I haven't posted anything for awhile. I don't know how many, if anybody, reads these things of mine, but I'm still here. I've become a different creature lately. I must acknowledge that up front. As a screenwriter, I've been pulled into this web of words that I can't get out of. Reading has consumed me. I haven't been able to watch a movie, or read a screenplay, for what seems like, forever. I'm still writing - don't get me wrong. The writing I'm doing doesn't include any slug lines, transitions, or pages mostly made of blank lines. Paragraphs have become the thing for me lately. Right now I want as many words as possible on the page.
This epic adventure of mine (Oops! I tend to think too much of myself sometimes) all started with a rather short, but powerful, book I read; "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (written by Stephen Chbosky). This book of his has has become a handful of dynamite to me - enlightening my senses. The reason for this is twofold. One is that I am currently writing something similar Mr. Chbosky's work. The other is that, the main character (I hate the word protagonist, it just sounds so negative) is encouraged by one of his teachers to read and write book reports on certain books. The brilliance of Mr. Chbosky is that he has given me a gift. He has enlightened me to the world of classic American novels. Since reading Perks, I have read, "A Catcher in the Rye", "A Separate Peace", and "Fahrenheit 451". If I'm not too tired tonight, I'll start "To Kill a Mockingbird".
The best part of writing in long hand is that I have realized how much I like movies and writing screenplays. In a way, I'm going through school all over again. I remember sitting in a college course of mine - it was English one hundred and something. Introductory class or not, I had to read parts of "The Divine Comedy", "The Canterbury Tales", and "Paradise Lost."
Those dots? Those dots are me, a Freshman in college, thinking how much I hated this shit (I was turned off from Literature from day one, writing the letters of the fraternity I was pledging on the pages I was supposed to read). These words contained in this book were all fucking foreign to me. Yes, I could read. I even had a brain at that point. What the hell was a young kid like me, thrown into such baffleness?
If I was introduced to something like "Fahrenheit 451" from the get-go, as a Freshman, I would have been hooked. The themes of that book are so powerful, it brings thoughts about how those writings, I was supposed to read, are. The reason I know this, is because, after all of those years - my first semester in college - the only textbook I kept was "The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces - Fifth Edition".
It's weird how things come around. I'll never read a sentence out of that book again, but I'll carry it with me wherever I go. As I was writing the Greek letters of my fraternity on the pages of this textbook (twenty years ago), I didn't realize that those pages contained words that would go on to influence future writers in history - bringing me to this point that I can't think of anything better to do than to stop writing so I can read, "To Kill A Mockingbird".
I'll watch movies again. The screenplay bug will take over me once again. I have to finish my current story, and read some more classis novels.
Thank you, Stephen Chbosky, for introducing me to: Ray Bradbury, J.D. Salinger, John Knowles, and Harper Lee.
(I wouldn't be true to myself if I didn't thank Brian. Bri? I'm with you tonight. Keep reading, my friend.)