About Last Night & Other Things

So I don’t know if Ambien and WordPress go hand in hand. My last post started off okay. It was coherent enough. For a while at least. I attempted to update you all on my recent progression with starting college. But then it steered waywardly off into some hypnotic-induced blather. I take Ambien for its intended purpose, to treat insomnia. I will be taking it again tonight as I do have to work in the morning. But I will spare my readers from another prescription fueled diatribe. It didn’t even work last night anyway. I mean if I would have just turned off the lights, the computer and closed my eyes it might have had a fighting chance. But no, I thought it would be a good idea to be “creative” while on the drug. That’s common with Ambien, actually. A lot of people will stay up late after taking said medication and paint things that their brains otherwise would not manifest. For any droogs, it would be like drinking some of the Milk Plus before bed but instead of sleeping you decide you should attempt to create a work of art. Come to think of it, I have not even lifted a single brush in many weeks. I should paint again. I can’t stay up tonight otherwise I totally would. Instead I’m here, on WordPress just typing away.

Earlier I finished listening to an audiobook that I downloaded last night. I am in the middle of a free 90-day trial of Audible.com where I get free book credits for each month. Last night I used one of my credits on a book by one of my favorite filmmakers, Kevin Smith. The book, Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good, was even narrated by Smith himself. That’s right, Silent Bob speaks. Kevin Smith is well written and obviously his verbal delivery of the material which he so passionately created is just as exceptional as the book itself. But this post is not a book review. I’ll save that for a later time. I will say this, even though I have a digital audiobook copy, I do plan on purchasing a copy in paperback. I think for all of the audiobooks that I listen to I would like a physical copy of the book. That way I can get them signed if and when the opportunity presents itself. Tonight at midnight I should be receiving another credit for a free audiobook download. I have yet to decide on which book, but more importantly which author, to use this credit on. My first thought was going to be Infinite Jest by none other than the late, great David Foster Wallace. But that bad boy is 56 hours long. I don’t think my schedule will permit me enough time to give the material adequate time to digest in my brain. One of these days I will just order a copy of that book from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I’ve heard good things but man, if the audiobook is 56 hours, that must be one behemoth of a tome to actually sit and read through. I just googled it… 1,079 pages. I think I have decided on my newest travel read, for the next like 12 flights.

I didn’t think I’d like listening to an audiobook as much as I enjoyed listening to Tough Sh*t. The recording was just shy of 6 hours so it was easily finished in about 3 sittings in less than a day. I think that’s pretty good as it takes me about a week to finish a book of the same depth. I recently did that with Marilyn Manson’s autobiography The Long Hard Road Out of Hell. That is another fantastic addition to the literary world. Again, this is not a review. That will come later, I’m sure. But for now I type onward. I think I want to try creative writing some more. But more like I used to do, nay attempt, when I was a teenager. Pulp Fiction, man. Pulp fucking Fiction. That is my all time favorite film. By my all time favorite director by default. Every single time I watch it, with every thread of dialogue weaving into a patchwork of storytelling, it inspires me to create something as original and gripping as itself. I’ve attempted to start a “screenplay” a few times in my youth. I have no education or training on what goes into a screenplay, but that didn’t stop me from trying. I want to learn so I can feel more comfortable with crafting the medium. When I was in school and we had to write a paper or story, they always gave us this bubble graph to help plot out and plan the point of each paragraph. Ideally we would first use this graph for plotting, then we would write the paper based off of said graph. I could never follow this. I was always the opposite. I couldn’t plan anything. I’m the same way now with painting. If I try to plan something and it doesn’t start to come out exactly how I had seen it in my head I go postal. Anyway, when I would be in school with these writing assignments I would always write the paper or story first, then go back and find what each bubble on the graph should have in it. I reverse engineered the graph. I always got 100’s on every paper. Okay, maybe not every one but I never failed a writing assignment. Not that I can remember, at least.

So I can write, and want to write. But I don’t know how to write in a way that would be considered a linear narrative. I don’t fully understand the story arc and all that jazz. One of the most frustrating things about this is I have no idea how to format a script or screenplay. I have seen them before. I even read most of the script for Pulp Fiction. Although, I know the film by heart just from repeated viewings alone. I want to write for television and films. Probably more on the film side as I suspect the creative liberty is much more apparent with film versus television. Still, writing bits for Conan or SNL is a dream of mine as well. I am going to school, if you haven’t gathered that by now, for an associate’s degree in general education. Just to get the prerequisite stuff out of the way, really. And to buy myself time to come up with an idea of what I would like to study for my bachelor’s and further education. I think one of the biggest takeaways anyone could get, myself included, from that book by Kevin Smith is a wise piece of advice Smith received from his sister. When explaining to her that he wanted to be a director she simply said “So be one.” Basically if you want the thing just go out and get the thing. If you believe that you can, or that it’s what you really want, you will get it. But there are a lot of sacrifices that will tax you along the way. I think that’s worth it as it will grant you the privilege of appreciation. Hard work breeds appreciation.

So what if I don’t know how to properly write a script? I can write. That’s all I need. I want to be a writer? I’m a writer. This is a blog, isn’t it? You’re reading said blog, aren’t you? I may not come up with Clerks, or even The Room for that matter. But if I don’t write anything I will never be a writer. Kevin Smith’s book ended with the sweetest message from his daughter, Harley. She expressed how much she loves and appreciates her dad and how they just totally get each other. And that he’s inspired her so much that she very much enjoys writing. Whenever she would be upset about something he would tell her to express her emotions on paper. Now she looks at writing as something fun and expressive to do, whereas before she saw it as something that she had to do for school. She wrote this at age 12. That part of the book was just as inspiring as the rest of the book. And that’s stuck with me this evening. So I think I am going to fire up Word and stare down that blinking cursor against the electric ocean of a white, digital blank canvas. I have done this before and never finished. Many many times. And I may do this again this time too. But at least I will be writing. I don’t know how far I will get this time or what it will even be. But that’s the exciting, albeit grueling, part of the process. I probably will be keeping this project off of the blog. I kind of like keeping this more like a journal or diary. And so it goes…

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