I have a great time ruminating over story ideas, playing what if, drafting countless screenplays in my head. Running through the turnstyle corridors in my mind is fun, but it’s not writing. That’s one of the many pitfalls of chronic sklyarking, or, as it’s more commonly known: procrastination. Every day that I avoid writing, a creeping regret follows over me like a raincloud. Today I had a small realization: it takes more mental energy not to write, than it does to scratch out a page or two. Even a few pages of dialogue feels better than conjuring an epic trilogy in a trance.
I’m in the middle of a two-week stint in Las Vegas, working as a Writer for the FIBA Americas Championship. My NBA Entertainment gig takes me all over the country and the world; in a few weeks I’ll be making my third trip to China. The Vegas Strip, however, is not a place you want to visit more than a weekend. If that.
Not a fan of throwing money down a bottomless gullet in exchange for shiny lights with ringy bells? Or twice-warmed-over entertainment? Or whoring? Las Vegas Blvd. is not only boring, it’s a soul-sucking cultural black hole. If you’ve read Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing, you’ll know that his ugly, drug-induced vision has not only been realized, but surpassed. Vegas has skipped the middle-man and done the drugs for you. How else can you explain a place where Carrot Top is a headlining act? Or a fake New York that feels bigger than the real thing? How about advertisements for 99 cent shrimp cocktails designed to draw in customers*? The most horrifying Hunteresque experience has to be the commonplace existence of Babies on the Strip. 1AM, the Excalibur: the perfect place to bring your toddler! (Pictures to come)
I’ve had a little fun. A night ride on the coaster at NY, NY. A fine little hole in the wall called, well, The Hole In The Wall. The restaurant that time forgot. A place where showgirls go to die. Surly bartender? Check. A 97 year-old, four-foot tall, hobbling accordion player? Check. Dinners complete with salad, two-liters of wine, and a “cappuccino” that’s really Swiss Miss Instant? Check. Okay, the food’s not that great, but the atmosphere is singular. It’s the kind of place that makes me homesick for New York, even though places like this are vanishing there, too.
I miss Bed Study. I miss my fiancé. One more week to go.
* I’ve had a little rule that kicked in back in high school, when Taco Bell had a Two-Tacos-For-A-Buck promotion: don’t ever eat meat that costs less than a dollar.
Sometimes I forget that I own a really nice printer. It’s easy to keep your current writing project, whether a screenplay or a simple email, trapped on your monitor. I have a new post-it mantra on my desk: Print It Out. Not only do I always find a mistake or ten, getting a hard copy allows you have something physical in your hands. Remember the physical world? You know, that place with no hyperlinks, news feeds, or a world of tempting but useless information? Isn’t it nice to feel a piece of paper in your hands? That red pen has a nice weight to it. Having a draft on paper allows you to read with less distraction and focus. Mistakes will leap out at you, ideas will come.
I’ve been putting off this blog for a long time. I’ve been putting off a lot for a long time. Today I said to myself, “The perfect blog exists only in my mind. Just start writing.”
If you’re here, bless you, I don’t know how you found this.
What I want this blog to be:
1. Writing advice I wish I had starting out
2. Updates on my own writing
3. Blatant Self-Promotion
4. Championing the criminally unchampioned
5. Movie, music, theater reviews
6. Funny, biographical pieces
I promise to concentrate on numbers 1 through 3, while going easy on 4-6. Today, I will fail miserably.