Blog started in Jan 2005: 1st entries for Write in Every Genre. Then the REAL ME begins
It Hurts When I Stop Talking
Sometime in Fall of 1998, when a visit from Dad was infrequent, and primarily at the mercy of his 88 Toyota making the 50 mile journey, I was being treated to lunch. The restaurant was my choice, I think. Sisley Italian Kitchen at the Town Center mall was somewhere my dad had not yet tried, so that was my pick. Either I was being treated to the luxury of lunch and adult conversation without my husband and 5 year old son in tow, or that's just how the moment has lodged in my memory. The more I think about it, they probably were there, but enjoying the Italian food too much to bother interrupting.
Daddy and his lady friend at the time, Anne, came up together and made a day of it with me and the family. We were eating together and talking about some of my scripts, stories, coverages, poems and other creative attempts that really were not seeing the light of day. I think I'd just finished a group reading of The Artist's Way and was in a terribly frenetic mood over my writing. I think I'd just given them an entire rundown on a speculative Star Trek script.
My Dad asked me point blank, “Why don’t you write it?? Anne agreed. It sure sounded like I wanted to write it. Why wasn't I writing seriously? It's what I'd set out to do when earning my college degree in Broadcasting many years earlier.
Heck, I should, I agreed non-verbally.
But, I didn’t.
Blogs can be wild, unpredictable storehouses of moments, tangents, creative dervishes, if you will. I'm getting a firmer handle on my creative cycle. My mental compost heap (which is a catch phrase from Natalie Goldman or Julia Cameron - I can't think which, right now) finally seems to be allowing a fairly regular seepage of by-products. That may be a gross analogy, but I give myself credit to categorize my work in raw terms. It proves that I'm not so much the procrastinating perfectionist that I once was.
Still, I always seem to need prompts and motivation. Being a self-starter is the next step. My attempt to keep up in the Write in Every Genre Contest at the beginning of the year seemed like a perfect point to launch the blog.
|ABC Afternoon Special, yes, I remember the specific network, as it was part of the show title. I can actually remember the voice of the announcer declare, The ABC Afternoon Special...stated as confidently as newspapers once used to be cited with the auspicious use of "The" at the beginning. Chicago Style Manual or Strunk and White may still declare it necessary, but I would be surprised if college professors now are requiring as strict adherence as my own did once.
I think about the authority of television networks in the Seventies and Eighties, who were FCC contained and dictated to, and I wonder about whose sensibility decided to market the made-for-television movies aimed at issues of the day. Were they ever really meant for the children, or did they heighten the news market the television giants of the time also had to sell advertising time for? The topics of the shows and the actors they'd use seemed to be really for the mothers of the children, at this time it wouldn't be for the fathers, much as yet. And simply because it aired in the afternoon (After-school) it was "special" rather than primetime.
The disconnect, which I've only sensed decades after I was in their audience, is they magnanimously offered these special topic shows up AS IF most youth would be watching with an adult. I was not one of those kids -- I was a latch-key kid, and a media junkie, so I pretty much saw all these hot topic long-form docudramas on my own, to hash out for myself, and to reassure myself that if Henry Winkler could save the kid in the end, then of course, some adult in my life would appear to guide the way as well. The scriptwriters maybe were a bit more aware than the marketers, since the protagonist was usually a teacher or a coach, not the troubled kid's actual parent. Divorce was a huge reality, and usually it could be a contributing factor to the kid's troubles in the script. It could even be the main topic.
I also remember John Travolta as The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, which was primetime, and I probably had my parents present, but it wasn't like we talked during the presentation, or the commercials.