Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chipping Away

I’m not referring to the episode last week in which I carved Jenifer’s car out of a block of ice with naught but a standard slotted screwdriver.

No. I’m referring to that precious thing called Progress. Little by little I’ve cobbled together an outline, a reasonable approximation of the scenes that will inhabit my Norse epic. Once more the west end of the dining room table is littered with index cards.

It did occur to me, though, as I braved the freezing temperatures and fierce winter winds, that screenwriting is not altogether different than slashing a Wampa cave’s worth of ice with a tool utterly unsuited to the task.

Certainly the requirements for success are the same. Patience and persistence. Stubbornness. Trial and error and a good deal of spinning one’s wheels.

You chip away, again and again, to the point of frustration, with unseen results. And then, at last, knuckles bleeding, a huge slab of stuff jars loose, and the neighbors wonder why you are shouting in the parking lot. Hope appears.

Three weeks till Spring.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Thomas Crymes said...

Never, ever underestimate the north end of the table. It can be an unwavering asset.

Congrats on the progress. It always feels good to get some traction and actually move forward.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Tony Shoemaker said...

Ah But remember dear Ryan that Punxatawney Phil told us that Spring will arrive two weeks early this year! If you are into the whole wild ground varmint worship.

I had a similar experience chipping Gayle's car out too. I broke her ice scraper and mine in the process and only got the door open, which in itself was a huge victory since the ice had frozen the locks and the hinge and the entire rubber door seal.

But HEY! Send me that outline man!

8:54 PM  
Blogger Ryan Rasmussen said...

Tom: That is so true. In fact, the Feng Shui 365 Dos & Taboos day calendar, in its entry for Monday, December 29, 2003, advises the following: “Do have a budding composer or poet work in the N area of the living room. North is the direction of creativity and communication.”

Tony: A'ight!

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Eric said...

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things..." - Shawshank

I've been concentrating on so many other things (job, wedding, friends) lately that I have made only small progress with writing. A few poems, a couple essays, several pages of The Molecular Method. Not a bit of work on the fantasy novel. Only a couple queries out for my other books. So, I guess I've been chipping away. But it's time to get out the chainsaw.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Unk said...

Any kind of progress is good... Just keep going...

Unk

6:12 AM  
Blogger Brett said...

I have so many damned irons in the fire of late that I'm thinking of starting a second fire just for the spillover.

My own little... "tale of the North" seems wrappd in foil and stored in the fridge for now—too many competing projects both in my own mindpsace and in the market. Nuff said there.

I'll be out in LaLa next week trying to dance with the devil. If I manage to score a request for a second dance... well, let's just say that the sound of my exultant yawp shall not be hard to notice.

"Aim low, boys -- they're ridin' Shetlands...."
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B

1:14 PM  
Blogger Ryan Rasmussen said...

Brett: I figgered you were gettin' real good at cookin'. I guess that's okay, so long as the food's not ALL brown.

(And let it be a mighty yawp.)

11:46 AM  

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