Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Still I dream

Some people are lost causes. No matter how much they swear they'll change whatever it is they need to change, they don't. Or can't. Or won't. I've known this about junkies and drunks for years. And years. It's the same for any abuser of anything; if they don't want to quit, nothing you can say, think, or do will alter that reality.

I used to think it was laziness and selfishness that was behind such intransigence. Now I wonder it's more a case of just losing the thread that leads them down their new direction and simple instinct pulls them to the old, familiar path. Something safe and known as opposed to the new and untried. There's nothing malicious or deliberate or even necessarily wrong about it all; it's just the way things go. Old habits are hard to break if, deep within, you don't really want to break them. And new habits are hard to take up if they don't overwhelm the old one enough.

I guess I'm now one of the fallen. One of the insane who thinks if he does something over often enough, the outcome will prove different...finally. My addiction? I started working on a script. A screenplay. Again. I've just completed the first draft of a bruising piece of writing and couldn't face the idea of another word on a computer...and the only thing I can think to do with myself, today, is start another piece. Out of whole cloth. That I've been eyeing for a while.

This one has an old protagonist, with his teenage grandson as a tag-along, and I know the beginning and the end. I have the characters worked out in my head. I've already shifted one of the locations. I...I'm lost in the story. And it's ridiculous. I've written 30 screenplays and not one has been produced...and that includes (and currently looks like it will always include) the two I "sold" (for very little money.)

I honestly do not know what to think about me, right now, but the cold, dark truth is -- I still dream. I still fucking dream. With rare exceptions, my first thoughts about a story are, "What sort of movie would it make? And would I want to see it?" And will be till I die. And deep down I do not want to change, no matter how much sense it makes for me to.

May as well commit me now.


Penman said...

Tennessee Williams wrote penny plays from a run down boarding house with a curtain for a door. He would sell them for a sandwich, or to pay the rent which was due on a daily basis. I wonder if, at the time, he felt like giving it up. Who wouldn't in a flea infested room in New Orleans in a building filled with addicts and prostitutes.

And it is an addiction for why would somebody write plays to pay to sleep in a filthy bed in a rat-hole when there are so many other ways to make money. And I'm sure he could have earned money by other means.

Here's to opium dreams and delusions of grandeur for what else does a writer have for comfort?

JamTheCat said...