Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Trying to get one more cookie

On Thursday, some wily cameraman got some really good footage at the 2010 NBA Finals Game 1 in LA. Chris Rock, plugging his upcoming movie, was at the game with co-star David Spade, and as comedians do, they were cracking jokes while the game was still in jeopardy of being lost by the home team. Then, the shot expanded to not only include Rock, and Spade, but Kobe Bryant (yeah, they had really good seats). He was sweating, and breathing hard, and most definitely in ear shot of Rock's antics. Actually (or at least that's what people said later) he was actually talking to Kobe. And the hall-of-famer didn't laugh, or even smile. A clever commentator used the NBA star's expression to make a point about being focused, keeping one's mind on the task. I think wow is what my contribution to the conversation was.

Last year around this time, I was writing a novel. It's so foggy now, like a dream. I can remember what happened, but the more I try to decipher the details of it, the more vague they become. Because of fortuitous events following, I know that I completed the feat in a month. Thirty chapters in thirty days. I recall that I was partially inspired by my car being totalled, and being out of work, so I had nothing to do and nowhere to go (as well as nowhere to get there). And as you might remember, lately I've been working on another novel. It's in the exact same series, as a point of fact. I figured that summer would be the time for that, sort of write in the same world during the same time of year when the same sorts of things are going on around me, etc. Well, that was the plan.

I came home yesterday thinking how hot it was outside and how hungry I was. I considered playing a video game, or maybe going grocery shopping. I turned on the television and lamented at nothing being on. Then, instead of turning it off, I went trolling for something that was at least mildly entertaining. Then I got on facebook. It was, as you might expect, a wild departure from the production I had going last year. I'm not sure what changed. My only saving grace was, acknowledging all of these failures of mine, I took a hard look at what I've been writing and what I plan on writing, and recognized the need for some more outlining. Specifically, a character's religious philosophy can't be written about yet because I haven't invented the religion (little shot-before-the-pass action). So, I felt better about that oversight. 

And I did work yesterday, technically. I read half a book and plowed through some analysis of a manuscript. I engaged the muscle in question for about a hundred pages (okay, it was half a play, and one chapter of a novel). But I realize that I'm making excuses. Chris Rock is as funny as distractions are distracting. And don't I want to be a champion? At least, to the extent that writing can be championed. 

And so, a week later, with woefully little to show for all of the momentum I had going, I am dusting myself off and getting back on the horse. Again. This week the writing group is going to be tearing through my short story. I am a little ambivalent as to whether I want their consensus to demand a rewrite (which, generally, makes things better) or if I want them to give me the green light on sending it out (which would affirm my own gut impression that it's fine the way it is). I have some other challenges ahead of me as well, and in certain lights, at specific times of day, they look really daunting. I wonder what it was that Kobe was staring at. Even moreso, I wonder who he'd be without his own mountains to climb. 

1 comment:

  1. I think Kobe enjoys working hard at what he does.

    Also, he may have been thinking of this. And it's not like Chris Rock has never gotten all prickly when people make fun of him.