October 16, 2006


So I had a pretty terrible week last week. Wanna hear about it? My employer’s going through a transition, moving offices to a new place, so there hasn’t been a lot of copywriting work coming in. Driving me half crazy. I was down, really down. Meanwhile, my novel’s presumably going out to editors right now. One acceptance could change/save my life, which is good/bad because it makes me obsess about the thing that could save me. A lot of pressure to make the dream real. Screaming Led Zeppelin’s “Your Time is Gonna Come” to the ceiling. Not really, but I loved that song when I was 13.

Sitting with my wife the other day, my girl off with my parents, so my wife and I could brood and talk things over. I said to her, imagine if I did get that book deal, and we’ll have the comfort to look back on this as the lean years. It’s possible. But I’ve had this hope many times before. At least it’s a possibility, though, I’ve got that. My book’s out there. I hope it happens. To actually be able to afford things. Other people can do it, why can’t we? If I made something like five figures it would help us out a lot. That’s not asking a lot for 15 years of work. Of course, I’d like more, so I could work on my novel without suffering waiting for new work to come in.

In the wake of not getting enough copywriting work, I wrote a story about all this: a screenwriter waiting for the big sale, fighting with his wife. Half the story is the screenplay he’s been writing, a private investigator fighting with his wife. Don’t know where I want to send this. Screenplay formatting won’t work in a web magazine, harder to get published otherwise, especially a story like this one, more personal than I usually get, one writer’s ego, and I’m not famous yet to warrant it. But I justified the stupid money suffering of last week by writing a story.

Good thing that happened though is my wife got sick over the weekend. No, really, it was good. I was a crank last week, with my daughter, with everyone. My wife out for the count, I spent Saturday and Sunday with O. Went to the library, the mall, the park, Sunday went to my parents, the park. Good quality time that was well-needed. She appreciated it, hugged me big before going to school this morning, really sweet.

At the library found this book:

L.A. Exile

There was a display of novels and collections about L.A. and Hollywood. Of course, I thought, the fuck am I not up there? The book’s not great. The pieces are about people who have lived and written here, rather than fiction directly about the city. Like the excerpt from Cain’s Double Indemnity is about insurance, not L.A. Nice pictures of places people lived when they wrote here. Didn’t know Brecht lived here, during WW II. A piece by Stravinsky’s assistant describing a breakfast at the Farmer’s Market with Stravinsky, Christopher Isherwood, and Aldous Huxley. I mean, what the fuck? Are Martin Scorsese, Bruce Wagner, and Steve Reich having tea at the Grove? Anyway, nice to read about a culture of writing in this city, the way it’s been regarded by other writers. Sometimes this city can feel dead. L.A. is like somebody who’s rambling on, only occasionally making interesting points, but still weirdly driven.

Also got a few Thelonious Monk CD’s. Been going crazy for Monk. Beautiful dissonance, ugly beauty. Bought the Coltrane/Monk at Carnegie Hall CD which I have yet to hear and couldn’t find otherwise. A decent price, don’t have a lot of money to burn, but I needed this one.

What else: saw Little Miss Sunshine last night. It was OK. Entertaining. Seems like the movie equivalent of Mcsweeney’s writing. Nice and intelligent, but there’s never any fear that problems have any weight. Even when somebody dies. It’s comforting, but hardly truthful. I know this is a farce, but I liked Flirting with Disaster more—more insane, less trivializing people’s problems. Another one, The Royal Tennenbaums I hated. Rings false, unreal. The tradeoff is a movie like The Squid and the Whale where people are miserable 100% of the time. There’s got to be a medium. Opinions.

Finally, Fucking A, New York Mets. I was depressed after that game two loss. Thought they needed it. After game three felt it was over. Their starting rotation is in threads. But they’re back in it.


LK said...

Work sucks.
The Mets are still in the game (but I'm rooting for the Cards).

Keep the First Novel in circulation and get started on your next one.

Emil Michelle said...

I'm rooting for the Mets. I hope you get your five figure book advance. I know how you feel: THEY can afford everything, why can't I? It'll happen. Hang in there.

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