Feel The Pain

Coming from the cuthroat world of film and TV, it’s easy to assume the world of publishing is like nirvana. Books are nice and warm and fuzzy, and comic books are comfort food.  In reality, the world of publishing is like being in the mosh pit of a Nirvana show circa 1992. You’re battered about, kicked in the face and occasionally wind up in the “Circle of Pain” where ‘roided up jocks with agression issues pummel each other and anyone who gets in their way.  To be more succinct; publishing is like any other creative industry; the “industry” comes first, followed several miles down the road by “creative”.  Publishers want to make money. They need to make money to keep publishing.  Every writer will have horror stories about their experiences, yet they soldier on, and use those experiences as cautionary tales.

I have yet to experience this first hand in publishing (film is another story — and it takes a few drinks for me to loosen the tongue and spew bile forth).  But the other day I read something that left me speechless.  It’s a cautionary tale, and a warning to anyone in the creative field; that sleazeballs may come in all shapes and sizes, but all leave the same distinctive slime-trail in their wake.

Poor Kelli Owen … all of the details here.  It’s an incredible story.

These Days

So it’s Monday morning and I’m at one of those rare points in my usual run of things where I literally don’t know what to do with myself.  Check that; I do know what to do – there’s no shortage of things I could be doing – only I’m finding it difficult to muster up the motivation to do them.  What I need to do and what I want to do are totally different.  I need to do follow-ups, I need to prompt responses out of people, I need to do dishes and I need to take out the trash.

Now, that’s what I need to do.  I want to avoid it all.  I want to flake out and read comic books.  I want to flake out and watch a couple movies.  I want to crawl back into bed and catch up on the sleep I haven’t been getting lately.

“Yeah, yeah,” you’re saying.  “Who wouldn’t want to do those things?  Our lives are filled with things we don’t want to do.  But, we do them anyway because we have to if we’re to have the lives we want.”

You then follow up with; “Wait, aren’t you in your pajamas right now, tapping away on your computer, while I’m at my crummy office job, dealing with all of the BS you don’t have to, and haven’t had to deal with since sometime in late 1998?  And when I punch today’s clock I still have to go home and do all the stuff you’re complaining about right now?  Allow me to break out my violin.”

To which I counter, “yeah, it’s so tough earning a regular paycheck and all the perks and benefits that come with steady employment.  It’s so rough having three weeks paid vacation and sick days.  Oh, I have a sniffle, better call in and tell them so I can stay in bed and still draw salary.  You know what happens when I feel like crap?  I drag myself over to my desk and work through it anyway.  Deadlines don’t give a shit about how I feel.  If I don’t work, if I don’t write, there’s nobody there to cover for me. “

“You chose that life,” you say.

“And you chose yours,” I retort.  Then we stop talking to each other for a bit.

So yeah, I feel like a lazy bastard today.  I was a lazy bastard all weekend if you must know.  I poked my head out for an hour or so on Saturday to grab groceries and take a walk in the park but Sunday I stayed in.  We both did — actually Friday was our weekend,as it involved errands and dinner, and seeing a friend off as they moved to LA.

Yet in my defense there is what I like to call a “calm before the crazy” aspect involved here.  To wit, take into consideration last week, when, after finishing up a project on a Friday (detailed here) I get an email about starting another.  It happens infrequently – too infrequently if you ask me – but when it does, you can’t help but be thrilled, especially of it’s with people you’ve worked with before and found to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

I’m not at liberty to divulge the details yet (partly out of superstition, but more out of professional obligation) – I wait until papers are signed and work actually commences to do that, but it looks like I’m on the clock through the remainder of 2010 and probably into 2011 on a Top Secret Project.  I’m sworn to secrecy, but can divulge that it’s a genre busting piece, it’s Horror (my favorite genre), and involves my least favorite horror types (take a wild guess and you’ll probably be right).  The fact that this particular subgenre has been done to death is something I take as a challenge, but given the producers have come up with a take I really haven’t seen before, I look forward to injecting some new blood into a dusty corpse.

How this impacts my other work is anybody’s guess, as I’m due to commence rewriting another script for another company in the coming months. Plus, there’s the matter of the Mixtape project, the novel, and other more mundane business matters.  Still, I’m never one to complain when people ask what I’m working on and I can actually tell them, by telling them nothing about it at all.

But dammit, I still don’t want to do dishes today.

A brief note on comments

All comments posted to this blog have to be approved by either myself or the site admin before they show up for public viewing.  This means all of you spammers are wasting your time, as your comments, of which there have been many, are deposited in the trash. 

Part of me is flattered that you even bother, but as you should know, flattery gets you nowhere.  Then again, the fact you make your living  circulating spam would indicate you don’t know that.