Stuck in the Present

Any writer can relate to that moment of feeling stuck. Creatively stammered, writer’s block, a dry spell, whatever you want to call it, it’s frustrating. One tip that I’ve used occasionally is to Google “This day in history” for interesting tidbits that fuel the imagination. The History Channel online at has a nice tool that produces a list covering social and political topics, which is where I found out the world’s first test tube baby was born 1978, and in 1897 Jack London set sail for the Klondike. I also found out that, on this day in 1985, Rock Hudson publicly announced he had AIDS.

I just watched “Pillow Talk” a few days ago, which is one of my mom’s favorite movies, but always makes me smile, too. I think about Hudson, who was rumored to have been homosexual, playing the sex-crazed Brad Allen, and wonder what his life was like. I imagine the fantasies he must have set off for female movie-goers in 1959. My head is swirling with ideas around this! The way celebrities were portrayed during Hollywood’s golden era as these unattainable, faultless, beautiful people; what pressure that must have been. The hiding-in-the-bush paparazzi probably wasn’t as intrusive back then, but to always be on guard for the sake of your career. I also think about the enormous distance between the connotations of “homosexual” in 1959 and 2014. Even though Hudson made his AIDS announcement in 1985, I think the rumors circulated for years before.

So there you have it, a quick way to find some inspiration in what feels like a relevant way. In 2059, this day in history might refer to “The day the most inspiring writer’s block cure with Rock Hudson was posted.”


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