Speaking of the Midwest and extremes, here is a wonderful essay by my social media friend Steve Edwards. You know that fantasy so many artists have? They're going to go off somewhere and have absolute peace to do their work? Kerouac wrote about this in Desolation Angels, about his time as a fire lookout. He nearly went mad what with alcoholism and possibly undiagnosed mental illness. I had six months after being laid off from my dot com. I sat in cafes, cashed my unemployment checks and got nothing done. I look back and chalk it up to immaturity but I prefer to write with parameters. Deadlines of children coming home from school, looming deadlines of days off school and school holidays.
But there is creativity in doing nothing. In observation. In finding one's own limits.