complete one puzzle with a labmate who is equally obsessed with these crosswords.

It sounds like a strange/boring hobby to have, but the satisfaction of successfully decoding a cryptic clue is incredibly rewarding. I started doing these crosswords a year ago, and initially, I was terrible. Over the course of a day, I’d maybe get five or six clues in total after racking my brain for hours. And I’m not exaggerating when I say hours.

But I’ve stuck with it. And now, after a year of practicing, my labmate and I can usually complete the puzzle without having to check the answers. It’s been slow, but rewarding progress. And the satisfaction from figuring out a clue hasn’t waned.

I will leave you with my favorite clue from the past week:

Conscientious father at home, killing a vampire? (11)

Answer: Painstaking

Reasoning: father = pa, at home = in, killing a vampire = staking is a method people postulate would kill a vampire.


Cryptic Crosswords. In the picture there is a completed puzzle with a number of notes scribbled in the margins.