Monday, July 20, 2009

Back to (Paranoia) High School

Whelp, I'm back from vacation and all in one piece. I'm a bit shell shocked, but all in all it was a good time.

I'm not one of those people who really gos on vacation. I more survive them. My home life is driven from project to project so when I hit a vacation that I can't spend in front of the computer I'm kind of at a loss.

However, my dearly beloved explained to me that my mother in-law put a lot of work into setting up this vacation, so my other option was to be in kind of a wheelchair, so vacate I did.

The big problem was, we vacated to a dead zone. No phones, no lights no motorcars, and no Internet. That means no real way to do any writing.

I hate writing with a pen. My hand writing is a scrawl and it's sooo slow! And once I'm back amongst the living, I have to transcribe it back into the computer.

With writing on mashed up trees as a failure, I tried using a small laptop. That kind of dominates the landscape and emphasized how much I'm ignoring my family. Not smart for this wheelchair phobic. I needed something sneaker.

How about my phone? It's got a 2 gig chip, supports text messaging and can hide in my hand. Could I use that?

Nope! My phone does allow memos, but they have to be less than 100 characters. Let me repeat that. My crappy phone, with 2 gig available, won't even let you save a memo as long as a Twitter "tweet"! Thrilling.

I know! I could use it as a voice recorder! Yea, I could do that. When I write I tend to talk out what I'm writing anyway. I'll just talk into my phone and record everything!

Unfortunately, with my current phone I have to shout to be heard. Every time inspiration hit, my in-laws would hear me shouting to my invisible friend who hides in my hand.

Now my in-laws think I'm nuts.

I can live with that, but I also got to play with writer's block. Such fun.

Actually, it a weird sort of way I don't mind writer's block. At least I don't mind having it once I've overcome it. It's kind of like the old saw about smacking yourself with a hammer because it feels so good once you stop. I sorta go through that.

As you may or may not know, I used to write for a comic strip called "Paranoia High" (Check it out.) It was a lot of fun and Dave (the artist) is a friend of mine.

After a while Dave took over the writing and I went on to fame as a geek blogger on them Internet tubes.

To make a long story short, we fade the mics and queue the organ and it's a year or so later and I'm back to writing the strip. Huzzah! The only problem is, can I still write the strip? Not May I, Can I?

Ya see, when Dave consolidated the strip, I gave him a list of the ideas I had at the time. No big deal, I have the list around somewhere and Dave has it too. But old ideas aren't enough. Can I come up with new ones?

I could feel the tightening grip of initial dread. What if my last creative idea was really my LAST CREATIVE IDEA!?!? You civilians don't savvy the pain we creative types go through when we birth forth art and stuff.

How can I explain it? It's like Paris Hilton waking up and finding out her butt has run off and joined the Peace Corps. No tush? No job! Writing is like that, except Paris's butt is our ideas.

Hopefully that image will help you develop an appreciation for the written word.

That analogy would have worked much better if it were a breast joke, but I couldn't think of any famous current women who are know for their big racks. Maybe Micheal Jackson, but he's dead.

Ms Proust is know for her rack, but she's a character in "Paranoia High". You really should check it out. (Note the reoccurring motif, that's the art baby!)

So I started running through ideas. Film strips? I think that's from the old list. Standardized tests? Nope, the old list. How about exploding frogs? Damn! School Principal Mike Ducacus? Whoa! Wrong decade!

It was looking pretty bleak for new strips, but I stayed with it. Football? Feral students? Sentient lunch meat? Damn! Damn! Damn! How about Hall Monitors?

Hall Monitors? Not on the old list. Hmm. Uniforms, Tazers, RoboCop, Juntas? Yea. Add "Hall Monitor" to the new list.

After that things started to roll. Walmart vs the school store? New! Texting NORAD? Brand spanking new! "Shakespeare: The Musical!" Oh yea baby. We're back in action!

Why are the in-laws looking at me?

Oh yea, I'm shouting at my fist.

They really think I'm nuts.

I gotta get a new phone.

1 comment:

denny_colt said...

I just got a 2 gig MP3 player with recording capabilities ($20) but haven't really tried it out yet - I'll let you know if it works. As for returning to the hallowed halls of Paranoia High - I KNOW you'll do fine. Only sending them on another field trip could keep you from a deserved Pulitzer. Can't wait. It's Sidney or the bush!