Hooray! This week's Geek in Review, The Big Goodbye, is live:
"So I thought we'd head over toward stage 9," the producer said to me, "and we'll shoot our host wraps in there."
"Wait." I said. "You mean we get to walk into stage 9?"
"Don't get too excited," He said, " there's nothing left from Trek in there."
Though I knew that there was no way they'd preserve our sets for twenty years, and though I knew that someone else would eventually move into our stages, just as we'd moved into the original series' stages, I still felt a little sad.
"Nothing at all?" I said. It was a stupid question. Of course there wouldn't be anything there. But like a kid who just learned that Darth Vader was just a guy in a suit, or that KITT didn't really talk, I had to ask again, just to be sure I hadn't somehow misunderstood the cold hard reality.
"They're building sets for some reshoots on a Farrelly Brothers movie," he said, "So we'll just shoot outside." I was struck by how blasé he was, which also shouldn't have surprised me. How could I expect anyone else in the world to have the same emotional attachment to those stages as I did?
I found a good place to break it, via a process that went something like this, "Hey, Andrew, I need to know where to break this. I think I should break it here. What do you think? Oh. I think this is a good place to break it, so I'll just break it here. No need to reply. I guess I didn't need to send this e-mail in the first place, huh? So. How you doing? I'm fine. Okay write back. Thanks. Bye!"
This GiR is important for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the very significant role it played in moving me past a pretty paralyzing funk on my new book. Writing the story that spans this and next week's columns helped me to step out of burst culture and work on narrative writing. It's more of a challenge than I think is obvious to a lot of people (including myself,) but Rogers explains why the two styles aren't very compatible quite clearly.
I also didn't realize how serious the advertising issue was weighing on me, and how negatively it was impacting my ability to just relax and enjoy things. I'm really happy that I removed it from my blog and my psyche, because it was causing an unecessary distraction that made the already lousy cost/benefit analysis even worse than I thought.
With those distractions addressed and gone, and this week's rediscovery of the joy of narrative writing, I can identify why I've felt so frustrated and stuck on the current book: the working title didn't fit with the material and the tone of the book, and our thought of dividing it into themed sections, like geek and family just didn't work. As a result, the current manuscript just didn't feel right. This is supposed to be like Dancing Barefoot, which was a pick-it-up-and-put-it-down collection you took to the beach, and what we had with the sections and stuff didn't serve that. This was all exacerbated by the anxiety about the length, and the need to cut some stories that are good, but redundant. If I can include the entirety of this and next week's GiR, the issue of length has pretty much been solved. With the issue of length solved, the redundancy issue kind of takes care of itself.
This is all a very longwinded way of saying that once I realized what was in my way, it freed me up to allow this book to simply be what it is going to be, and nothing more. I am, as Andrew would say, off the ledge.
For the moment.