I was the smallest guy on my college lacrosse team. Shocker, right?
Anyway, in my freshman season, my coach said to me, “You’re going to get flattened by the big guys ten times every game. But so what. You’re also going to beat them to the ball twenty times every game because you’re quicker. Agility trumps size.” (emphasis mine)
I normally hate sports metaphors, but I still think that holds up as a great piece of advice about life in general.
I’m taking a sabbatical of sorts; I’ve left my job at the museum to go back to writing full time.
Some interesting things are in the works for Children of Abraham, including a short film tie-in, but it’s just not going to get finished and get sold unless I take a few months to devote myself to it entirely (to the utter delight of my agent). I also have a young adult novella in progress and a couple of other paying gigs that I can’t talk about just yet.
It’s a much longer story than all of this, obviously, and it’s a bit scary to go back into the writing life that I put on hold a couple of years ago. But it’s where I belong, it’s what I do best, and it’s where I am happiest and most fulfilled. And in all honesty, happiness and fulfillment have not been a part of my life for a very long time.
So, dear followers, I hope you won’t mind that I will now start clogging your dashboard with story bits and CoA teasers and other writerly things. I’ve got lots of work to do, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.
Last spring, several cans of aging nitrate motion picture film arrived at the film archive where I work, shipped from Italy, where they had been discovered in a warehouse in the port city of Pordenone.
The film was Too Much Johnson, an uncompleted work print of Orson Welles’ first “professional” film, unseen since it was shot in 1938 and long thought lost.
I had the privilege over the next several months of overseeing the restoration of this film, which had its North American premiere tonight. I gave commentary at a podium during the film along with my curator and preservation staff (in addition to having spent my entire day giving interviews to CBS, NBC, and two documentary crews). Hence the shameless selfies of me actually wearing grownup clothes.
Being responsible for the preservation of this work, while keeping it a complete secret all the while, has been equal parts exhilarating, terrifying, and exhausting. I could (and likely will) write a long-ish piece about all of the effort that went into this project, because people need to understand why film preservation is important, and not just for “lost” films of legendary directors.
All of this is to say that I realized tonight how amazingly, stupendously lucky I am to do what do. I believe in it. I evangelize it. Lots of people would murder puppies to have my job.
And yet, I stood there in that packed theatre earlier tonight, having shared this amazing work with an audience, and having been applauded and recognized for what I’d had a primary role in bringing to fruition.
It was at that moment, for some reason, I realized how much I miss my writing life.
Writing is what I do. It’s who I am. I miss it. And it’s calling me back.
I’m not quite sure what to do with that realization.
- That up there is my favorite equation. I could stare at it and absorb its beauty all day long.
- I have far too many pals and not nearly enough friends.
- I’m worried that my writing voice is damaged somehow. Not so much that I’m disconnected from it–that happens to everyone–but that it’s actually broken. I’m not sure how to explain it.
- Sometimes (read: always) I should do a better job at reconciling my obsessive work ethic with the law of diminishing returns.
- #2 above is really bothering me today, for some reason.
Unexpected garage door repair: $570
Unexpected car repair: $540
Unexpected escrow shortage: $1240
And to top it all off, I lost $1.25 in a vending machine.
- Blew out my left knee while running. There is not enough Advil in the universe to soothe that pain.
- Added a new rejection letter to my Thick File Folder of Suck.
- Sketched out a Kickstarter campaign for a short film.
- Ate a banana.
- Tried to pay it forward.
- Failed miserably at being a friend. Twice.
- Wrote a couple of pages I was particularly proud of.
- Wondered where my self-confidence has gone and if it will ever come back.
- Texted my mom.
- Wasted an hour or so leafing through a favorite old book.
- Envied someone’s drawing ability and raw artistic talent.
- Drank some really good coffee.
- Rubbed my cat’s belly just the way she likes.
- Had an extended conversation with my dog, who knows me better than anyone.
- Mailed a surprise gift to someone I’ve never met, just because.
- Made a long list of things I need to do better tomorrow.