Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Nuclear Meltdown

Writing in the twentieth century is just like sex when it comes to taking risks. If you insert your 3 1/2 inch floppy into a drive that's had somewhere in the vicinity 100,00 infected and facile disks already lodged inside, chances are, you may never get the opportunity to use your disk again.

It's what just happened to me, only it was a zipp drive with over 500-800 pages of my writing FROM THIS YEAR stowed inside. There was something going around campus and now the computers won't read my work...surprisingly I'm detached. NO, really...I've grown up. Four years ago if I lost a haiku I'd be violently thrashing my mother's Moribund Macintosh through a window. Now it's like.....uh...no big deal.....As long as I write everyday.....besides....as a writer I ALWAYS want to be getting better, and if I'm attahced like a leech to one piece of exposition all my life, I'll never grow, right?

I do (Thank god) have printed 1st drafts at home. Nothing like a solid re-write every now and again.

Good news is that I started work on a Kick-ass screenplay today titled St. Cecelia's Playground. It's a very dear work to me (not as dear as those 500 pages, but still)..it's actually work by a guy named Rick Baker, a legend among central Illinois journalists.

Baker died suddenly about fifteen years ago but he wrote alot about working-class poverty in Peoria under the sinsister shade of Reganomics and corportate America.

His work isn't as venerated as it should be. I feel like I have a bond with him, growing up piss-poor and then, shit-mama, it's raining words all of a sudden and I'm trying to catch 'em under my blogger-umbrella.

There's three seperate "journal articles" that's been transitioned into a St. Cecelia's Playground. All three illustrate the lives of actual old-time Peorians. One is about a Vietnam Vet who takes a gradeschool hostage. Another is about a former middleweight boxing champ who commits suicide by lying down in front of the railroad tracks. Another one is about "Baby Doll" a 74 year old prostitute....

Peoria used to be the "prostitution" capital of the midwest. Hence the terms "Plays in Peoria"...Comedian Richard Pryor hails from P-Town and his mother was a Madame. Ironically, Pryor credits his start in stand-up to his sixth grade teacher who would "allow me to stand up and tell jokes for the last fifteen minutes of class" if he arrived to school on time.

Not surprisngly, that teacher's name was Juliet. As far as I know, she's the first African American Baha'i in Peoria and she's now and artist cloaked in Autumnal years.

That's just how it works, sisters...

Gotta go. Thank god for detahcment. No long hair. No long book. Just a future fraught with words and images and the opportunity to lick at my dreams everyday for the rest of my life.

Oh, and a lotta love along the way.

3 comments:

daku said...

David David David, you enlightened being! I am sorry about your disk... did you try it elsewhere, on another computer? Who knows, it may be possible to restore it? Next time, backup everything! Twice!

Ace said...

I know the feeling. I've lost a lot of my material but partly because I travelled a lot between two places and used two pcs.
I never had backups. but there were memories and recreating some of the stories if you remember can be a wonderful experience sometimes.*smiles*

I'm sorry that you did lose a lot of the material. If it helps I lost a lot of mine between August 2002-March 2003.

David Von Behren said...

Thankfully, I still have "printed copies" of everything...out of the hundreds of pages there was maybe 100 that I didn't print out and proof read in ink...but oh well...like I said, detachment....Now if only I can detach myself from my wife (smiles)