Wanting to be heard.

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I had the story brewing in my netherspheres (it’s what I call the back burners of my brain), and it was coming to me like laser tag blasts — BAM BAM ZAP ZIP (ok, pew! pew! pew!), and, naturally, i was in my car on a long drive from Ashland to the bay area on one of my breaks from school. This is the perfect time for the creative juices to flow because then they just spill all over my car and there is no way for me to really write them down. Every once in a while, I would pull over to try to type something up, but as fast as they came, so fast would they go. I tried different approaches — type faster, tell Siri (which was always a disaster, because, well, have you ever tried dictating to Siri? She’s useless. hilarious and entertaining, but completely useless.) Then I tried a voice recorder, only to find out I really had no idea how those worked. Again – the same result, every time: the second I started recording these amazing (so I thought) ideas, they would all go straight out the window. Apparently, my characters only want to be travelling at 80+ miles an hour on a freeway.

But this story is one that I’ve come back to a few times. I’ve written little bits of it – moments, really – conversations, or thoughts, fleeting, like a dream or a memory. The main girl, Emily, has had bits of her story already written down, but they’re so scattered around at this point, that I don’t even know where they are. I don’t know if they’re all the same story, but it’s something I’m willing to investigate. Something I want to discover. So here is this journey — through Meditative Writing, I will find out more about Emily and her former lover/ex-boyfriend/childhood crush (?), Adam – see? i don’t even remember if that’s his name – and we’ll unlock their secrets ….. together.

I’ve actually already shared a bit of their story on here. When she slips and almost falls off a cliff and he shows up to warn her that shit is going down. At that point, I didn’t know what that shit was, but I think I do now, finally.

It’s a beautiful process, finding out your characters’ stories as they do. For it’s my belief that their stories already exist. They’re happening – always happening – living within me, and all they need is for somebody to tell it. Their stories are aching to be told, aching to be heard. Screaming at me – following me around, trapped in my subconscious – trying to break through in dreams and fleeting thoughts.

They’re there. They’re ready. and so am I.

My Life in Craft Services

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Idea for a new book, developed via conversation with a lovely lady with whom I work. Or maybe a blog, on its own … called “My Life in Craft Services”. First entry: “‘-Ey! You want a meatball?” ….

It was a normal day in the west village, a bit brisk, but we were outside on the stoop, taking a little peanut butter and jelly break, and we noticed a drool-worthy smell wafting from a tin truck parked in front of the church, and, both of us having worked on a film set before, we recognized it immediately: Catering at Crafty! Oohh, how scrumptious the scents, how penetrating — we were both Buggs Bunny, floating along the current of cooking meats and roasting vegetables.

This started a spattering of stories between us — that one time she was on set for Stuart Little, the other time I was on set for a few of the projects I’ve worked on, and then we moved on to my first few months in New York, when I was traveling among different film sets, asking people if they needed a hand.

“Did you actually get work?”
“Yeah.”
“Paid?”
“Yeah.”

She and her crew couldn’t believe it. (to be honest, neither could I, really, but there you have it.)

So, that led to us riffing about how to score four breakfast burritos from the cart tomorrow morning. We landed with dressing up our second carpenter in my tool belt, equipping him with my gaff tape, a radio in his ear, and a big ring of keys. For anybody who actually works on set, it’s sort of amusing to make a caricature out of a gaffer or an AD. We were throwing out things for him to say — we’d have to find out which TV show was filming down the street, then have him go up to the chef and start making small talk. “Chilly weather we’re having, huh? Freaking Crazy. Those poor guys are on fire watch and I’m sent over to grab ’em some breakfast burritos. BUt, let’s be real, a little fire would totally toast us up! Lucky you, in that oven of a tin truck!” and, then, come back with four breakfast burritos and extra guac, and four coffees …….

So that’s the idea for my next book. I’m going to go around to different shoots and eat only from craft services. How does that sound to you??

Overheard New York (1st Edition)

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This is a collection I’ve started, and I’d like to call it “Overheard New York.” 

They’re bits and pieces of conversational gems I’ve collected over the last eight months living in New York. Enjoy.

 

Basket of apples in front of the register. Guy Walks up.
Guy: I’ll just take an apple.
Cashier: We don’t sell apples.
He picks one up and shows her
Guy: They’re right here.
Cashier: We don’t sell those.
Guy: Then why the fuck are they sitting here?
Another employee whispers to cashier. (“we do sell those”)
Silence.
Cashier: That’ll be 75 cents, sir.       –  May 16, 2014, Chelsea

 

“I don’t know if I’m staying. I don’t have cash. I only have card.”
“We are a cash-only establishment, sir.”
“You know the presence of good cannot exist without the present of evil.” And he leaves.– Caffe Reggio, Greenwich Village

 

Patron: “What’s on tap?”
Bartender: “Me”
Patron: “Great. I’ll have 2 Merlots & a pitcher of you.” – Dec 6, 2013, Upper East Side

 

New Yorker: What am I saying? I grew up in NY. Idk what a lawn mower is. – Oct 14, 2013, Greenwich Village

 

“I mean, you’re so right. Everything’s, like, connected. The brain to the stomach, ya know, the heart, the brain … the stomach.” – May 9, 2014, West Village

 

“There’s someone for you. Like what you used to tell me when I was young: when I wanted the white pony with the blonde mane? ‘There’s someone out there for everyone.’” – bald middle-aged Russian man on a phone in Central Park (overheard NY)

“You don’t have to be congress to pass a bill.” – homeless man, panhandling, 6 train.

 

“Those girls? Nah, all the only recommendation I’d take from them is ice cream shops in Brooklyn.” – June 3, 2014, West Village

 

“The Path Train”
“The what?”
“The PATH train. It’s like the subway, but less glamorous.” May 21, 2014 (Brendan Comfort’s facebook)