Let's cut right to the chase--here's what I learned this week:
It's time to throw in the towel...
...and pick up a Persian Rug.
And now, to explain such an oblique lesson.
I've been blogging regularly for five years. It's one of my great pleasures, a getaway from my increasingly-stressful everyday, 90 minutes or so of me time I look forward to every weekend.
This blog, Pow!, has enjoyed two incarnations; one as the source and then support for my book on the element of Surprise (still available, folks!), the other as a repository of weekly lessons learned (and perhaps the fodder for my next book or books).
And today, it--I hope--celebrates its third life (that's the "throwing in the towel" part), as Pow! morphs into a shared creative writing space; shared inasmuch as I do the writing, and hopefully, you the reading.
Over my many years in showbiz and the tech biz, I've harbored a couple of ideas in my head that I believed would make great short stories, perhaps a novella, or maybe even a film script. But when another such idea popped into my head recently, I realized that with a backlog of three, I'd better start getting them out there before they crumbled and rotted in the increasingly cobwebbed and clutterd attic that is my brain.
One of the problems of being the President of Just For Laughs Festivals and TV is that it leaves little room for additional extracurricular activity, so something had to give. That "something" is the "lessons learned" element of this blog, which is now being replaced--for the time being--by the most recent of the aforementioned story ideas (that, ostensibly and somewhat pompously, is the "Persian Rug" part).
The blogosphere has changed much in the demi-decade since I first opened a TypePad account, and I think the world is well-served by millions of other marketing/business/social critics, thus would not over-mourn my removal from the space.
Not that it needs another struggling fiction writer either, but hey, that's my decision.
And no, I didn't quit my day job.
I hope you'll stick around for this new journey; if not, thanks for coming by to share my learnings, ramblings and revelations. From time-to-time, I'll revert back to lessons when something really smacks me between the eyes, but for the most part, I'll be regaling you every week with chopped-up, bite-sized (500-700 words) stepping stones of my off-beat stories as they deveklop and take life.
So without any further ado, I'd like to introduce you to the ride known as...
It was "that time of the month" again.
Curtis always hated "that time of the month."
It was that time of bills. Car payments and mortgage payments. Bills for necessities, like electricity, Internet connectivity and cable TV, although with the Internet, he wondered if cable TV was really still necessary. Surely not all 165 additional channels he subscribed to, but he promised himself once again this month that one day he would weed through them and eliminate the non-essentials like The Food Network, Spike and PBS, whose constant whining and begging for funds coincidentally seemed to escalate with this time of the month.
It was that time of thick, expensive, forest-wasting magazines that slipped through his mail slot and thudded on his floor only to be picked up and unceremoniously heaved on a pile that twice a year he deposited directly into his recycling bin...never mind without reading, but most times without even removing the petroleum-based, protective plastic bagging.
It was that time to take his beloved dogs to the vet for their regular check-up. As they say in storybooks, once upon a time this chore was actually one of his much anticipated highlights, but with both the beagle/spaniel and the poodle/terrier mix in their ninth and tenth years respectively, these days the monthly news was less happy-go-lucky and more Curtis-go-pharmacy.
All this, he learned to deal with.
What really made that time of the month again unbearable was...her.
"Her" was Miranda, his girlfriend of six years. More than girlfriend really, she was his live-in wife sans diamond ring or legal commitment. When he considered his relationship as a whole, he knew it was a good one. Well, to be honest and unapologetic to those around him with lesser personal bonds, a great one. If he was a baseball fan, he'd calculate their batting average at about .750, maybe .800...not merely Hall of Fame numbers, but All-World.
But All-World only in baseball. In this relationship, all the lavish meals, all the walks in the park, all the society-level parties, all the passion, all the movies with gourmet popcorn in front of the fireplace, all the things that most other couples could only envy, all that could not overshadow the behavior she repeated over and over and over again every 30 days or so.
Much to his chagrin.
Much to his misery.
Much to his continual detriment.
For it was that time of the month when Miranda would save some postage costs for the prestigious brokerage where she worked and personally, by hand, bring home Curtis's voluminous, detailed financial statements.
To be continued next week...