I gave myself April off from writing. I mean, I've done an article and a flash piece, "The Inertia of Corpses", and several substantial pieces of critical reading, but that hardly counts. I told Fred he could skive off, and I've spent the month largely reading, both unpublished stuff for critique, and actual books with bindings and stuff. (Just today finished The Houses of Time by Jamil Nasir[ Powell's | Amazon ].)
Meanwhile, because Not Writing was starting to make me twitchy, last week I began a short story called "The Speed of Time." After a page and half, I stopped. Three times since then I came back to it. Nada.
I was blocked. As the_flea_king said tonight in chat, Fred was fishing somewhere. I mean, I had given him the month off. Still, this was freaky.
So this morning I wrote another flash, "Shard". That seemed to clear the pipes a bit, so I went back and put about 2,000 more words into "The Speed of Time," and lo, I had a complete short story draft.
I'm telling you, giving Fred a vacation is spooky. Having him back is heaven.