This is my writer’s block.
If you are a writer, and most of the people reading this have at least dabbled in writing, you will encounter writer’s block at some point or another. At least, that’s what I’ve read a million times. It might be true, or it might not be. If you are struggling with getting words on the page I might have some advice for you, but this is neither the time, nor the place, for advice.
This is the time and place to talk about my writer’s block. It is a block, and it happens to belong to a writer. It measures approximately 8″x4″x5½”. It is uncured red oak which was milled with a band saw blade.
Aside from the general appearance of the wood, oak can be identified by its strongly acidic smell. Although there are many subspecies of oak tree, for lumber purposes these species are generally divided into two categories, red oak and white oak. One would be forgiven for assuming, based on the names, that these two species are differentiated by the color of the wood, but this is not an entirely reliable method.
A better way to differentiate between red oak and white oak is to examine the physical structure of the wood. Both white oak and red oak are ring porous trees, however the pores in white oak are filled with a substance known as tyloses. The existence of this substance makes it more difficult for liquid to penetrate white oak, and is the reason that whiskey is traditionally aged in barrels made from this wood. If you examine the picture below you can clearly see open holes in the ring structure, indicating that my writers block is made from red oak as opposed to white oak.
I am confident that it was milled using a band saw because of the straight lines in the wood which indicate the motion of the saw blade. The lines made by a circular saw would bend in a quarter circle.
I refer to this piece of wood as uncured because it has not undergone the drying process which removes water from the cellular structure of the wood. This process increases the stability of the wood, but it’s not really essential for something as simple as a writer’s block.
Normally this block sits in my basement and collects dog hair. If I ever become a famous writer I will probably put it on my desk. If adoring fans ever come to my office I will swivel around in my high backed chair, glare at them intimidatingly and ask them what they think of my writers block as I light a giant cigar.
High aspirations for this humble block, I know. But we all deserve our little dreams.
Photos by Dumbestblogger