Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Excited & Empty

I'm excited. This weekend I have my first official "press" function. I'll be attending a film festival that I did a feature story on and will be writing a short review. Not only is it my first function with an actual "press pass" - but it's to a film festival. I love everything film. So I'm excited. And a little empty. I've been thinking a lot lately about my life as a writer. I'm adjusting to having stories to work on constantly, getting more familiar with striking up conversations with total strangers. Staying true to the story and finding my own style. It's fun...and everything I've ever wanted. For the first time I'm realizing that this might lead me somewhere. It's a weird feeling. Writing leads to more writing and more ideas. Stories, ideas for movies, tv series, novels... Writing takes up just about every minute of my brain. It's fighting to be center stage where I've normally thought of it as a hobby. Everything that happens in a day could be a theme for a story...or an idea. Trust me - I'm going somewhere with this. Tonight I caught myself thinking about someone. He was a crush. I thought he was love - but Kim told me he was an obsession. Crush is a softer word. It sounds fourteen. It sounds innocent. The crush called me one day, years ago, out of nowhere. Long after he stopped being the crush. Long after my obsession led to the ugly demise of a really good friendship. "Hey," he said. "What are you doing?" - and without giving me time to answer, "Listen to this..." He was making the 3 hour commute to see his girlfriend and had a story idea. We'd talked about writing a lot. He always had ideas for these monstrous projects. Books for kids that were epics. He'd bounce his ideas off me. Tell me the story without really wanting to hear my opinion - just wanting to say it out-loud to someone. To me. I wanted him to write with me. Keep trucking through pages like I did at the time. He wasn't as dedicated as I was but when he had an idea, it kept him going all night. I wanted him to be a writer with me. He's not. I'd bounce my ideas off him too - albeit more reservedly. But I knew if I had a big epiphany while sitting at home, I could call him at work and work it out. Until the demise, of course. Since then, there's no one I feel I can bounce ideas off of. And the ideas cloud my brain and my time and my subconscious and leave me feeling...pent up. I don't get to bounce off family and friends. They wouldn't really understand if I did. And they wouldn't want to hear it anyway. I can't blame them. They're not writers. But I am. And I need one to bounce with. I finish Didion's book. "The Year of Magical Thinking". She writes about the first piece she wrote after her husband died. How he'd always checked it first. How stunned she was at the amount of grammatical errors. He'd always checked them. They'd always bounced off each other. I think about my grandmother and how she had to check with me on how to make potatoes for dinner after my grandfather passed away. Boiled or baked? Mashed or cubed? She didn't know. He'd always told her. He'd bounced everything off her...from his paintings to their potatoes. It's strange that I should think about the crush now. But I do. I wish I could call him up right now and bounce every last idea I have in this brain off of him. I want to hear him tell me I'm over-thinking it. Or I'm being cliche. Or I'm not. I want to hear him tell me that I need to quit thinking and start writing. Dedicate time. Take it seriously. It's not him so much as the idea of him - but it's always the idea of them that get us in the end. I am excited about the film festival. I'm excited about the stories I have on my list to get done this week. I'm excited about the pile of ideas and notes stacking up on my coffee table. I'm excited about the screenwriting class I'm taking in the fall. I'm excited about this possibly going somewhere. I'm excited...but empty too. It's an emptiness I'm not used to - and getting tired of.

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