Ugh…do I have to?

It’s 3:50 pm on Monday. I’d rather do anything else than write this blog post. Such as Netflix. God, that sounds wonderful. Lounge on my bed. Rest my head on a pillow. Space out to Ryan Phillipe kicking ass so he can reunite with his wife and daughter in Shooter.

The better, more mature part of me prevented myself from going down that avenue. Mostly due to the fact that I set a goal to walk at least 5,000 steps a day. Each week the step count will increase by 1,000. Today, I’ve only walked 1,341 steps. That’s no good. I got to get out there. Get to 5,000 or more. Please, God, let that happen before the weather worsens.

It’s amazing how far I’d go to not update my blog. So far today, I’ve used two methods of distraction. One, laundry. Two, disassembled the kitchen sink pipes to scrape the moldy gelatinous grime from within. The latter was a must as the water would not go down.

Now I’m parked on a bench outside the Mudd Puddle Coffee Roasters in New Paltz. There’s a slight breeze. Feels like a tornado could be around the corner.

Wow, I’m scrambling for words. I so baldy want to entertain you. I want your praise. I want you to walk away feeling inspired and take action. Yet the words feel flat.

When I work on the novel, it isn’t like this. The characters suck me into their ridiculous lives. I chuckle like a madman as I record their fictional mishaps and fortunes onto the page. There’s a gorgeous confidence when in novel writing mode. Also, I’m not publishing the novel until the whole damned thing is done.

This blog scares the daylights out of me. I tell myself the blog needs to convert the reader into a client. “Oh hire me! Hire me. Hire this half-wit! Hire this nonsense machine who writes children’s books for adults. Hire the fool who can fantasize his way through a job interview but in reality boasts in an off-putting insane manner.”

I admit, that last paragraph was fun to write. It forced me to be real. Maybe there’s greater intimacy between you (the reader) and me. If not, that’s okay. You’ll live. I’ll live. I’ll continue to show up at this blog terrified as shit.

Now, for the love of God (you must think I’m religious mentioning God’s name twice. I’m not. Just spiritual), I must take a walk. Perhaps you do too. Whatever you do with your time, I implore that you make it your best. I’ll be back when I’m back (which will hopefully be next week if I can work up the courage).

List Day

Today’s List Day.  This means I shall list where my attention has been lately–

  1. Reading two books.   What Is The What and The Poor Mouth.   At night, I alternate between the two of them.
  2. There are few TV shows that intrigue me.  During the snow storm, I caught up on ABC’s Scandal.   Totally up-to-date, I have a bloodshot left eye.  Do Mac computers emit a violent ray?
  3. Starting a business that will incorporate aspects of my previous jobs.   Since this is in the conception stage, I will hold back discussing it further.  Speaking of my old job, I’ve written an essay that outlines my experience there.   Although incomplete, I’m considering uploading it here in segments.
  4. Following the Paleo diet.  I find myself hungrier as there’s no bread/gluten to stuff me.   In addition to eating tons of greens, in the form of raw soup (thank you, Israel), meat, fish and eggs, I’m also loading up on Larabars.   One week in, this diet, has improved my performance at CrossFit and has cut an inch or two off my waist.  Could someone in Italy survive on the Paleo diet?
  5. Continuing the novel.   My progress is slow here.   Once my business has picked up, hopefully in the next two weeks, I can dedicate more time to it.

Errors And Twisted Writing

Nothing bothers me more than errors in a finely combed document.   Does this ever happen to you?  You write something, put it away, then return to it a day or so later.  Edit the hell out of it, read it six thousand times only to determine it’s ready to go.   Published (or sent if it’s an email), you read it one more time and bam, there’s an error.  It’s so tiny yet it drives you insane.   You question your professionalism.

Yesterday, while in the city I met an incredibly intelligent recent college graduate at Barnes and Noble.  We spoke of arts, economy, films, TV and writing.   Before parting ways, he asked if I have anyone to read my work, that is before it’s published or sent off via email/mail courier.   At this point, no, I told him.  I’d like to see this become manifest.   This might be a good tactic for all. Someone who gives a balanced approach to the work.  Shares what works and what doesn’t. Someone who won’t take it personally if the advice isn’t taken.

Beyond the irritating errors, there’s also the twisted writing.  A great example is my previous post. Mid-writing that, a most triggering email came in.   Why I even look at my email while writing is beyond me.   But I did.   I do.   Taken over by rage, my writing fell apart.   It was as if I took a huge dump on everything.

Writing is an ongoing lesson.   You try different things.  If it doesn’t quite fit, you try something else.

The Publish Button

There’s a deep inner need to publish…right away, that is.   It’s as if the idea already created in WordPress, saved, locked away from vultures, cannot remain in draft format.   Why not let the idea sit there, collect a little bit of digital dust?   Do I fear the idea, after a good night’s rest, will become nullified?  That my Scorpio stingers will emit a toxic ray into the piece, tear it down, leave the page empty again.  God forbid empty pages appear out of nowhere!  Do they all need to be filled?

Starting now, that little blue publish button on WordPress will be on lock-down.  I guarantee that the words before you will have sat overnight.  Call it slow cook publishing.  It gives my mind to catch up with my wild soul.  It is my soul that writes.  My mind that edits.

What has not edited though is the last bit of the unfinished screenplay titled Descent, directly below.  I’ll go into an analysis on this script in a future post.   Right now, I’d like to thank the Gods, the Muses, the creative forces above, below and elsewhere for aiding the scriptwriting process.  Sure the concept is a bit immature but had it not been for this script, it’s likely there would be no blog.   I’m looking forward to hearing thoughts on where this script could go, if anywhere.   Are the characters interesting?  What confuses you?  What do you need more of?  Ahh!  Here it is…

              EXT. LOG CABIN - DAY

               Will lifts a floorboard off the porch.   Reaches his hand

               Nearby, a rifle is cocked.   Kate points the gun in Will's

                         Looking for this?

                         Oh God, Kate.  I was coming to look
                         for you.

                         With a rifle?

                         Well, that was just in case...

               Kate lowers the rifle.  Hands it to Will.

                         You see, Will, we are nothing
                         alike.  Knowing you, you'd show up
                         with a loaded rifle and then blow
                         my brains out.   Go ahead.  Shoot

               Will places the rifle underneath the porch.  Covers it with
               the loose floorboard.

                         No.  Damian will be here soon.   He
                         needs your help. 


                         His friend, Charlie, got injured. 
                         How's your aunt?

               Kate withdraws a cigarette.  Lights it.  Takes a few puffs.

                         Not well.

                         Can I see her?


                         We've become friends.

                         As friendly as you were with my

                         They're here!

               Damian pushes through the thicket.  Charlie, unconscious,
               draped over Damian's shoulder.

               Kate runs toward Damian.  The two lower Charlie to the

                         You should have left him where you
                         found him.

                         Did what I thought was right.

               Kate pushes Damian out of the way.

                         Leave me.  I'll be alright.

               INT/EXT. LOG CABIN - DAY

               Will cracks open a beer.

               Damian grabs the bottle of beer from the youth.

                         You crazy?   Kate's right outside.


               Damian peers out the window.  Observes Kate tending to the
               unconscious Charlie.

                         So, she's a stickler.  She sees you
                         with that beer and you'll be back
                         on the mainland in some sort of

                         I'll probably wind up there anyhow.


               Will reaches for the bottle of beer.

                         Give me a sip.

                         A sip.

               Damian clutches the bottle as Will takes a sip.

               Thirst quenched, Will takes a seat on the bed.

                         I need you to distract Kate.

                         C'mon!  What the hell you gonna do?

                         Pay a visit to Mrs. Argrove.

                         No.  Not while Kate is here.

                         You kissing Kate's ass.

                         I'm protecting you.

               Kate rushes through the front door.

                         This isn't looking good.   We need
                         to get him back to the mainland.

                         What's wrong with him?

                         I don't know.  But he needs a
                         doctor.  Badly!

The First on Reading

Ladies, Gentlemen and Ogres in Disguise:

This post on reading feels like the first of many.   As a human that longs to express myself in the deepest way possible via writing (and other forms…acting, filmmaking, music, etc.), I cannot imagine a life without reading.   Sure, a quick tour of People magazine might offer some insight.   The type of reading I suggest is one that challenges.  One that might lose you for a page or two.   One whose characters are so unlike you that you either wrinkle your nose in disgust or dive so deep into the book, it appears that you and the printed pages are conjoined twins.   Doesn’t matter the genre.   Could be a non-fiction book about a sweaty old genius who loves his ginger snap cookies but beats his kids.   Could be a novel about a ginger snap cookie that teases kids with its sweetness, taking them away from their sad lonely widower father.

In the anthology Writers on Writing, Saul Bellow wrote a short essay, “Hidden Within Technology’s Empire, a Republic of Letters”. Here, Bellow discusses how technology has, in so many ways, taken over our reading time.   Sure, we spend our time responding to texts (which, of course, must be read).   Words though are being shortened.   There’s the LOL’s, OMG’s and FML’s.  Are these acronyms here because we’ve forgotten how to spell the words properly? Or is it that we live such a rushed life, no time for writing, must get to the next text?  LOL.

In writing about technology and these new digital acronyms, I say there’s nothing wrong with any of this.   As this piece is written, my cell phone sits a foot and a half away.   Should it light up, my eyes gravitate toward it, taking my attention away from this.   Please, though, I urge you to take just a simple thirty minutes a day to read something meaningful, something that challenges you.  It could be read on the can, the subway, in a doctor’s waiting room.  Your life, I guarantee, will be enriched.