It occurs to me that I’ve been falling down on the job here. It seems NN.C has become Just Another Blog, only more boring. Oh, to be TMFTML, if only for a day (preferably the day I could write something like this). To have the sharply focused BS detector of Soundbitten. To be as funny as The Poor Man.
Or, for that matter, to be able to leave for a night class and not have my daughter stick out her lip and say, “You’re never here anymore!”
Failing at all jobs — that’s me, these days.
Did I mention my laundry’s undone at the moment? And we have houseguests coming for BirthdayFest 2003 this weekend.
I think I’m just feeling the enormity of missing my REM sleep last night. The wind started howling at nightfall and didn’t let up all night. It tore the cap off the chimney and blew trees and branches down all over the region. We kept our power, but our house is surrounded by tall, mature trees, 10 of them, and at least one or two look to be in suspicious health. In winds gusting to 60 miles per hour, this does not make for sound sleep.
Plus, I just realized I have less than a month to write about 50 pages of screenplay. Screenwriting — there’s a siren’s trap for you. You pick up a screenplay and say, “Hey, it’s what? A hundred pages? And most of it is white space? Why, this’ll be a snap!” OK, so I wasn’t that ignorant, but for someone who can bat out 800 words in a few minutes, I was stunned at how slowly script pages can come. On the other hand, this is some of the most interesting writing I’ve done — not that it’s a great script, but it’s completely new. When you’ve done essentially the same job for 18 years, novelty is not something to dismiss. And I cannot lie: It’s exhilarating, when your character says something boring, to just hit delete-delete-delete and make her say something a little snappier. That’s not an option you have in journalism. (On the other hand, if it stays boring, you have no one to blame but yourself.)
So, if things get a little, oh, dry around here, give me a few days and I’ll catch up. In the meantime, here’s a joke our speaker told tonight:
A writer picks up the Village Voice and reads an ad: “Writers wanted for a free Caribbean vacation!” So the guy goes down to the pier the next day and shows his books — “Look, I’m a writer!” A man says, “Great! You qualify!” and takes him onboard the ship, where he’s taken into the hold and shackled to an oar. He looks around, and the hold is filled with similarly shackled people, presumably all writers. A man comes in with a whip and starts flogging them, and away they go.
So they row and row and row for weeks, getting whipped all the time. After seemingly forever, they’re unshackled and taken out of the hold, onto a beautiful white-sand Caribbean beach. The next day, they’re all taken back into the hold, whipped some more, and driven, after weeks and weeks of rowing, back to New York.
As they’re being unchained from their oars, the writer says to the guy sitting next to him, “So. Do we tip the guy with the whip?”
And the guy replies, “We did last year.”
Thank you! We’ll be here all week!