Kage Baker was convinced that every one has a touch of obsessive compulsive urges. She was probably correct, too – that kind of intense focus is sought after in most arts and disciplines, and carefully cultivated. It’s what some people call fire in the belly, or giving 110% or other cheer leading aphorisms.
It’s a normal part of the human spectrum of behaviour – it only becomes a problem when the urge to engage in obsession matters more than the satisfying of the obsessive urge alone. Kage understood that distinction well – she knew that she actually enjoyed the manic energy of the obsession for itself, but that giving in to it was what turned it into a disorder. So she learned to channel and control it. It was one of the wellsprings of her creative energy.
To balance that tightly controlled urge, she would let it completely loose at intervals. She’d spend a weekend watching old classic cartoons (preferably from Fleischer or Avery) , or one of the peculiar movies that informed her special inner landscape: The Wrong Box. Treasure Island (with good old Bobby Newton). The Children’s Blue Bird. Fantasia. She’d play all the Monkey Island games, including the final quintet from Steam; or Grim Fandango.
I seldom do any of that. But I got back from the wonderful time at BayCon with one huge disappointment – my new Buke did not perform satisfactorily under actual writing conditions. I had gone with a Kindle Fire tablet, but you know what? Amazon’s wretched proprietory software meant all sorts of hassles with non-Amazon programs. I couldn’t load Firefox. I couldn’t load Open Office – worse, I could load it, but only as a read-only format downloaded from Amazon. So in order to actually write, I would have had to purchase their version of Open Office – a program available for free on a normal tablet. And then, when I got home, my desktop monitor promptly kicked the ol’ jam jar – as Kage was fond of saying.
Much screaming and howling ensued. I needed a release! I now have a new monitor; and Amazon is refunding my purchase of the Fire Tablet without argument. I shall go for something more actually Buke-like, whereon I can actually, easily, vitally, WRITE.
In the meantime …. I am indulging my own, infrequent form of OCD: catching up on a television show I’ve only caught glimpses of over the years, while going in and out of Kimberly’s living room. I’m binge-watching Bones. All 9 seasons of it.
Things will be normal in a day or two. In the meantime, OCD indulgence is soothing me with its sweet, sweet releases of serotonin and oxytocin, and other popular adrenergic agonists.
They speak my language at the Jeffersonian …