Monday, June 5, 2006
Cloudy and muggy
Interesting experience yesterday. I’m trying to figure it out myself, so I will try to present it without commenting on it too much.
As I slogged through the over-indulgence of Sunday newspapers – a bad habit of mine – I read through various book reviews from various sources. I always do, I like to see what’s out there. The reviews themselves do little to convince me to buy a book – if something looks interesting, I’ll buy it no matter what.
Amongst all the piles of reviews were reviews of two books by writers I can’t stand, either as writers or human beings. I find both of their writings mediocre or worse. And as people – in my opinion, one of them is a drama queen narcissist who manufacturers crises to make herself a heroine/get attention, and the other is a dilettante who’s never had to earn a living and likes the idea of being a writer more than the actual writing.
However, when I read both of the negative reviews, I found myself wanting to defend both of these writers whom I don’t particularly like or respect on any level.
This is the reason: thousands of people claim they love to write, want to be a writer, will write when they “have time” or “get around to it.” I’d say maybe 5% of that group every actually sticks a butt on a chair and makes the attempt, and maybe a half a percent of that 5% ever finishes something.
These two writers finished. They both wrote something they cared deeply about, something important to them, and they stuck it out. Right there, they deserve a parade. Okay, so I won’t go and I won’t be flinging confetti, but they finished their books. And that’s commendable and important.
I was deeply surprised by my response. I thought I’d dance with glee at their bad reviews. Because I’m not a nice enough person not to do that. Yet I didn’t feel happy at all. And I kept trying to, really, I did. But, I felt as though I should defend them.
Perhaps the writing family works on the same level as any dysfunctional family – we can have our problems with each other, but if an outsider attacks, watch out.
It was . . .interesting.
Felt lousy all day. The cold, instead of packing its bags and leaving, has decided to unpack once again and extend its vacation. I don’t like being a resort for germs.
Almost useless writing day. I managed to get out the pre-Belmont Stakes article – fortunately, I knew what I was talking about.
I’m dancing around this next sequence of Real instead of dealing with it, because it’s hard. However, until I actually put something down on paper, I have nothing to fix.
I have an idea for another way to attack the other proposal, but don’t know if I can pull it off.
And I have several pitches that have to go out to editors today.
Also, the beginning of the morning will be taken up in errands and paperwork for The Situation.
I need to make serious progress on the ghost story, because I still need time to revise. It needs to go out next Monday, and the upcoming weekend is the Belmont Stakes.
Of course, the only thing I feel like doing is crawling back in to bed.
Public Television stations in New York, Boston, and LA have come to new contract terms with the WGA. Good. Some of the best and most precisely researched programs are written for public television. Writers deserve to be paid at a good rate for that work. Producers need to stop putting the bulk of a film’s budget into actor perks like entourages and luxury accommodations, and onto the screen. Without the writer, there wouldn’t be a blueprint from which to shoot.
I should be angling to work on the Spiderman 3 shoot here in New York over the next five weeks. However, the lead actor’s entourage is reported to be 50. 50 extra people hanging around on set, getting in the way. I’m not talking about him bringing in his own hair and make-up people and an assistant (although he probably has). I’m talking that he needs a posse of 50 around him on set, which is, in my opinion, ridiculous. It doesn’t show he’s important – it shows he lacks self-esteem and the ability to entertain himself. Not only is that unnecessary, it’s detrimental to the work. It would set my teeth on edge, so why put myself in that situation? I’ll skip it.
People wonder why their ticket prices skyrocket. It’s not because, as management claims, the union cameramen, soundmen, propmen, wardrobe crew are asking for ridiculous raises. They want a living wage for working inhuman hours. It’s because producers are paying for that type of actor perk, which translates into feeding 50 extra people, transporting 50 extra people, etc., etc., etc., who aren’t contributing to the work. Not to mention outfitting the trailers with whatever perks the actors managed to get into their contract.
Yet another reason why I want to make the transition out of this work and into full time writing.