The Sky is What Color?

So, it’s like this with writing. You can’t find your way through to a new piece unless you work at it. But you can’t make it work until it’s ready. Which means that you spend a lot of time wandering around glassy-eyed, stumbling into posts, getting honked at by cars, or unnerving people on the bus who think you’re staring at them, while all the time, the editor in your head runs images, snippets of dialogue, soundtracks, in an unending, meaningless collage. And you generally are kind of a dick to be around because you only care about this chaotic state you’re in, and you assume everyone else is as crazy as you are.

Then suddenly, usually without warning, you lay your limp, weary pen once more against your rumpled, exhausted notebook, and–BAM!–you’re off. And you’re like, uh…what the hell is going on? What’s going on is you’re writing, and suddenly life seems simpler. And more sunny.

Which is to say that I’ve been living with the pre-writing bends for almost a year on a particular project, and this weekend it jumped up and danced for me and got all weird. And now I’m hanging on and going…wherever we go. Which is a lot better than drifting through life with “No Surprises” playing on an endless, interior loop and generally feeling just a little more miserable than Thom Yorke.

The really perverse part? Every single, goddamn time, you have to get to a point where you forget this is how it works; so that when you actually pass into the writing state, you kick yourself for forgetting, knowing full well that, when it’s over, you’ll just go and forget again.

Want to be a writer? Nothing says glamour like a 1,000-yard stare.

No surprises. Heh.

Dear John…

Far be it from me to offer advice to a Republican on how to recover their campaign after so utterly fucking it up to almost George W. Bushian standards, but, well, turn the other cheek as that one guy said. He won’t listen to me anyway, so we’re safe.

That said, Palin ain’t going to fly. The whole thing has been such a thorough disaster that they’re probably considering nuking Alaska so she has to drop out to deal with the crisis (which she probably would at least as well as Bush handled Katrina). Brass tacks, John McCain is, uh, not a young guy. He’s had melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, four times, and there’s a fairly decent chance…we’ll, let’s just say picking Palin was stupid on so many levels that it’s hard to count (and really throws into question McCain’s judgment, not to mention whatever medication they’re giving him to keep him upright), but mostly, it makes him look, really, really old, and, when you consider we’re in the middle of two wars and the economy’s tanking, the thought of someone like Palin being a heartbeat from the oval office would make you take a deep breath before snapping open the paper each morning. Politically, McCain’s pretty much screwed. If he stays with her, it’s going to be one long train wreck from here to November (though I really look forward to the vice-presidential debate for a change…that is, unless they have to stop it because it looks like Bidens squashing a kitten with a tassled loafer).

*meeeoooorrrr!* crunch. silence.

If he dumps her, he looks like he’s covering for making a bonehead mistake and all the evangelicals will huff, take their Bibles, and stay home. But…there is a way he can cover his ass. All he has to do is come out and say: “My friends, I believe there’s been a great misunderstanding. When I said I was choosing Palin for my running mate, everyone assumed I meant Sarah Palin. Well, they all got so excited that I didn’t want to dash their hopes, and I thought, well, maybe it’d work out. But, I’m a maverick, you know, and I have to stick to my straight talk. And that’s why I’m here to explain that I didn’t mean Sarah Palin. I meant Michael Palin.”“I believe Michael will, well, he’ll liven things up. He brings the funny. Even if it’s that kind of British funny not everybody gets. You know, the whole vice-presidential thing’s gotten pretty deadly with Dick Cheney, so to speak, and I think…I think in these times of trouble, America not only needs a vice-president who can communicate well with our Canadian friends. And with lumberjacks. But who has executive experience working in the Ministry of Silly Walks. And let me tell you, my friends, when we walk up to the podium together, it’s going to be a walk you’ll never forget. Now, if you excuse me, it’s my happy nap time.”

Joe Biden debates Michael Palin. You say you want an argument?

Do it, John. It’s the only way.