Friday, June 16, 2006

Filling the Well

I know. I’ve been gone so long, you might think I’d absconded to Scandinavia. Actually, that’s a week off, which leads me to believe that maybe I really have been up to nothing.

And indeed I have. With extreme prejudice.

It hasn’t been easy. Over the past several months I’ve slowly grown accustomed to the idea — fiercely believed but not always fiercely executed — that sometimes nothing is exactly what you need. Especially when that nothing is not writing.

Now, you could say that this is Rasmussen rationalizing his procrastination, or more hopefully that Rasmussen has entered the research phase of his next project. But “research” is much too tactical a term for this movement. And procrastinating? Please. That is, like, so two years ago.

So amid the Sturm und Drang (Tom: think “flapping”) of scribospheric writing and drafting and obsessing and, admit it, comparing, there I’ve sat, like a fidgety round Buddha, contemplating the percentage of my screenplay completed: absolute zero.


There have been some non-writing stirrings and whirrings:

Studying shamanism and taking several sessions of “shamanic counseling.”

Writing Gladiator from the screen. I don’t even remember where I learned about this exercise, but I recommend transcribing a three-hour movie in three-second intervals to anyone seeking a better understanding of structure and rhythm and one’s capacity for tedium.

Renovating the house. We now have new laminate floors, as well as a recarpeted stairwell so that October J. Rabbit can safely traverse the no-man’s land between the first and second stories. Which meant pitching (or recycling) three dozen garbage bags’ worth of accumulated crap and then cramming the remainder of our stuff into the kitchen and 1.5 bathrooms. Some of that crap included the vast majority of my college and graduate school papers. What a release that was. Buh-bye, snarky profs!

Listening to Der „Ring“ ohne Worte at work again and again. And then some more.

And all the while, nonchalantly doing my morning pages, allowing the current project to fester and percolate.

And, of course, planning that trip to Scandinavia.


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