I’ve been dabbling in recent weeks in a number of different areas. Writing articles. Writing sketches. Helping out with a video project. That means less foolishness here, but I want to reiterate a pledge I made to myself a while back:
Every day, I’ll do something creative.
To the casual observer, it might appear that I’ve been slipping a bit this week. But no. By way of catching up, I’d like to present my case that I’ve been creatively occupied each and every day this week. And I will be again tonight, too, which I plan to prove tomorrow.
But first things first — just what the hell have I been doing since Sunday’s post (which totally counts as creative in my book, by the way)?
I’ll tell you.
On Monday, I met up with friend Jenn to discuss some details of a project that we’re working on together. Now, I can’t say much about it. It’s early stages, and there’s much to work out, and it being a collaborative thing, I don’t want to spill anything proprietary. Suffice it to say that it involves Shakespeare and Nazis and internet porn. And maybe Orange Shasta.
Now I don’t know what’s going to come of all that. But if it’s not effing creative, then I’ve been using the word incorrectly for the better part of four decades. I’m going to put a check-plus-plus next to Monday on the calendar now. Just try and stop me.
Yesterday was a little different. Yesterday, I worked up the latest Zolton Does Amazon piece over at ZuG. I decided to write about depression — because clearly, that’s always good for a pickle pail of yuks.
(There’s no such thing as “low-hanging fruit” where I come from, kids. And the ladders are all wobbly and bent. And often on fire.)
That wasn’t the especially creative part of the piece, though. Those Zolton bits involve writing actual reviews on Amazon.com, and they have filters for naughty words and swears and ridiculous verbiage that doesn’t belong in a respectable product review.
“A careless reader might believe I’m suggesting that there are Rohrscach blots which resemble my mother’s security blanket, or her Native American tribe, or some new Volkswagen hatchback model she decided to lease.”
Meanwhile, an intro bit I’d written to preface all of the reviews this week included the phrase:
“…paying some guy three bills an hour to lie on his couch and debate whether his ink blot collection resembles Russell Brand Chia pets or my mother’s vagina.”
Clearly, a rewrite was in order. What kind of rewrite? That’s right — a creative rewrite.
I gambled that the first ninety percent of that nonsense was unrecognizable enough as English to slip through Amazon’s filters. But the last word had to go. And I couldn’t use any well-known euphemisms to save me, either — they’d surely have thought of that, and blacklisted every analogue from hoohah to vajayjay, and all parts in between.
No, I had to use a new word, not immediately recognizable as what I was highly-inappropriately commandeering it to mean, yet obvious in the context provided. I spent two hours trying to find just the right term. And performed a number of Google searches that I’m really hoping my wife doesn’t find in the browser history. It actually was for research purposes. But somehow, I don’t think she would buy it.
(It probably doesn’t help that I bookmarked a few of those pages, for future ‘research’ later on. What can I say — I like to be thorough when I’m citing references. It’s just good journalism, baby.)
After much thought, I settled on ‘wahooga’. I’m not sure it was the perfect choice. A careless reader might believe I’m suggesting that there are Rohrscach blots which resemble my mother’s security blanket, or her Native American tribe, or some new Volkswagen hatchback model she decided to lease.
But I think it gets the point across. And it made it through the filters. And by god, it’s creative
That brings us to tonight, and my current assignment for the sketch class I’m taking over at ImprovBoston. In last week’s session, we were asked to take a cold hard look at what we’d written so far, identify common elements, and try to break out of our ‘comfort zones’. So I reviewed what I’d presented to date:
In some respects, I had decent range — some dialogue-heavy material, some more physical. A few were character-based, others relied more on premise. Long, and short. Winners and losers. Sophomoric, and just plain juvenile. Could be worse.
Then I started thinking about gender, and the balance fell apart a bit. In eight total sketches, I’d written a sum of two female parts. One was a zombie. And the other tortured her husband. ‘Comfort zone’, thy name is bromance, apparently.
So I resolved to come up with a sketch this week involving a strong female character. Which I did, and that’s what I’m writing — ahem, creatively writing — tonight. Finally, a sketch with an independent, authoritative, intelligent and charismatic woman. Hooray.
There’s just this one teensy little thing. She’s barefoot and grimy, and living in the Dark Ages. Also, she works in a kitchen.
(Yes, the suffragettes are going to have a special wahooga-shaped pitchfork waiting for me in hell. That’s gonna be unpleasant.
Enh. At least there’ll be Shasta.)
So, I’ll be posting ‘Girl Meets Gruel’ tomorrow. And then figuring out what in the hell to write that I can actually show up in class with on Saturday. The creative juices, they never stop flowing.
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