Monday, September 25, 2006

Many months later...

Our hero has found his way back to the comfort zone. Work. The kind that pays the bills. Well, he ain't much of a hero, really, nor is he fighting a villian. Reality ain't the bad guy that everyone wants to shun. So, it turns out that there may not be much of a story to tell after all.

That would be true if the comfort zone weren't resting on an active fault-line. The tremors were a constant reminder that reality didn't take kindly to being shunned, and that its anger ran deep. All one can hope is that there won't be hell to pay.

Of course, hope is hardly enough, so its absence is probably not a grave concern. There will be hell to pay, and the collectors will not be impressed with any number of the other bills that get paid.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Got some stuff down before noon today

...and I've yet to have the first cup of that miracle chai...which is brewing, BTW. They were only short scenes, with little dialog; still, better than nothing!

The next scene is in a gym, which will be tough to shoot, but there's no way to avoid a gym scene when your character is a Manhattan yuppie clone wannabe, who likes Chelsea boys. Besides, all movies are a pain to make; so, if you're gonna make one, then might as well go all out, to the extent that your budget will allow...

The cart's getting ahead of the horse again. This is no time to be thinking about dealing with the real world. The script needs to get written first.

I'm thoroughly enjoying working with Celtx. I found this open-source software for "digital pre-production" a few weeks ago, when I was struggling to get started. It has made the mechanics of writing very easy, which is a boon, given how excruciating it has been to launch and maintain this damn creative process...

Here comes the chai...and I say, it's alright! Chai, chai, chai, here it comes!

It's cold, snowy, damp, and generally gloomy, outside. Inside, it's warm, quiet, unshaven, unshowered, and out of shape. The table-lamp illuminates just enough to show that the mind bone is connected to the finger bones, which are connected to the laptop bone, which is connected to the broadband bone, which takes my bits and bytes to their special place in a glorious never-never land, where all manners of things are accomplished in the most compelling of ways, untouched by the rough hands of reality.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Chai Chai Chai*

* Sorry, Aretha.

Wow! It's about 2 hours before the usual time when I get to this. Lunch is done, and I'm only waiting for the chai, which is just about ready. I'm letting it simmer, so it'll be nice and strong...

Anywho...the characters are getting fleshed out with every scene. They reveal themselves to me as the story seems to be getting uncovered through my keyboard. Not sure what I have to do with it, which is just as well, because I can disown it if it isn't a cool read when it's done. Yeah, it doesn't have to be mine unless I like it. Good, that takes care of that.

But what if it's really crap? No, I mean, all those B-movies that make me go, "That's a bad script!" Or worse, it could be worse than all the Hollywood crap, and I won't even have the multi-million dollar budget to make up for it with big stars and spectacular special effects...shit, this chai better start doing its thing soon! If I end up in a universe where I want to get an Oscar, and actually get it -- there's an original idea for a Sliders episode -- the only thing I could honestly thank would be this f**cking chai! Or, I could make millions by marketing this incredible Anglo-Sino-Indian tea that unlocks the doors to productive vistas, steeped in deep, creative hues! Oh, who am I kidding? I'd never make the millions, I'd just blend into the vistas and create new hues of my own...well...a girl can dream, can't she?

OK then, let's get going before the chai wears off...

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Steady as she goes...

Yesterday was not bad. That tea combination seems to have the intended effect, helps concentrate. Was flowing for over an hour, but started too late in the afternoon, so couldn't get too far before the requisite solitude ended. Still, felt much better last evening.

Also started up on my Spanish yesterday afternoon. I so want to get beyond "Yo quiero apprender la lengua de los guapos," which made me a darling of a drag queen doing a floor show at a Madrid restaurant, 3 years ago. It's an abomination for me not to know Spanish despite having lived in Texas and now, for 9 years, in a heavily Hispanic neighborhood. Going out in Jackson Heights, Queens (NYC), made that need all the more urgent...but more about that another time.

OK, once again, the chai is done, so here I go...

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Desperate Measure

It was (way past) time to bite the bullet, and invite intervention. Fortunately, it was available for the asking. So, I am supposed to wake up no later than 8:00 every AM, and not be online except for limited, planned durations; nor can I substitute channel surfing for web surfing.

Not my proudest time in life, for sure, but I didn't get online until about 2:00 this PM. Began brushing up on my Spanish this morning, after running errands that took me all over creation.

BTW, only caught catnaps last night, after going to bed at midnight. Kept waking up to check if it was time to wake up, and eventually I woke up just before my alarm was set to go off.

I know, scintillating stuff, well, what can I say? Anyways, I'm making masala chai, fortified with Yogi Ginkgo IQ tea. Yes, that's how desperate things are!

That's it, the tea is made, and I'm going offline...yes, seriously, with something vaguely resembling hope or prayer.

Friday, February 24, 2006


A thousand roads, each forking a thousand times, winding and intersecting each other, create a labyrinth of longings. Journeys along these are destinations, for sure, but none seem to lead to the desolate land of destiny.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

They're done making out.

Finally we move forward. The first scene sorta felt like porn, which is actually kinda appropriate. All 3 principal characters have entered the screen...BTW, it's a movie script that I've been trying to get to consume me.

So...a friend called while I was doing the writing at long last. He proceeded to explain the problem he had with JSF, and it made no sense to me, since I didn't know much about it. I read about it over a year and a half ago, when I went to JavaOne. Then, my host returned from work, so that's gonna be it for today.

Still, good to have budged.

Late Morning

The NYT is to the words what caffeine is to the waking brain. But the words are fickle, and impatient. They will not stand still. If not released through the fingers quickly, they scatter all over the mind's wilderness. The hunt for them begins.


Afraid of the madness, and bored with the sanity. That's the face of the morning. Completely out of touch with the inner feelings of the day, the first hour luxuriates in its rituals. Meds with chai, followed by a motile reading of the NYT; which awakens the words and queues them up, at the threshold of coherence...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Time flies when you're wasting it.

You're on a writing retreat of sorts -- staying with a friend, who's on an out-of-town assignment, where his hotel suite is paid for by his employer. It's near NYC, so a more exiting civilization than home ain't too far. Is it really a retreat, or a prolonged, idle vacation? You'd never know, because it feels like neither. You do little of fulfilling value with your luxury of time, and you atone for the consequent guilt by feeling miserable. How conveeeenient!

One weekend, your friend has to return home, but you decide to stay while he's gone. A better simulation of a writing retreat, you tell yourself. That Saturday, when you return with essential groceries -- cereal and tea -- you realize that you've locked yourself out of the room. The woman at the front desk will not let you get back into the room because your name is not on the reservation. That's the rule. So, you head back home, 250 miles away.

The next day, another friend's father passes away in a far off country, so it's serendipitous that you're there to be with him, and to drive him down to JFK, where he catches a flight to go the funeral.

Back at your retreat, after the hotel is told that they ignored the request to add your name to the room occupants, you hope that the events of the week will jolt you into action, which leads you to wonder why hope ain't working wonders for you like so many people swear that it does.

Perhaps you need to include other stuff in your day, like creating your résumé and resuming learning Spanish. First, however, you need to eat, shower, and make chai. Perfect, and it has only been over 6 hours since you woke up this morning.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Try again tomorrow.

It's all been said, it's all been written. The end of history it may not be, but it sure feels like the end of words. History will continue to be made, but there will be nothing new to say about it.

OK, that's probably crap, but I gotta write crap. Perhaps that's what I've been doing all along. Yes, I hear those violins too, they've been playing incessantly, night and day. They get into my dreams when I sleep, and push them around. Dreaming under duress is doubly maddening; your dreams start bombing your sleep, and your waking hours become war-torn ruins. All that works when awake is your body, and it assumes control in the power vacuum. You get hungry, and you drink chai. You get sleepy, and you crave an apple. You feel sticky, and you brush your teeth. You run yourself ragged, surfing the TV channels. By sheer chance you make it to the grocery store because you're hungry, way past lunchtime, and return with bags full of all you'll need to cook a feel-good dinner.

Comical? Sure. You have to laugh, but you don't wanna. You're of course programmed to find prefabricated food that compensates for its unhealthiness by causing your wallet to lose weight.

You feel relief over getting through half of the damn afternoon before the thinking connections begin to get restored. As soon as they're fully restored, you realize that you've squandered half the day. The adrenaline is still depleted, so you try rolling the rock up the mountain again, hoping that all the unhealthy stuff you just consumed will at least give you some energy to make it budge. You can never tell how far you'll get on any given day, so you tell yourself that it's good to be surprised.

At some point you stop, for no apparent reason, and begin cooking dinner. The rock rolls back down, but you don't care, because you're making dinner, which is without doubt a good thing. Then you eat the dinner, and you make believe that it was all worth it. This takes a good deal of imagination, the claim of which of you need to validate at every opportunity. You come through, but put off going to bed as much as you can, in order to postpone the dream bombardment that you know awaits you behind your shut eyes.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Another New Day

When the sun hits the window, I look out at the streets below. Perched atop eleven stories, I have my own tale to tell to the deceptively toy-like town, and the neghboring one, and the next one, and on and on, until it reaches the cities where it'll one day hit the pavement. Or not.

The sun hits all the windows, which are abundantly clear. Stray distractions pace in this bright, sterile space, and are scrutinized to their core. They have no shame. In all their nakedness, they mock the time that feeds them. They do not let up, because they know they cannot be tamed. Still, one hopes that there are at least moments when they rest, when they loosen their grip on time. And, one hopes that such moments can be accessed from this rarified outer shell of life. One also hopes that these sustaining hopes can be entered, like a worm hole whisking one away into a universe where possibilities aid, not taunt.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

And so it goes...

Laptop in lap, window into the world, regurgitated gripes, all made to fit into earmarked time. How does it work? The TV waits patiently, while I agonize over the ideas weighing heavy on my keyboard. The TV blathers on at my brain. It bickers and screams and chatters and gushes with inanities, flooding the parched crevices of my mind.

Can I be unearthed? Am I really down there? If I'm not, then where am I? They say it's not all about me, but I am the only one I am. Still, let's say it's not about me, what would I do with myself then? Can't really get rid of me, can I? And if it's not about me, then about whom?

Headphones to the rescue. The TV will stay out, but the music will drape the pregnant silence. World music. As opposed to Mars music? Hmmmm... That may very well be the ticket. Head into space. The space between me and the world.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Just write, dammit!

Writing 101. Peter Elbow. No stopping to google for the link. Just gotta keep at it. Yes, this is how. Thoughts are all tied up, gotta keep from trying to untie them. Whatever strands I can get at are enough. Where do I start?

Start here, now. It can come together later. Or not. Is this how them writers do it? Wow...weird! Can this be done without caffeine? Nothing can be done without caffeine, can it? No, this that brave and new a world?

So, now what? More of the same? Can't help stopping to think, look at all angles, nothing is simple...yeah, well, that's why it doesn't get written. This better help getting it written. Is it 10 minutes yet? Should I be tired now? Maybe I am and it just hasn't registered. Where do I go from here?

That's right, start a new paragraph. Now, go reheat that chai...

Took a piss while nuking the chai, left it there too long, half of it boiled over, oh well... Could write about the pissing and other bodily functions, a la Andy Sullivan...fight the urge to google that. Not going back to correct spelling errors is hard, as is going back to replace a word with a better one. Suddenly I'm hungry.

Maybe the chai will pet down the hunger. It's piping hot, so gotta wait before's fine now. Switched my caffeine agent a couple of days ago. No more coffee, it was making my stomach upset, so I became a masala chai expert overnight. Been considerably happier (peppier?) since the switch. I like that in a disposition...well, more accurately, my disposition. And here I am just doing it, just like the swoosh wants everyone to.

Still haven't returned to the gym, though. Guess I'll be a "bear" for now. Uh-oh, is it OK to go on a tangent? I think it is, but this tangent is not a fun one. Could end up wondering about a good tangent to take, but that would be a tangent to this free flowing trajectory, and that's one tangent that's forbidden here. Thank god there's that rule, otherwise this could become an extension of my limbo, which I'd languish in, if I weren't here. Being a non-Catholic, it's not something I can rid myself, don't need to google that either.

So, where can this end? How can I know when to stop? Right here is fine, I think. Not bad for a first attempt. Can I now indulge my compulsion to google and fill in the links? Yay!

[ | | ]

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Writer, writer, write me a word...

or two, or three, or as many as it takes to write my present down, as if it were a red carpet for my past to shine on. It helps not, alas, that the red of the carpet is not my color, a secret I suspect my future has discovered. Is there hope, then, that my past will adorn my present, or will it stomp my present till it is worn and tattered, and unable to ever know its color. My future is older and wiser, and gets more so each day. Will it someday become weary of the burden if it carries the colorless hopes in perpetuity?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

They're stuck making out.

After puttering around in the virtual and physical worlds, finally spent a couple of hours trying to get two of the characters to make out. That's where I left them, frozen in time. Gotta get back there and unfreeze them...but what do I do with them then?

Too bad I can't freeze myself that way between the short-lived productive spurts.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

No exit (yet)

Still flailing about,
Hoping to strike my mind's gold,
And ending my days sore,
At desire's door.

Self-indulgent mediocrity is an infestation that is not without its comforts, and comfort is an alluring addiction. If it were illegal, perhaps I'd have a better chance of staying clear of it.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Staring down the blank page.

Said Thomas Mann:
A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
When I quoted this to a friend, he retorted:
Lucky for us, he didn't have access to the internet.
So, I made do without connecting to the internet once, just for kicks, and was able to put words down finally. Scary. It was work, and not that easy, but it happened. Hopefully it'll happen again, and again, and again...with a healthy frequency.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Do organized people make good Marxists?

"A place for everything, and everything in its place."

That's like "To each according to his need, from each according to his ability."

The first assumes that there's a self-evident, definitive, universal place for everthing. The Marxist adage assumes the same about "need" and "ability." Both, however, are perfectly "rational," which is probably why they don't work for most humans.

[organize | Marxism]

Thursday, January 26, 2006

If I blog, I will write...

well, that's the hope, anyway. My other blog, where one would expect this kind of stuff to go, feels like it requires my writing to be a little more grown up, as it were. So, I figured that this is where I can emulate a kid, and play with words and thoughts and insights and observations and any other toys that I can conjure up, without having my imagination skills judged too harshly (by me.)

I'm also trying to put my time where my instincts are. These instincts, however, fear the physical world that this time is a bridge to. When exposed to the physical world, they tend to lose their claim on reality, which the tangible realm wraps around itself like a flag, as if it were an American President waging a war on intangibilism: "You're either real, or you're intangible." The intangible, it would seem, has as much claim on reality as an American liberal does, these days, on patriotism.