Around the Block
Connie has been working on her book for several weeks now, but she's stuck on the chapter about Eugene... still. She can't figure out why the first two chapters came so easily, but the third has been so frustrating. Eugene has some suggestions for helping Connie get over her "writer's block." He ventures that part of Connie's problem is distraction, and so takes her up to the attic so she can direct her full concentration toward writing. Complete silence turns out to be more of a distraction for Connie than her original distractions, and her solitude is soon interrupted when Marvin comes in, looking for advice about a situation at school. The situation reminds Connie of a similar experience she had at school, and so she tells Marvin the story.
Eugene suggests another method for defeating writer's block: mathematical motivation. So, that night, Connie sits in Whit's office desperately trying to come up with 400 words for the day. Whit walks in and Connie reluctantly tells him about her project. Connie asks him to read her chapter and give suggestions. After reading it, Whit suggests that Connie's book could use more structure.
Discouraged, Connie decides that maybe this is God's way of telling her to quit writing, and she announces that she won't be writing her book anymore. Even an inaccurate review of Odyssey based on Rusty Gordon's degrading book about the town can't make Connie reconsider. However, when Marvin tells her that her story and advice really helped him at school, she decides to go talk to Whit.
Whit says since she's sure that God wanted her to write the book in the first place, He'll give Connie the strength she needs to do it, even if it’s difficult. Connie resolves that she will write the book, and they pray for inspiration. However, they are interrupted by an exuberant Eugene, who has overcome his own mental block on a recent project. Connie has an epiphany, and is suddenly able to overcome her writer's block, even if it is only for a short time. But with new determination and the knowledge that God blesses those who show diligence in their hard work, Connie buckles down and resumes work on her novel.
1. Who does a good job of modeling self-discipline in this episode? How?
2. Why is it important to avoid being discouraged by criticism or negative feedback? What makes that hard sometimes? Be encouraged by Colossians 3:23.
3. When have you been totally committed to completing a task, only to struggle with a lack of creativity or inspiration? How did you overcome those obstacles?
Heard in episode
|Connie Kendall||Katie Leigh|
|Eugene Meltsner||Will Ryan|
|Marvin Washington||Kendre Berry|
|John Whittaker||Paul Herlinger|
Mentioned in episode
|Tamika Washington||Marvin Washington|
|Larry Melwood||Connie Kendall|
|Rusty Gordon (Malone)||Eugene Meltsner|
- This story that Connie (finally) begins to write in this episode would end up being deleted by Kelly along with the rest of Connie's book in #605: “The Chosen One, Part 1”. It is unknown if Connie decided to re-write the story afterward.
- Connie mentions Larry Melwood in this episode while talking with Marvin. Larry is the "geeky" character that appeared in #348: “With a Little Help from My Friends”. It's very likely that Connie was telling Marvin about the situation she experienced in that episode.
- Connie writes about the events in #62: “Let This Mind Be in You” in this episode.
- Eugene mentions in this episode that Connie was working on the same chapter previously. This occurred in #588: “Broken-Armed and Dangerous”.
- Connie says in this episode that she's written drivel for three weeks. This places the events of #583: “The Champ of the Camp” at least that far in the past, since it was the last episode to mention her book before she began experiencing writers block in #588: “Broken-Armed and Dangerous”.
- Eugene says that Connie picked the font "New Times Roman," an allusion to the typeface "Times New Roman."
- When Connie tells Eugene that she is working on a portion of her book "about a certain someone who sorts his vests," Eugene expresses surprise and elation that she is writing a chapter on Winston Churchill.
- Eugene mentions famous painter Norman Rockwell.
- Eugene tells Connie that he is working on holographic equipment that may "usher in a new era in video technology" and later corrects Connie when she refers to his equipment as being for a hologram. However, holographs, unlike holograms, have nothing to do with video technology. He repeatedly uses the word holograph rather than holography, which is the science and practice of making holograms and would have video technology application.
- Eugene gives Connie a clock to keep track of time while she is writing on her laptop even though all laptops have a built-in clock.
- Connie says that she's "never written anything" but she wrote a play in #101: “Scattered Seeds” after having a conversation with Whit similar to the one held in this episode about him being a more talented writer than she.
- Connie repeatedly refers to her book as a novel though it's obviously intended to be non-fiction and Eugene insists on accuracy in minute details.
- Connie says that she first met Eugene outside Whit's office. However, in #52: “Connie, Part 2”, she met Eugene at the front door. Compounding the goof, by this episode she and Eugene had already discovered that they met years before either of them came to Odyssey in #583: “The Champ of the Camp”.
Connie Kendall: Eugene, when you're working on stuff like this, do you ever get stuck?
Eugene Meltsner: Barring the time in Montana when I was a child and my head was wedged between two fence rails, I must say no.
Marvin Washington: It's about this girl from school. She just moved here.
Connie Kendall: I remember being the new girl at school.
Marvin Washington: She moved from California, and she's really smart.
Connie Kendall: Wow! Sounds like she and I have a lot in common.
Marvin Washington: And, well, she's not very good-looking.
Connie Kendall: Well, of course, that's where the similarities end.