It is Saturday morning. My wife and oldest son are out shopping for school clothes, my youngest son is fed, dressed with chores done waiting on a Scooby Doo marathon to begin. I got the laundry moving and the trash and dishes handled. I’m skipping my breakfast.
This is my window. It is a morning spot where I can write. I write best in the mornings. A friend recently suggested that I write more off-the-cuff, less editing and revision, so we’ll see how that works. Apologies for grammatical snafus and word eras the computer doesn’t catch. The writer is winking at you.
What to work on? I have several manuscripts friends have asked me to look at, I owe letters to people but this is a selfish time, for the next hour or so I can focus on just fiction, creative lies. I’m going to work on my stuff. I have two Fan Fiction pieces that I’m working on. The one is old and has folks asking about it, the other is new and is pretty grim. Only the few fans of my writing that I’ve accumulated are waiting on that one. It’s well written, but oddly sloppier than some of my more controlled, revised, edited efforts. It also scares me. I’m killing two popular characters in the future and examining the lives of their children. I’m spring boarding from another writer’s works into my own fiction. I think that’s what all writers do to some degree. They take what they read by others and go off in their own direction. It’s fun and scary.
This is my blog, I’ve started an essay on today being August 11th the anniversary of my first girlfriend going away to college and all the truths that showed me. That essay needs a lot of work. I’ve been chewing around the idea of James Bond. This year is his 50th anniversary in film. (My son shouts from the living room that Scooby is on and I think about my own youth and the fun I had on Saturday mornings—my fun is different now, but maybe not so much because even then, I watched those shows and then went off and made up my own stories. I’m still doing that today.)
Oh yeah, Bond. I have watched a LOT of Bond over the years, both my wife and I love them, particularly the older Connery and Moore installments. I know the films are fantasy, but how does he juggle all the women? Not the logistics of conquest, heck I understand how to do that. The writer is winking at you. No, how does he handle the conclusion of those relationships? He makes busloads of women fall in love with him over the course of his film adventures, but in every film there are new ones. Doesn’t he get midnight calls from old lovers? Isn’t he stalked? I suppose that license to kill thing might dial down the heat on that angle a bit, but still. Relationships are complicated and relationships that involve sex are more so by an order of magnitude (one of the truths I learned that long ago August 11th).
I have some thoughts on why we write, also, what drives people to the page when we could just play with our kids, do our chores, sink into the visual hum of the cable signal? Something makes me have to write. I’m pretty sure it isn’t a noble drive, either. I think I write to get attention. Laurence Olivier once explained (my son just raced up concerned that only Scooby and Shaggy are in this episode. Where are the others? He is perplexed seeking answers. Just like all of us I suppose). Oh, yes, Laurence Olivier was asked why people choose the theatre and acting. His answer? He looked right into the enquiring face of Dustin Hoffman who was asking and said, “Why do people choose acting and the theater? Lookatme,lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme.”
Was his response. I think many artists, whether one is strumming a guitar, telling a joke, or making up a story want attention. I do what I do for attention, I want to connect with others. It is human but (four year old has come up to ask questions about the Scooby Doo episode, I explain what little I know from the synopsis in the guide. He is scared of werewolves but buttresses his courage with, “it’s not real” I remind him that Batman will always help if he is needed. Son looks perplexed, states, “But he’s not real,” I feign shock, tearful disappointment, son smiles and reassures me that things will be all right. He goes back to watching Scooby Doo).
Our sprinkler system comes on. There is something wrong with the timer. This needs my attention.
The window is starting to close.